Stuart Drummond campaigned on a platform of "free bananas for schoolchildren". Incidentally, the provision of fruit for children in school is a startlingly sensible idea that's already being piloted, separately, by the Government in some inner city areas no poorer than Hartlepool. But I digress.
Peter Mandelson, the local MP, is so smooth at this sort of thing that it takes my breath away. It took him about two nanoseconds to move from seeing the monkey suit to spotting that this is, in fact, the mayor, and congratulated him, pledged to work with him, and pointed out to everyone that "his campaign was not about monkeys, it was about real people, their aspirations, their hopes and their fears, particularly young people of this town."
At any rate, the town's now got a new slogan. "Hartlepool - the place where they elected the monkey."