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Thursday, 4 April, 2002, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
Monkey mascot for mayor
H'Angus the Monkey
H'Angus has pledged free bananas for all schoolchildren
Candidates in Hartlepool's mayoral election race are facing a potential political banana skin - they will be running against a man in a monkey costume.

H'Angus the Monkey - mascot at Hartlepool United FC - declared his town hall ambitions on Thursday.

Residents of the historic coastal town have been known disparagingly as Monkey Hangers from the days of the Napoleonic Wars when a monkey was executed after it was washed ashore and thought to be a French spy.

If H'Angus - alias Stuart Drummond - wins he has pledged to give every schoolchild in the town a banana a day.


I'm the only one who does give a monkey's about the town

H'Angus, alias Stuart Drummond

Mr Drummond, 28, will stand under his own name but will fight a campaign under the banner of H'Angus.

Third-division Hartlepool United FC are to pay the 500 deposit and said while they were supporting the campaign they were not actively involved in the running of it.

Mr Drummond and his campaign manager Ron Harnish said they accepted the novelty value of the nomination.

But they added that they were serious candidates and would campaign for better facilities for the town's youth.

Mr Drummond said: "People have always said that if you put a red rosette on a monkey it would get elected in Hartlepool.

Free bananas

"The only rosette I wear might be the blue and white one of Hartlepool United but I'm the only one who does give a monkey's about the town."

Mr Harnish said: "We can promise there will be a few surprises along the way.

"We are running a campaign centred on the youth of the town and if we can push the other candidates to the wire and highlight various issues it will be brilliant.

"H'Angus is very hopeful of running a good campaign and if he gets in he wants to give the kids free bananas since they don't get school milk any more."

H'Angus will be up against three other candidates in the first mayoral election in the town on 2 May 2002.

He formally handed in his declaration papers to Hartlepool Civic Centre at 1500 BST on Thursday.

The three other candidates are Leo Gillen (Labour), Arthur Preece (Liberal Democrat) and Stephen Close (Conservative).


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