Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage swept into Sleaford this afternoon ahead of a public meeting to be held tonight to back his party’s candidate in Thursday’s by-election.
Victoria Ayling is standing for UKIP in the Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election called after the shock resignation of Tory MP Stephen Phillips.
She told The Standard that the campaign to overturn a 24,000 vote majority from the Tories was going well and a visit from such a high profile figure was a huge boost.
“He is Mr Brexit,” she said.
Mr Farage, who is fresh from visiting US president-elect Donald Trump, told The Standard: “This is an opportunity in what is a strong Tory seat but also a strong Brexit seat, a chance that if you are feeling a bit worried if what you voted for on June 23 is being delayed, watered down and isn’t really happening and you want to send a message that says, ‘please get on with it’ you do that by voting UKIP.”
He said Ms Ayling was a strong voice to fight against Government and Tory cuts to hospital and council services. On foreign labour he said they should be given work permits. “What we want is fairness,” he said.
On the UK voting to leave the European Union he said: “I am the turkey voting for Christmas but it won’t cost the taxpayer to send us MEPs there every week. Good!”
He will be speaking at a public meeting held by UKIP at Sleaford Legionnaires Club tonight starting at 7.30pm.
His visit follows hot on the heels of his new party leader Paul Nuttall who visited the town on Saturday and spoke at a meeting at Sleaford Cricket Club.
The full list of 10 candidates standing in the by-election are: Victoria Ayling (UKIP), David Bishop (Bus Pass Elvis Party), Jim Clarke (Labour), Paul Coyne (Non aligned), Peter E Hill - aka The Iconic Arty Pole (Monster Raving Loony Party), Caroline Johnson (Conservative), Marianne Overton (Lincolnshire Independent), Ross Pepper (Liberal Democrat), Sarah Stock (Independent), Mark Suffield (Independent).