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Carswell heads for the Bay in support of Ukip hopeful

Clacton-on-Sea victor and constituency candidate promoting party

DOUGLAS Carswell, Ukip’s first elected MP, will speak at a public meeting at The King’s Hall in Herne Bay next month. He will be in town to support Piers Wauchope, Ukip’s parliamentary candidate for North Thanet, the constituency that includes Herne Bay. The theme for the event is Why Ukip? Also speaking will be Canterbury city councillor and party member David Hirst.

Storm

Mr Carswell sparked a political storm in August last year when, as Conservative MP for Clacton, he switched his allegiance to Ukip. He won the subsequent by-election for his new party with a 12,404 majority. He took 59.7 per cent of the vote, more than twice t his closest rival, the Conservative who had replaced him. His success was followed by that of another former Tory MP, Mark Reckless, who won the Rochester and Strood by-election in September last year. John Moore, Mr Wauchope’s campaign manager, said although media focus had been on Thanet South due to Ukip leader Nigel Farage contesting it at the general election, the party still regarded Thanet North as “a key seat”. Mr Wauchope was, he said, “a very educated man”.

“He’s a barrister by trade and well respected in the party,”

said Mr Moore, who had tried to get Mr Carswell to the constituency earlier but was restricted by the MP’s previous commitments. He was “returning the favour” as Mr Moore helped with Mr Carswell’s successful campaign. Asked if the fact that Thanet North had a long-standing Conservative MP in Sir Roger Gale might make winning the seat challenging, Mr Moore replied:

“No, it’s not tougher — it’s easier. That’s the thing with long-standing politicians like him — people want a change. Margate is not like it was, with all its boarded-up shops and Dreamland closing. Sir Roger has let people down, as has the council, which is there for the taking. And there’s Manston. People want an airport there, not houses and business parks that never get filled. Sir Roger has got involved with the Manston campaign, but I feel it’s just show and electioneering. I’m dubious about his involvement in the affair. Things will change drastically overnight with Ukip, I believe.”

Despite their proximity, Mr Moore sees the issues in Herne Bay as substantially different to those in Margate and its surrounding suburbs. He said:

“One of the main concerns in Herne Bay is that housing is going to fill all the fields around the town. Speaking purely personally, I’m very, very concerned about the Sainsbury’s that’s opening.”

Death knell

“There are never the jobs that are promised and many of those that do happen will be part-time. I hope I’m wrong, but I think it could be the death knell for the town. If trade does suffer, people will be laying people off and they’ll go to work for Sainsbury’s. They’re just moving jobs around.”

Busy times for Mr Moore and the campaign team, then.

“Yes busy, but good fun. I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “People have had enough and want change — Ukip are that change.”

Tickets for Why Ukip? are free and available by e-mailing norththanet@ukiplocal.org or call 07770604549 or 01843 586333.

Herne Bay Times, January 15th 2015

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