Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage has told the media why he picked Sunderland as the first location for his Brexit march.
The politician was in the city on Saturday to launch a 14-day march, organised by the Leave Means Leave campaign, which will end in London on March 29.
Chants of "Leave means Leave" rang out from supporters as the protest got underway - with Mr Farage answering questions from journalists en route.
He said that the people of Sunderland "gave hope" to his campaign on the night of the EU Referendum vote by being the first to declare a Leave vote.
Mr Farage continued: "Oh, because of the symbolism of the place. That was the result.
"We got the result that night, we thought 'wow, we can do this'. It was the people of Sunderland who gave us hope that night."
In response to questions about Nissan's future in the region, the politician said he did not believe that the "fantastic" plant would be reduced.
Nissan employs around 7,000 of people across the North East.
The company recently confirmed that production of the Infiniti model will stop at its Sunderland plant by the middle of this year as part of a major restructuring plan.
Mr Farage said: "Well, listen, I think the truth of it is that they've got a fantastic plant here and they're not going to reduce any of it.
"Sadly, the industry with diesel engines etc is having a tough time."
The former Ukip leader was also asked questions about the future of Brexit, and what he believes will happen in the coming weeks.
He added: "No one knows what will happen in the next couple of weeks, but it's looking less and less likely that all the promises that were made, that we would leave on March 29 are not going to happen.
"If you believe in the democratic process, that is an outrage