VIDEO: UKIP leader Paul Nuttall speaks in Sleaford today

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UKIP is wheeling out its big guns with newly elected national leader Paul Nuttall speaking in Sleaford today (Saturday) and former leader Nigel Farage due to arrive on Monday.

Former teacher Mr Nuttall met shoppers in Market Place today and described this coming Thursday’s by-election as a two horse race between UKIP county councillor Victoria Ayling and the Conservative candidate Dr Caroline Johnson.

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall with candidate Victoria Ayling and UKIP supporters in Sleaford Market Place.

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall with candidate Victoria Ayling and UKIP supporters in Sleaford Market Place.

Mr Nuttall said by-elections are famous for people voting on national issues and Brexit is still a major issue over which his party wants to hold the Tories to account.

He said the Tories are backsliding on Brexit while UKIP is against staying in the single market, adding: “We want a country whereby we control our own borders, we control our own finances, we make 100 per cent of our own laws and we sign our own trade deals.”

Mr Nuttall, who used to live in Lincoln, will speak at a public meeting tonight at Sleaford Cricket Club Pavilion.

Doors open at 6pm and the meeting starts at 7pm.

Coun Ayling said Nigel Farage will meet the public in Sleaford Market Place from 2.30pm on Monday and will speak at the Legionnaires Club that night. Doors open again at 6pm.

She was delighted both the present leader and former leader were supporting her in Sleaford and meeting the public.

She said of Mr Nuttall’s visit today: “I am absolutely delighted. It’s a new era and a new leader who has come to town to support me.”

Coun Ayling said it wasn’t “just a grip and grin visit” as Mr Nuttall was meeting the people and talking to them – and welcoming everyone to hear him speak at tonight’s meeting.

Ten candidates are contesting the election, which takes place on December 8:

• The Iconic Arty Pole - Monster Raving Looney Party

• Victoria Ayling - UKIP

• David Bishop - Bus-Pass Elvis Party

• Jim Clarke - The Labour Party

• Paul Coyne - No political party description

• Dr Caroline Johnson – The Conservative Party

• Marianne Overton - Lincolnshire Independents

• Ross Pepper – The Liberal Democrats

• Sarah Stock - Independent

• Mark Suffield - No political party description