UKIP leader Paul Nuttall was back on the battle bus this morning launching his campaign to become MP for Boston and Skegness in Burgh le Marsh.
He told the local candidates smarting from defeats in the Lincolnshire County Council elections to “keep their chin up”.
Mr Nuttall said: “The local elections were always going to be difficult.
“They were held just before the General Election so people were voting on national issues and not about the local community.
“And the day before the election, Theresa May announced she was going to play hardball in Brexit negotiations and that was exactly what people wanted to hear.
“But I believe she will not be as hard as people think. People will feel let down and they will come back to us.
I’ve told UKIP members in the Boston and Skegness to keep their chin up. We will get our chance.UKIP leader Paul Nuttall
“I’ve told UKIP members in the Boston and Skegness to keep their chin up. We will get our chance.”
Members of the Boston and Skegness UKIP branch met Mr Nuttall in the Guest House and then went on walkabout around Burgh-le-Marsh, meeting local businessmen and members of the public.
A seafood lover, he called in at Sukat in the High Street and bought a fresh crab from the owner, John Overton.
Mr Overton – whose son, Matthew, goes fishing off the Skegness coast – said he was delighted to meet Mr Nuttall. He said: “The previous leader, Nigel Farage, campaigned for the fishing community and it was good to hear Mr Nuttall intends to carry that on.
“I would have liked to have given him the crab but he insisted on paying.”
From there, Mr Nuttall walked across the Market Place to call in at Holmes Butchers, where he bought £5 worth of Lincolnshire sausages.
Owner Bob Holmes said: “I voted to leave Europe but I don’t like what has happened since and all the millions of pounds it could cost us to leave.
“But Mr Nuttall seems a nice bloke. I hope he enjoys the sausages.”
Before heading back, Mr Nuttall popped into The Fleece Inn for coffee - a rather different choice to his predecessor who was often photographed with a pint of beer.
Mr Nuttall said: “People will always make comparisons and here I am with a latte. But it’s so cold outside a coffee is just what I need.”
Landlady Wendy Hammersley welcomed the influx of UKIP members and Press but admitted she wasn’t really into politics.
She said: “This is the first time I’ve seen Mr Nuttall. Although I’m not really into politics I did vote UKIP and having Mr Nuttall stand for Boston and Skegness is a chance to talk about issues.”
Joining the tour around Burgh-le-marsh were two teenage UKIP supporters who might be able to give Mr Nuttall a few pointers.
Billy Brookes, 16, and William Billet, 18, stood in a mock General Election at Skegness Grammar School and won their seats.
Billy said: “I think it’s important to regain control of our country and our laws to secure our future.
“Mr Nuttall seems a nice guy and it’s great that a man like him has come to a local place.”
William, now a law student at Lincoln University, said: “I think today has been very positive. The Tories played a blinder holding the local elections so close to the General Election . They have been going 350 years and are well experienced on how to play politics and are masters at it.
“We are relatively young in the political field but we are about the future.
“Why would you vote for a party in Lincolnshire that turned off the lights and closed libraries?”
For the full interview with Mr Nuttall on standing for Boston and Skegness in the General Election, see next week’s Standard.