Stuart Drummond

Stuart Drummond (born 29 November 1973) was the first and only directly elected mayor of Hartlepool in North East England.[1] He was first elected in 2002, under the guise of H'Angus the Monkey, the town's football club's mascot, and was re-elected in 2005[2] and 2009. He was the first elected mayor in Britain to win a third term.[3] He stood down when his term ended in May 2013 after the councillors and people of Hartlepool voted to abolish the mayoral system on 15 November 2012.[4]

Stuart Drummond
Mayor of Hartlepool
In office
2 May 2002 – 2 May 2013
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Personal details
Born (1973-11-29) 29 November 1973 (age 48)
Political partyIndependent

BiographyEdit

Drummond was born 29 November 1973. He attended Hartlepool Sixth Form College, before he gained a HND in business finance and languages at the University of Salford.[1] He worked on cruise ships, travelling the globe for a couple of years and then worked in a call centre back in his home town. Before his election, he was the mascot – H'Angus the Monkey – for Hartlepool United F.C.[5]

Mayor of HartlepoolEdit

Drummond stood for election to Mayor of the Borough of Hartlepool, a unitary authority in the north east of England, in the 2002 election. He came up with the idea to stand for MP in the 2001 General Election, but opted against it.

He approached Hartlepool United Football Club chairman Ken Hodcroft with the idea to stand for Mayor and the club was happy to put up his £500 election deposit. The club saw it as a chance to generate publicity and their name and club sponsors were given a global platform.[6] Drummond took part in no serious campaigning and among his promises was for the council to provide free bananas for school children in the town - which he later delivered. Online bookmakers Bet365 offered odds on Drummond / H'Angus being elected and odds tumbled in one day from 100-1 to 4-1 as his supporters showed their support.

Drummond was narrowly elected, beating the second place, high-profile Labour Party candidate by 5,696 to 5,174.[7] The result was greeted with widespread hilarity, attracting attention far beyond Hartlepool. Canada's National Post newspaper ran the headline "Monkey wins mayoralty, regains human form".[8] The Northern Echo ran with 'Monkey Is Mayor" - despite the paper's deadline being before the actual result was declared, such was the confidence within Drummond's camp on the night of the vote.

After his election, Drummond immediately stood down as mascot. He said: I am just a normal guy off the street, listening to the views of the public and I am the voice of the public. I haven't got a big party backing me and I have been using the monkey to promote myself, promote my campaign." Peter Mandelson, the town's then MP, was present at the count in the Mill House Sports Centre in the early hours of the morning and cut an unhappy figure as his candidate, Leo Gillen, was beaten. Drummond alleged that Mandelson pulled him to one side and called him a "disgrace" and said that he'd "made the town a laughing stock".[9]

On 5 May 2005, Drummond was re-elected as the mayor of Hartlepool with an increased majority of 10,205.[10]

On 4 June 2009, Drummond was re-elected for a third term.[3]

Drummond in 2010 was a finalist for the World Mayor prize.[11]

A campaign group set up in 2006 hoped to petition for a referendum that would abolish the office of mayor and adopt the leader and cabinet system of local government leadership.[12] The referendum occurred on 15 November 2012, after the majority Labour group on Hartlepool council established a referendum which resulted in the council leader and cabinet system being favoured. The leader and cabinet system became the governance structure for the council in May 2013.[13]

Since his reign as Mayor, Drummond remained in Hartlepool until 2022 and was a prominent figurehead amongst local businesses acting as a consultant for several organisations.

Personal lifeEdit

On his re-election in 2005, he immediately proposed to his then-girlfriend, who accepted and said yes. The pair were married a year later.

Drummond appeared on the ITV game show Tenable in April 2018. He and his team mates were all Hartlepool fans and named their team The Cheeky Monkey Hangers. They failed to win a cash prize.[14]

In October 2021, Drummond revealed that he and his family were emigrating to Australia the following year.[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Oliver Wright, Monkey business turns serious for Hartlepool. The Times. London (UK): May 4, 2002. pg. 13
  2. ^ Sarah Weaver, Elected mayor stops the monkey business. The Times. London (UK): May 7, 2005. pg. 63
  3. ^ a b Hartlepool Mayor wins third term. BBC News, 5 June 2009
  4. ^ The Guardian, 16 November 2012: Mayor H'Angus the Monkey finally loses his Hartlepool habitat
  5. ^ "Labour slips on mayoral banana skin". London: Guardian. 3 May 2002. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  6. ^ "In praise of … H'Angus the Monkey". London: Guardian. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Voters snub parties in mayor polls". BBC. 8 October 2002. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  8. ^ National Post news services, "Monkey wins mayoralty, regains human form" (Toronto edition headline)/"Monkey mascot wins $121,800 job as mayor" (all but Toronto edition headline), National Post (Canada), 4 May 2002, archived online at FPinfomart.ca, $4.95 fee to view full article.
  9. ^ a b "H'Angus the Monkey ex-Hartlepool mayor Stuart Drummond relocating". BBC. 15 October 2021.
  10. ^ "Winning 'monkey' mayor gains wife". BBC. 6 May 2005. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  11. ^ World Mayor: The 2010 finalists
  12. ^ Jill Sherman, Voters aim to throw out mayors they say are acting like dictators. The Times. London (UK): Sep 4, 2006. pg. 8
  13. ^ Mulholland, Hélène (16 November 2012). "Mayor H'Angus the Monkey finally loses his Hartlepool habitat". The Guardian. London: 16 November 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  14. ^ "Hartlepool United fans fall short in goal to win cash on ITV gameshow". Hartlepool Mail. 24 April 2018.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
New Creation
Mayor of Hartlepool
2002 – 2013
Succeeded by
Office Abolished