Senior UKIP figure Peter Reeve urges people in North Norfolk to vote Liberal Democrat

Election of Chairman and Leader for Cambridgeshire County Council. Cllr Peter Reeve UKIP.

Election of Chairman and Leader for Cambridgeshire County Council. Cllr Peter Reeve UKIP. - Credit: Archant

A senior UKIP figure has urged the party's supporters in North Norfolk to vote for the pro-EU Liberal Democrats on Thursday.

In a shock intervention, local government spokesman Peter Reeve said candidate Norman Lamb was 'a man who will stand up for North Norfolk' in a video endorsement.

The move is set to be controversial within UKIP, after the party decided not to stand in the marginal seat in a bid to oust Mr Lamb whose party wants a second EU referendum.

Mr Reeve, who received an MBE for local government work, said: 'I'm asking UKIP supporters and everyone in North Norfolk to back Norman Lamb.

'It's clear there's going to be a Conservative government, but it's important that government doesn't have too big a majority.

'They'll start introducing things like scrapping free school meals or introducing a tax on dementia.

'Norman is a man who will stand up for North Norfolk. He'll make sure that the negotiations are right for North Norfolk, whether you're a teacher or a farmer. He's a man you can trust with adult social care, the health service, and looking after the Norfolk area.'

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Mr Lamb is facing a tight battle to retain the seat he has held since 2001 against Tory James Wild.

One area where the Conservatives have been attempting to win votes is Brexit – the Lib Dems want a second vote but North Norfolk voted heavily in favour of leaving the EU.

Mr Lamb said: 'I've been clear from the start that I will not look to frustrate the will of the people of this area.

'I did not vote with my party who opposed the triggering of Article 50 and I will fight to help get the best Brexit deal for Britain.

'There has been an assumption that the UKIP votes will automatically go to the Conservatives. But that is not something I have found on the doorstep. This endorsement is very welcome.'

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