Roger Helmer MEP has been selected as UKIP’s candidate for the Newark by-election on June 5th. The former Conservative defected to UKIP in 2012 and is a strong opponent of wind farms.
The 70 year old was selected to fight the seat by UKIP’s Newark constituency association on Monday night after a hustings event. He told the Daily Express: “I am both proud and humbled to have been selected by the constituency association in Newark to represent the UKIP cause in this historic town in what could well prove to be an historic by-election.
“It would be a huge honour to be elected to serve as Newark’s MP and I will be giving my all over the next few weeks to achieve that outcome.”
UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: “I had a feeling from pretty early on that Roger would emerge as the UKIP candidate in this contest. It did not surprise me in the slightest that he performed so well at the hustings or that NEC members were keen to endorse him.
Helmer has represented the East Midlands region in the European parliament for the past 15 years. He recently had a major spat with the Sun Newspaper over his views on gay marriage.
One slight confusion to the plan is that Helmer is running for the European Parliament later this month. However, if he is elected to the Westminster parliament he would have the right to stand down from Europe, this would automatically elect the next UKIP candidate on the list.
The by-election itself was called after ex-Tory MP Patrick Mercer resigned following an investigation into his lobbying activities.