In the party conference spotlight

UKIP Conference
UKIP Conference

MEMBERS of UKIP are hoping they build up to an election breakthrough in this area after holding their spring conference in the Boston and Skegness constituency.

On Saturday the UKIP conference was held at the Embassy Centre in Skegness following an invite from party branch chairman Chris Pain.

At the conference it was revealed that East Midlands MEP Roger Helmer has joined the party from the Conservatives and the party attacked Prime Minister David Cameron for not agreeing to a referendum on the country’s continued membership of the EU.

Mr Pain told the The Standard that UKIP is keen to shed its image as a ‘single issue’ party, with a pledge to raise the tax threshold to £11,500 to help low paid workers.

However, he stressed that the debate over the EU is still central to the party’s thinking.

Mr Pain said: “If you asked people in the street it would probably be something like eighth or twelth in the list of importance but when you look at the top eight things like the finances and and immigration they are are controlled by the European Parliament.

“All the main issues people are concerned about are under EU rule.”

Locally the party has also hit out at EU rules that are affecting Boston fishermen, a story featured in The Standard last year and at the wind turbines recently installed in The Wash.

Mr Pain, from Boston, stood at the 2010 General Election where he finished fourth with 9.5 per cent of the vote.

He is now the party’s second choice candidate for the next European elections in two years’ time and the party wants to increase its vote from 2009 where it was third in the region with 16.4 per cent.

Mr Pain said: “Locally I think the conference has done Boston and Skegness good. It has put the whole area in the spotlight.

“We believe a lot of the local support for the Conservative party was kept in place by Roger Helmer.

“People have had blue rose-tinted glasses on and misled to believe the Conservative Party is anti-European.”