MP ‘should be worried about UKIP’ says council leader

Peter Bedford
Peter Bedford

The leader of Boston Borough Council has said MP Mark Simmonds ‘should be worried’ about the threat of UKIP at the general election next year and ‘needs to be coming into the Boston area’ more.

Fellow Conservative Peter Bedford told BBC Radio Lincolnshire this morning (Tuesday) that although he ‘wouldn’t say he wasn’t happy’ with the Boston and Skegness MP he said he needed to do more than come to Boston more frequently.

He said: “I think Mark should be worried and we have been telling him so now for around two years. So Mark is going to have to be working very, very hard during this next year.”

He said the MP needed to be more like fellow Conservative MP Karl McCartney in Lincoln, and be in Boston more than just Fridays and weekends.

A source close to Mark stressed that he needed to be in Westminster in the week to represent Boston in parliament.

When asked about UKIP’s success in the European elections, Mr Bedford said the results ‘didn’t come as a surprise’.

However, he said: “I think the general public really need to get to the bottom though, of what UKIP actually stand for because they don’t publish any policies whatsoever, so nobody really knows what they’re voting for other than, if you like, rejection of Europe.”

He also criticised the ‘pathetic’ turnout for the European elections, which was just 33 per cent.

He questioned what UKIP could do about the issue of immigration, saying that Labour had ‘opened the door policy all those years ago’.

He added: “Until a referendum takes place so that the people can turn around and express their opinions and say to the government ‘this is what we want doing’ I’m sure that’s the way forward and only that can be done at central government, it can’t be done locally.”

He was also asked what he thought people were voting for and replied: “That’s the million dollar question, if we knew that we could probably correct it.”

He said he had a meeting with other MPs, council leaders and East Midlands representatives at the House of Commons on June 9 and that if he saw him he would tell David Cameron to bring the referendum forward from 2017.