UKIP Parliamentary candidates: What we know so far

David Lawrence - 08 05 17

Today marks the deadline for prospective candidates in June’s parliamentary election to deliver nominations. UKIP is expected to stand significantly fewer candidates than the 2015 general election, in which it contested almost every seat.

This is, in part at least, because it is declining to contest seats defended by stridently pro-Brexit MPs.

This supposedly principled tactic also functions as a convenient cover, however, as the floundering party has haemorrhaged both members and donors since the EU Referendum. UKIP will now channel its limited resources into key target seats.

Whilst we won’t have a complete picture of who is standing until 11 May, UKIP has already announced a number of candidates in target seats. These hopefuls face the Herculean task of reversing UKIP’s fortunes after the disastrous local elections last week, in which the party won just a single council seat.

According to BBC polling, UKIP’s vote has fallen to 5%, down from 22% in 2013.

Here are a few candidates we know so far:

Boston and Skegness, Lincolnshire

Party leader Paul Nuttall is contesting the Lincolnshire seat, home to the highest Brexit vote in the UK, with 75.6% of the constituency voting Leave. However, Boston and Skegness is also comfortable Tory territory and it seems unlikely that voters in the constituency will be mobilised by Nuttall’s increasingly radical anti-Islam policies.

Confusingly, Nuttall made the announcement that he was to contest the seat not in the constituency itself but rather 160 miles away in Hartlepool, and his campaign got off to a rocky start when he failed to identify pictures of Boston and Skegness when quizzed on Sky News.

Following last week’s calamitous local election results – UKIP lost all 10 of its seats on Lincolnshire County Council – it seems Nuttall may have chosen his seat unwisely.

Dudley North, West Midlands

Bill Etheridge MEP, UKIP’s Defence spokesperson, will be contesting the Dudley North seat.

A UKIP hardliner, Etheridge has called for a ban on kosher and halal meat and expressed his support for the death penalty. He resigned from the Conservative Party after posing with ‘golliwogs’ on Facebook.

Etheridge has also raised eyebrows when he praised Hitler as a “magnetic and forceful public speaker” who “achieved a great deal”, and  was slammed after a 2015 meeting in Dudley in which he echoed the words of Enoch Powell, warning that multiculturalism could lead to “rivers of blood”.

Clacton, Essex

After former UKIP donor Arron Banks aborted his candidacy in Clacton just five days after announcing it, both UKIP and Banks have backed local councillor Jeff Bray to contest the seat.

Bray was recently embroiled in scandal after a number of wildly anti-Muslim social media posts were uncovered. Bray, who represented UKIP in the Tendring Rural East ward of Essex in the recent county council elections, received 22.1% of the votes cast. 

According to BBC polling, UKIP’s vote has fallen to 5%, down from 22% in 2013

Thurrock, Essex

Tim Aker MEP is set to contest Thurrock again after standing in the constituency in 2015. Aker has been criticised for defending an ill-advised statement he made at UKIP’s 2015 conference, when he told the crowd that the ban on smoking in public places in England “damaged more communities than the pit closures did”.

Aker was reportedly forced to resign from his position as UKIP’s policy chief after failing to complete the party’s manifesto in 2015, after which Andrew Moncreiff, a member of UKIP’s NEC, stated that Aker was “harmless enough but thoroughly lightweight and has done virtually nothing for the party”.

It is unclear how Aker will be able to simultaneously manage his responsibilities as an MEP, a borough councillor, UKIP’s current Key Seats Co-ordinator and a Parliamentary candidate.

South Basildon and East Thurrock, Essex

The Essex seat is set to be contested by UKIP deputy leader Peter Whittle AM. Whittle has vocally defended UKIP’s new, radically anti-Muslim policies such as banning the burka. Also, despite being openly gay himself, he raised eyebrows when he rallied to defend UKIP candidates who compared gay people to child abusers and labelled same-sex adoption “child trafficking”.

The former leadership candidate Whittle ran for London Mayor last summer, picking up a dismal 3.6% of the vote. 

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

The Humberside constituency will be contested by Mike Hookem MEP, UKIP’s Fisheries spokesperson.

Hookem was recently slammed by the local press for describing Grimsby as “poor” and “full of working class people”, subsequently refusing to retract his comments.

Hookem became notorious following a “handbags at dawn” altercation with former UKIP leadership candidate Steven Woolfe in Strasbourg’s European Parliament in October, although the former army commando was cleared of punching Woolfe in an internal party review.

Hartlepool, County Durham

Broughton, the 33-year old shop assistant and former amateur wrestler, is set to contest Hartlepool again after standing unsuccessfully in the constituency in 2015. Broughton ran for UKIP leader in 2016, finishing fourth out of five candidates with 8.6% of the vote.

Broughton is also known for starring in a series of unwise Youtube videos, in which he claims: “I’ve got money than any of you could possibly imagine”.


Stay informed

Sign up for emails from HOPE not hate to make sure you stay up to date with the latest news, and to receive simple actions you can take to help spread HOPE.


We couldn't do it without our supporters

Fund research, counter hate and support and grow inclusive communities by donating to HOPE not hate today

I am looking for...


Useful links

Close Search X
Donate to HOPE not hate