Nigel Farage hails 'momentous day in British political history' as pro-Brexit March To Leave sets off from Sunderland to Hartlepool
Hundreds of Brexit supporters were today expected to set out on the 'March To Leave' from Sunderland in what former UKIP leader Nigel Farage called "a momentous day in British political history".
The high-profile MEP was joined by other politicians and leaders of the Leave Means Leave campaign that set off on the first stage of the march - travelling from Sunderland to Hartlepool - which will ultimately culminate in a large rally in London's Parliament Square on March 29.
Organisers say the objective of the march is to "demonstrate the level of popular discontent, especially outside of London, with the way the Westminster elite are betraying the will of the people over Brexit".
Mr Farage said: "Today is a momentous day in British political history.
"Pro-Brexit supporters are out in significant numbers as we begin the March To Leave to show the out-of-touch Westminster elite the depth of dissatisfaction at their appalling mishandling of the Brexit process.
"We will not sit by idle as the establishment betray those who voted to leave the European Union."
Also on the march on the first of 14 days of walking were pro-Brexit MPs Andrea Jenkyns and Kate Hoey.
In a joint statement they said: "This weekend we march together for Brexit.
"We hope to send a strong message that, despite our differences, we are united in our view that the decision of the British people to leave the EU must be respected.
"Not to do so would do untold damage to our democracy as well as corrode trust in politicians.
"17.4 million people voted to leave the EU in a historic vote, we will do all we can to ensure that happens."
Richard Tice, founder and vice-Chairman of Leave Means Leave, added: "MPs rightly rejected the worst deal in history earlier this week.
"It would have locked the UK into an EU Customs Union indefinitely, with no say over the rules and no ability to strike new trade deals.
"An exit on WTO terms means we can save £39billion and be immediately free to make the right choices that suit our economy and our people. Most importantly, it would restore trust in politics by honouring the result of the 2016 referendum."
Yesterday, a Fishing For Leave flotilla protest over Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plans took place on the River Tyne.
Leader of the Brexit Party, Catherine Blaiklock, said: "It is 1,000 days on Tuesday since the referendum.
"They have had plenty of time to prepare everything, there has been an absolute wanton failure to prepare.
"People think it is laughable, pathetic, even people who voted Remain, who are weak Remainers, think it has been disastrous handling.
"It's the worst handling of any event since Suez.
"Three years (since the referendum) ... zero progress."
She compared the situation to an Olympic Games where the athletes turn up with days to go and no stadia have been built.
She added: "We had three years to prepare, it's a catastrophic failure of the Government, of MPs - you couldn't script it."