'Where's Nigel?' signs flashed up seeking whereabouts of Nigel Farage as March to Leave protesters head through the North East

Marchers on a two-week Brexit protest were confronted with signs asking "Where's Nigel?" as they marched through the north of England without figurehead Nigel Farage.

The former Ukip leader spearheaded the launch of the March to Leave from Sunderland on Saturday in heavy wind and rain, but was not present as it continued south through Middlesbrough from Hartlepool on its second day.

Related: Leave Means Leave march heads south from Hartlepool as they call on Government to ensure UK leaves EU on March 29 deadline

The protest will culminate in London on March 29, the day Britain is due to leave the European Union, where Mr Farage is expected to rejoin the group for a mass rally in Parliament Square.

The demonstrators have been met along the way by anti-Brexit campaigners Led By Donkeys, who have placed billboards on the route taking aim at Mr Farage.

The team put up billboards in 12 locations across Sunderland in the lead up to Saturday's launch, including in Hendon, where the walk started from the Hendon Grange pub, and Pallion.

Read more: Led by Donkey Brexit Twitter billboards poking fun at Nigel Farage and highlighting Nissan doubts go on show in Sunderland

MEP Nigel Farage enjoying a pint at the end of Saturday's March to Leave at the Merry Go Round pub, Hartlepool.

MEP Nigel Farage enjoying a pint at the end of Saturday's March to Leave at the Merry Go Round pub, Hartlepool.

In a tweet posted with a video of the 'Where's Nigel' LED mobile board, the group said: "An opportunist politician conceived a scheme that was undeliverable.

He persuaded members of the public to make sacrifices to further it and recruited millionaires to bankroll it.

And when it failed he simply walked away. The #MarchToLeave is just a 14 day metaphor for Brexit."

Organisers said on Sunday that Mr Farage would only be joining the march around his commitments.

One of the Led By Donkeys signs up in Sunderland.

One of the Led By Donkeys signs up in Sunderland.

They also said numbers were limited to 100 a day due to "health and safety."

Led By Donkeys also posted drone footage taken from above the car park in Seaton Carew as it set off yesterday.

It appeared to show a crowd of dozens of demonstrators, claiming Mr Farage should "apologise to those marchers for this farce".

But Richard Tice, co-chair of Leave Means Leave, which is organising the rally, tweeted: "Huge support in Middlesbrough on March to Leave day 2.

"Ordinary voters furious at Parliament betraying Brexit."

The campaign's website says tickets to be "core marchers", who pay £50 to get fully-paid accommodation, breakfast and dinner for the duration
of the 14-day event, have sold out.

Leading the event on Saturday, Mr Farage said: "If you see what has been happening in Parliament this week, we may well not be leaving the EU.

"If politicians think they can walk all over us, then we're going to march back and tell them they can't.

The billboards have been put up in areas including Hendon.

The billboards have been put up in areas including Hendon.

"Simple as that."

Read more: Nigel Farage and supporters launch March to Leave in Sunderland as protesters set off across North East

One of the boards quoting Nigel Farage posted up in Sunderland by the Led By Donkeys campaign.

One of the boards quoting Nigel Farage posted up in Sunderland by the Led By Donkeys campaign.

Richard Tice, co-chairman of the Leave Means Leave campaign with the open top bus which is accompanying the walk.

Richard Tice, co-chairman of the Leave Means Leave campaign with the open top bus which is accompanying the walk.