Last night Roger Helmer, the MEP who has been selected as UKIP’s candidate in the by-election on June 5th, told Breitbart London that he felt ‘”vindicated” he had left the Conservative party: “I left on a matter of principle. But obviously I am delighted at how well UKIP is doing. I do feel vindicated.”
Asked if UKIP could take the seat, he acknowledged the huge Tory majority he must over-turn, but said: “By elections can of course bring surprises. And remember this was a Labour seat in living memory.”
A lot of Conservative voters in the constituency were disappointed by Patrick Mercer, Newark’s Tory MP who resigned after an investigation into his lobbying activities: “UKIP can take their votes. But of course we shall take support from both.”
Newark is in the East Midlands European constituency which Helmer has represented for 15 years in the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg, first as a Conservative and since March 2012 as a member of UKIP. He said he hopes that many of the people who had supported him through those years in Newark will support him now for Westminster.
“I would bring a lot of political, parliamentary, campaigning and media experience to the Commons. The two parliaments are quite different, but I will still be able to hit the ground running.”
Asked what difference one UKIP MP could make in the Commons, he said: “This would be an historic breakthrough. A single UKIP MP will get a huge amount of attention.”
Helmer is also standing again for the European Parliament in the elections later this month. However, if he is re-elected to the European Parliament and then wins the by-election in Newark, he will resign his EU seat and the next UKIP candidate on the list will take his place