From: Parliament UK

When Nigel Farage announced recently that he “won’t be involved in elected politics any longer”, ConHome abstained from its usual plea that he be given a peerage (despite our disagreement with him on many matters).

This was because he has form in quitting only to return, and it’s impossible to know whether it would all be different this time round.

We don’t believe for a moment that he will stand in Hartlepool, but he will presumably pop up to support Reform UK there – as the Brexit Party now calls itself – in the coming by-election.  Mike Hill, the sitting MP, is to stand down.

Richard Tice surely has to put himself up again, as he did in 2019, given the Brexit Party’s robust showing there then.  It was its second best performance in that election after Barnsley Central.

The coming contest will also be a test of Boris Johnson’s new-flavoured Red Wall party, of Keir Starmer’s leadership – and it may even be that Laurence Fox throws his hat in. All we need now is a monkey.

The Conservative candidate last time round was Stefan Houghton, a Stockton-on-Tees councillor, who might well have won had Tice not stood.