UKIP announce they will not have Norwich general election candidates and urge supporters to ‘lend’ votes to Conservatives
PUBLISHED: 19:22 05 May 2017 | UPDATED: 19:22 05 May 2017
UKIP has announced it will not be standing any candidates in Norwich in the general election - and urged people to instead ‘lend’ their votes to the Conservatives.
Glenn Tingle had been due to stand in Norwich North and Eric Masters in Norwich South. But the long-standing Brexiteers have decided, after discussing the issue over the past few days, that they will step aside to give the Conservatives the best chance of success.
Mr Tingle said: “The truth is I, in Norwich North as in any other yea, would be proud to stand against Chloe Smith and the Conservatives, but this year is different.
“I like most voters or activists did not want or expect an election and so closely following a local county council election, it has caught us by surprise and I would challenge any smaller party saying differently.
“So I had to make a choice. Do I stand against Chloe and allow the coalition of chaos to gang up in an attempt to unseat a sitting MP who has a constituency which voted to leave last year and impose a MP that does not represent the majority of Norwich North voters?”
Mr Masters said he would not even have been considered as the parliamentary candidate for Norwich South had Steve Emmens, who stood for UKIP in Norwich South in the last two general elections, not passed away in January. He said: “I’m sure Steve would have agreed with me that this is an election that has been forced on us by UK political parties and members of the House of Lords who should know better and who should be on the side of the UK to achieve the objectives for a clean and transparent Brexit.
“Unlike Glenn in Norwich North, the south of the city voted in parts to remain mainly because of its demographic and has always been seen as a Labour stronghold,
“But even here I now must face the question ‘Is it possible to place a pro Brexit MP in the ward?’”
But the pair concluded “with a heavy heart”, that it made sense for them not to stand. The party today lost all their seats on Norfolk County Council.
In a statement, they said; “We are standing aside because we believe that the only other party other than UKIP which is moving towards Brexit is the Conservatives, even if we think the progress is slow and don’t agree about foreign aid.
“We both want the best result from the negotiations and our exit. With parties other than conservatives or UKIP we cannot ever see that happening. In fact it will never happen.
“We are therefore ask all members, supporters and voters of UKIP in Norwich not to give the Conservative candidates for Norwich North and Norwich South their vote, but to lend them their vote on June 8 in Norwich North to ensure Chloe Smith is re-elected and in Norwich South, to elect Lana Hempsall in place of Remoaner Clive Lewis.
“We believe this one issue surpasses local and national politics, which is why we have chosen this course of action and hope that all UKIPPERS understand our reasoning. UKIP has not gone from Norwich and will return in next year’s city council elections.”
Candidates confirmed so far for Norwich South are: Clive Lewis (Labour), James Wright (Liberal Democrat), Lana Hempsall (Conservative) and Richard Bearman (Green).
In Norwich North, the candidates are Adrian Holmes (Green), Chloe Smith (Conservative) and Chris Jones (Labour)