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‘We need to rid ourselves of our Liberal Democrat MP’ - UKIP not standing in North Norfolk and urge supporters to vote Conservative to unseat Norman Lamb

PUBLISHED: 08:12 10 May 2017 | UPDATED: 12:27 10 May 2017

UKIP's Michael Baker. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

UKIP's Michael Baker. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2016

UKIP will not be standing a general election candidate in North Norfolk and have urged their supporters to ‘lend’ their votes to the Conservatives to unseat Norman Lamb.

Norman Lamb, who is looking to retain his North Norfolk consituency for the Liberal Democrats. Pic: DENISE BRADLEY Norman Lamb, who is looking to retain his North Norfolk consituency for the Liberal Democrats. Pic: DENISE BRADLEY

The decision by UKIP could prove significant in the fight for the parliamentary seat, with Liberal Democrat Mr Lamb’s majority having been whittled down from 11,626 in 2010 to 4,043 in 2015.

Given UKIP got 8,328 votes last time and the Conservatives 15,256 to Mr Lamb’s 19,299, if those who marked the UKIP box last time follow the party’s plea to vote Tory, it could signal the end for Mr Lamb in a seat he first won in 2001.

But Mr Lamb said he did not think UKIP standing aside was “significant” and that the fact the Liberal Democrats last week won seats from UKIP in Holt and Melton Constable showed it was not a foregone conclusion that it would be the Conservatives who benefit from them not standing.

However, Michael Baker, who stood for UKIP in the constituency in 2015, said the decision was a calculated one to “rid ourselves of our Liberal Democrat MP.”

Mr Baker said: “I have spent 10 years flogging myself to death to get us out of Europe and the job is nearly done. I have fought two general elections and a European election, as well as in more local elections.
“The way things are on the political scene, which is in turmoil, it was not clear to me that we would win in north Norfolk, so I decided not to stand.

“We discussed at our local constituency meeting a decided that what’s important is that we get Britain out of Europe and get a good deal.

“We didn’t think we were going to win, but we need to rid ourselves of our Liberal Democrat MP. Personally, I have no problem with Norman at all and get on very well with him, but I totally disagree with his politics.

“I don’t want us back in Europe and I don’t want another referendum so we need to unseat him.

James Wild is the Conservative candidate for North Norfolk in the general election. Picture: Owen Cooban James Wild is the Conservative candidate for North Norfolk in the general election. Picture: Owen Cooban

“It took a lot of discussion at our meeting, but we decided we would like our supporters to ‘lend’ their votes to the Conservative candidate James Wild.

“I think that in effect, that means we are, in fact, giving the seat to the Conservatives.”

But Mr Lamb believes otherwise. He said: “If you look at the county council elections last week, then the UKIP vote was down to a bare minimum anyway, so I don’t think them not standing is that significant.

“We had results last week where we won Holt and Melton Constable from UKIP, with massive swings to the Liberal Democrats.

“I have had Conservatives saying to me that they will vote for me, because they want me as their MP.

“Because we are now facing the certainty of a substantial Tory majority, people are considering whether they really want a one party state.

“They are asking themselves ‘Do I want to lose an MP who has shown total dedication to this area?’ and they are saying ‘No, I don’t want to lose our MP.

“I have been working on the assumption that they would not be standing and the fact we had such a swing in the county council elections means I don’t think it’s that significant.”

Conservative candidate Mr Wild said: “I think what it has done is crystallize the choice. Now, it’s very clear that there is only one person standing in North Norfolk who is backing Theresa May’s plan.

“People have a choice between me, who wants to deliver on Brexit or Norman Lamb and others who would frustrate and block.

“I voted for Brexit, I think that is what is best for North Norfolk and I believe having a Conservative in North Norfolk would deliver more for North Norfolk.”

Mr Wild added that he would not be taking for granted that those who voted UKIP last time would switch allegiance to the Conservatives.

He said: “I am not complacent and I’m not taking anything for granted. I am going to be knocking on as many doors as possible to get as many votes as possible. It was already competitive, but UKIP’s decision has clarified the choice.”

Last time around, Labour’s Denise Burke got 5,043 votes and the Green Party’s Mike Macartney-Filgate got 1,488.

