As the Vote Leave constituency coordinator for South Holland and The Deepings, I have to ask the question ‘What is the point of UKIP having a paper candidate when John Hayes – who is committed to Brexit and campaigned alongside me and our volunteers as part of the Vote Leave movement – has consistently campaigned for Britain to leave the EU?’
In the 1997 General Election the Referendum Party did not field a candidate in the constituency because John Hayes is a staunch Euro-sceptic – I was the local press coordinator at the time for Sir James Goldsmith’s Referendum Party – who was campaigning for a referendum on our future relationship with the EU.
When that referendum on whether we should leave or remain in the EU was finally called by David Cameron, John Hayes rose to the challenge. Despite being a Minister in the Government, and despite being a personal friend of David Cameron, John had the courage of his convictions and joined ‘Vote Leave’.
Unlike many of his colleagues who prior to the referendum talked the talk by claiming to be Euro-sceptics, failed to walk the walk when the referendum was called and their careers were potentially on the line.
To John Hayes’ great credit he didn’t just talk the talk; he walked the walk in spades, and put the national interest ahead of both his party, and potentially his career.
I have been campaigning for a new relationship with the European Union for a quarter of a century. I first met John Hayes in 1997, and since then we have been continuously working and campaigning together for an independent, self-governing Great Britain. In that time I have learnt, and know that John Hayes is a true patriot, a man of honour, and a man who will each and every time do the right thing by his country and his constituents.
John Hayes is our local Brexit leader and I call on UKIP, Labour and Conservative voters across the constituency to support John Hayes on Thursday, June 8, to ensure that we have a strong local voice in Parliament, and to secure the Brexit we all voted for last year.