The Northern Independence Party will not be on the Hartlepool by-election ballot after they failed to register with the electoral commission in time.
The newly-formed party was polling in third position behind the Conservatives and Labour, but will now field their only candidate, former MP Thelma Walker, as an independent.
?? BREAKING: The Rules of the Game (1/2)
?? The EC will not be registering our party in time for the election. Disappointing, but the system can often feel difficult for outsiders.
?? So, whatever, we’ll just stand our candidates as NIP Independents.
— Northern Independence Party ?? (@FreeNorthNow) April 8, 2021
She will join 16 other candidates in one of the most hotly contested by-elections in a generation.
Dr Paul Williams has been selected as Labour’s candidate to replace Mike Hill, who resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment which he denies.
Former farmer, Jill Mortimer will represent the Conservatives.
16 Hartlepool By-Election Candidates ?:
— Election Maps UK (@ElectionMapsUK) April 8, 2021
The Northern Independence Party was started as a joke on Twitter, but it became increasingly serious about its political ambitions as it gained popularity.
The party’s logo features a whippet and their slogan is “It’s about bloody time”, while their Twitter account is littered with humorous photos of their political opponents.
According to Meridith Knowles, the Interim Vice Chair, the Electoral Commission parperwork was filled out in January but they didn’t have the money to “pay solicitors to do our paperwork for us”.
Here are the candidates who did manage to make the ballot:
The Incredible Flying Brick – The Official Monster Raving Loony Party
David Bettney – Social Democratic Party
Hilton Dawson – The North East Party
Gemma Evans – Women’s Equality Party
Rachel Featherstone – The Green Party candidate
Adam Gaines – Independent
Andrew Hagon – Liberal Democrat
Steve Jack – Freedom Alliance. No Lockdowns. No Curfews.
Chris Killick – [no description]
Sam Lee – Independent
Claire Martin – Heritage Party
Jill Mortimer – Conservative Party Candidate
John Prescott – Reform UK
Thelma Walker – Independent
W. Ralph Ward-Jackson – Independent
Paul Williams – Labour Party
Related: Labour shrieks ‘betrayal’ over union poll forecasting Hartlepool rout