Search

Local Elections: The rise of Ukip - party to contest every ward in Havering

09:00 03 May 2014

Cllr Lawrence Webb

Cllr Lawrence Webb

Archant

With Ukip firmly in the national media spotlight, the party has revealed it will be contesting seats in every Havering ward in the local elections, and is “fighting to win.”

Ukip is contesting every wardUkip is contesting every ward

Three Conservative councillors defected to the right-wing party last month, joining the three that crossed the floor last year - and the party has effectively cost the Tories their majority in the Town Hall.

But do they pose a real threat to the Conservatives and other parties in the May 22 elections, or are they a flash-in-the-pan group, benefiting from the national coverage surrounding the European elections, which will be held on the same day?

“We are fielding 30 candidates out of 54 and we are fighting to win - it will be a tremendous boost having them on the same day,” said Cllr Lawrence Webb, leader of the Havering party and Greater London’s first elected Ukip councillor.

“We have had the same line for 20 years about the EU impacting on our immigration,” he said. “But it is only now the public is starting to realise it.”

He, incorrectly, added: “We don’t have the freedom to protect our borders from criminals gangs, even if they are arrested we can’t deport them.”

Ukip insists it is “even more” relevant in local elections than Europe, claiming the EU impact has increased the cost burden on local authorities.

Cllr Webb, who joined Ukip in 1998, acknowledged the recent negative press, not least the resignation of Enfield candidate William Henwood, who tweeted that Lenny Henry should emigrate to a “black country” and compared Islam to the Third Reich. But he insisted his party gets “unfair coverage.”

“If you have 2,500 candidates, you are going to get someone saying something stupid on Twitter or Facebook,” he added.

Opposing party leaders have questioned the party’s relevance within local government.

Council leader, Cllr Steven Kelly, referring to the elections, said: “It is the great unknown, will they win anything? Will they split votes? Personally, I don’t think they will have success. They will get seen through - they are a one-trick party, they do nothing other than Europe and immigration. There is a range to what we [Conservatives] can do - not just bang the same drum from both ends.”

Read more:

Lawrence Webb becomes first UKIP councillor in London following Havering Council by-election

Romford political stalwart Alby Tebbutt to run as Ukip councillor

Conservative Mayor of Havering Cllr Eric Munday defects to Ukip

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 15:04
Reporter Beth Wyatt, executive editor Chris Carter and news editor Emma Lake representing the Recorder at First Step's table tennis tournament at Coopers' School

Twelve teams stepped forward, putting their pride on the line in a bid to be crowned sporting champions.

Yesterday, 13:34
Crime on buses has decreased

There were 295 instances of bus-related crime in Havering last year, according to new statistics released by Transport for London (TfL).

Yesterday, 11:16
Cassie Leeson, 15 with Jessie the cow at Wellgate Farm open day in Collier Row

Families were delighted to spend the day greeting ponies, sheep, cows, ducks and rabbits at a farm’s annual open day.

Yesterday, 07:00
At the start, Arc de Triomphe, Paris, from left to right, Mike Day, Mark Chappell, Ian Frost, Dan Haines, Simon Elliot, Colin Mimms, Richard Lawrence, Chris Brown and Steve Lawrence. Picture: Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service

A group of friends are celebrating after completing a cycle challenge for charity.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Time to expand with the LeefiBRIDGE.

More iOS memory in a flash: Introducing Leef iBRIDGE.

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder