Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Monkey Does a World-Class Job as Mayor; Former Mascot Ranks in Global Top 10

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Monkey Does a World-Class Job as Mayor; Former Mascot Ranks in Global Top 10

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Scott

ANORTH East town's football mascot turned mayor has beaten the competition to represent the UK in the World Mayor competition. Stuart Drummond, the current mayor of Hartlepool, shocked the country when he stood in his home town's mayor election as H'Angus the monkey and won in 2002.

Now he has beaten Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone to become the first UK mayor to be make the top 10 in the World Mayor Competition.

Since his election in 2002 Mr Drummond has dropped the monkey suit, been re-elected twice and was whittled down by judges in the competition to the top 10.

He came 10th in the vote, beaten to first place by Marcelo Ebrard, who is civic leader of Mexico City.

Mr Drummond said: "I didn't stand as a protest vote in the beginning, I wasn't politically-minded enough to protest against the other candidates.

"It was a bit of a joke to be honest. I will always be associated with H'Angus but the first time I was re-elected it was with a majority of 11,000, so I had obviously done something right."

In the eight years since he was elected, Mr Drummond said the North East town had undergone regeneration and one million visitors came to see the Tall Ships during their stay in the harbour this summer, which brought in pounds 27m to the local economy. "I have been fortunate enough to be at the helm during a decade of regeneration and improvement," said Mr Drummond.

Despite the top 10 accolade, Mr Drummond is not complacent about his future.

"The longer you are in a post, the more unpopular you become," he said. …

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