UKIP has announced it will not be putting a strong local candidate up for the General Election in South Holland and the Deepings next month.
The party will be putting up a “paper” candidate in Jane Smith, who was last week voted off Lincolnshire County Council’s Hartsholme ward and is wife of UKIP Lincoln Branch chairman Nick Smith.
It’s sad for the UKIP councillors who worked hard for their communities, have lost their seats and see less committed and able people elected in their place simply based on rosette coloursUKIP South Holland and Deepings chairman Paul Foyster
A statement from UKIP reads as follows:
“After much debate and heart searching and despite having a strong local candidate available, our branch decided well before the county elections, not to hold a hustings but to field a democratic or “paper” candidate, made available to us by our head office.
“Several other party branches are doing the same thing and in most cases, where a seat is a Tory or Labour marginal with a sitting Brexit MP, no candidate at all will be fielded.
“We feel that in this constituency it’s important not to disenfranchise UKIP supporters but there will be only a very nominal campaign. We will not be canvassing, advertising or producing election addresses. During any future elections, local or national, we will campaign as normal.
“These are our reasons for this decision:
“Whilst this does not indicate approval of the Conservative government or leadership, John Hayes personally campaigned with us for Brexit and has recently agreed to make a statement confirming his commitment to the sort of Brexit both he and UKIP supported during the referendum. Just now this is the best way to further that aim.
“A strong hard left wing Corbyn-run Labour party is unthinkable and must be discouraged. This move sends them a message. Our leader is standing in the constituency next door and we want to help him.”
In his own, personal statement, UKIP South Holland and the Deepings chairman Paul Foyster added: “The county election is over, it was a bad result for us though here we retained the most votes of any opposition party, easily beating Labour, the LibDems and the Greens.
“In South Holland and Deepings, UKIP will take only a nominal part in the June contest but there is still a job for us to do. We forced and helped win the referendum only by presenting a threat to the “natural order”.
“Underfunded protest groups usually fail to achieve their aims but a full-blown political party that has the potential to take seats does motivate politicians to listen and act. The Tories did both, just enough to regain support but if we don’t try to continue they will quickly slip back again.
“Whatever happens to UKIP all that work was worth it for the chance of a proper Brexit alone. The EU caused people to lend us their votes but they now believe that job’s done, Mrs May has told them so, it must be true. I very much doubt it, time will tell.
“We have not left the EU. that’s at least two years away. Furthermore much in our national political organisation, structure and democratic processes are badly wrong and grossly unfair but there is little popular will to change for the better.
“We are too lazy to act if it inconveniences us. In the recent elections only three out of ten could even be bothered to vote. It’s so much easier to let others do the thinking for us and not to see the damage bad decisions cause to people we don’t know.
“Established political loyalties are almost impossible to challenge. Supporters of the old parties simply don’t listen to what other groups say, they don’t even read election leaflets, let alone a whole manifesto. All that matters are perceptions, truth is mostly irrelevant.
“I frequenty criticise other parties, so it’s only fair that I comment on my own too.
“Had Farage not given up the leadership so soon post referendum and left a vacuum, we would have had time to regroup and present a more united and less “marmite” front. I think that the party reorganisation in the Autumn will allow us to move forward but it will be our last chance, as it is we will have to start again almost from scratch.
“It’s sad for the UKIP councillors who worked hard for their communities, have lost their seats and see less committed and able people elected in their place simply based on rosette colours.
“Unfortunately that is how politics works. Those of us who remain and can prove we’ve made a difference are bound to wonder why we bothered, some have already jumped ship in the hope they can continue to help the people they represent by speaking out.
“Speaking is often the most we can do, opposition councillors have no power other than that of persuasion. Most of us are far more interested in local matters but we are usually judged on national issues.
“I’m not a racist, a “phobe” or an “ist” of any kind and neither is my party, though maybe a very few of our supporters are, they and worse lurk in every political party and organisation in equal proportions and are impossible to identify until they leap out and bite someone.
“Of course they must be exposed but It’s a fact that at national level the bad apples and mistakes in other parties often get ignored by the media whilst ours get spotlighted.
“The smears, spin and lies do hurt but nearly all our active members will stick with UKIP. The essential changes our politics need are worth fighting for. The old parties won’t act against their own interests but if our senior leadership can’t turn things round within this next year or so, I suspect some of us may perhaps think again.
“We will always put national interests and our own communities before party, in the final analysis, it’s what UKIP is about.”
• The Liberal Democrats have today named Julia Cambridge as their candidate for the South Holland and the Deepings seat in the 2017 General Election. Julia fought unsuccessfully for the Chesterfield seat in the 2013 election. John Hayes is representing the Conservatives, Daniel Wilshire the Greens and Labour Wojciech Kowalewski.