Labour’s candidate this time is Stephen Burke. The Greens have yet to announce a candidate.

UKIP have already announced they would not stand in Norwich North or South and urged supporters to ‘lend’ votes to the Conservative candidates.

UKIP’s former leader Nigel Farage insisted the party deciding not to stand candidates was not a sign it was in decline.

He said: “No one knows where we will be in two years’ time regarding Brexit and what the party wants to do is continue to fight for our vision of Britain outside the EU.

“Standing aside in some places does not mean we won’t still be around in five or 10 years’ time. We have achieved a hugely important victory with the referendum.

“But there will always be a need to keep the pressure on Theresa May to ensure she sees it through.”

15 comments

  • What is going on with comments just lately, I commented on this article on the 'new system' yesterday when there were 40+ comments, now its reverted to the old system with a totally different set of comments. Sort it out Archant ! Also why is there no Most Commented section on the website anymore ?

    Report this comment

    Rik O'Shea

    Thursday, May 11, 2017

  • Norman Lamb has been an excellent MP for North Norfolk. I find such comments by Bakers and Larner man, untruthful and I will be staying clear of his overpriced shop in Holt.

    Report this comment

    NorfolkGent

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

  • What an odious little man Baker is. Lamb has been a fantastic and dedicated MP for our area (l don't vote Lib Dem but credit where it's due) rather than a negative, destructive bigot such as Baker, who realises he still wouldn't have a cat in hell's chance of being elected.

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    Sportswagon

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

  • Usual hugely misleading comment from Lamb. They were certainly not large gaps in the votes between Councillors going for County. It was a very tight count and if UKIP hadn't split the vote it could have been a very different and much better result for Holt. Also, see that EDP has again missed out "Conservative" and "James Wild" from the Keywords section. Bias or what?

    Report this comment

    Sunshine

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

  • Non-Story. UKIP are history. Lamb is a good local MP so good luck to him.

    Report this comment

    Normal4Norfolk

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

  • I saw Norman Lamb this morning in Tesco's buying extra large nappies with a JSA form in his hand!....

    Report this comment

    Florence

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

  • What a very nasty piece of work Michael Baker is!

    Report this comment

    Sage

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

  • UKIP and the Tories: two cheeks of the same ar_se

    Report this comment

    Joe_Orton

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

  • The swivel-eyed loons are going to the Tory party.

    Report this comment

    mrjonnewman

    Tuesday, May 9, 2017

  • So ukip comes in pokes the hornets nest of brexit and now the people have realised they've been sold a bag of lies they are being kicked out. So they revert to sucking up to anyone that'll continue their disruption stabbing any opposition in the back even though the represent nearly half of the referendum voters - almost certainly more than half now the lies are known - but it would be undemocratic to ask again now the truth is known so the believers say - clearly because they know they'd lose this time.

    Report this comment

    Jonno65

    Tuesday, May 9, 2017

  • NotAMoose, I voted leave. Why does that make me a bonehead? Is anyone who disagrees with your opinion ignorant? As for Ukip, they're a busted flush, they've served their cause. In North Norfolk the vast majority of Ukip voters are former Tories. Despite what Norman says, he's very worried!

    Report this comment

    Whasitallabout

    Tuesday, May 9, 2017

  • This sounds like a glowing endorsement for the LibDem person. I would now give my vote to the LibDems just because of this.

    Report this comment

    Resident Smith

    Tuesday, May 9, 2017

  • Well I for one believe that UKIP has announced this decision days after being wiped from the political map for the reasons they give. I mean, why would they not decide to do this to get rid of Norman Lamb? It clearly has nothing at all to do with facing further humiliation at the polls & the timing so soon after loosing all of those deposits is just coincidence.

    Report this comment

    el84

    Tuesday, May 9, 2017

  • the photograph of Mr Wild makes him look like hes a zombie or someone has stuck 250 volt somewhere they shouldn't :)

    Report this comment

    MrB

    Tuesday, May 9, 2017

  • So two Burkes in a row standing for Labour - says it all really. Let's hope we have that master politician Diane Abbott campaign locally for the Burke - we could have a berk supporting a Burke . Now there's a political soundbite.

    Report this comment

    Dick Turnip

    Tuesday, May 9, 2017

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