Nigel Farage thronged by media as March to Leave sets off from Sunderland
It was hard to separate the campaigners from the reporters as the pro-Brexit March to Leave made a chaotic start from Sunderland today.
Around 100 marchers set off from close to the Hendon Grange Hotel, but at times it appeared they were outnumbered by journalists.
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage was thronged by reporters, photographers and camera crews from the local, national and international media as the march departed at around 9am.
Three men carried a large banner emblazoned with the slogan Leave Means Leave, and another man could be seen waving a flag with the message: 'Get Britain Out: Time to leave the EU.'
Protestors shouted 'We're marching for our freedom' and 'Farage for PM' as the crowd made its way along the coastal path.
The demonstrations were not all one-sided, however. Pro-Eu campaigners waving heart-shape placards bearing slogans such as 'We love workers' rights' and 'We love free movement' met the marchers as they set off and one woman waved blue and yellow flares, the colour of the European flag.
The march made its was along the coastal path to Seaham, briefly joining the B1287 to enter the town and make its way along the seafront.
Mr Farage stopped briefly at the town's Tommy statue before the march rejoined the Durham Coastal path in the face of heavy rain and biting wind, making its way through Blackhall before arriving in the first day's destination, Hartlepool, around 3pm.
Marchers will make their way to Middlesbrough tomorrow and are due to pass through other 'Leave' voting areas such as Pontefract, Doncaster and Wellingborough before arriving in London on March 29, the scheduled date of Brexit, where a mass rally will be held in Parliament Square.