STATEMENT: UKIP's Robin Hunter-Clarke confirms his intent to run in Sleaford and North Hykeham

The Lincolnshire County Councillor for Skegness South and chief of staff for UKIP at the Welsh Assembly Robin Hunter-Clarke has confirmed he is '˜throwing his hat into the ring' for the Sleaford and North Hykeham by election.

Robin Hunter-Clarke and Suzanne Evans. Photo supplied.

Mr Hunter-Clarke told the Standard yesterday (Saturday) that he was interested in competing for the seat which was vacated by Stephen Phillips on Friday.

Today, in a tweet sent out at 1pm he wrote: “After much thought I have decided to throw my hat in the ring for the UKIP Nomination! #Sleaford #Lincolnshire #UKIP”

In a statement released to The Standard today, Mr Hunter-Clarke said: “These opportunities don’t come round very often. How can I not seek the nomination, when I came so close in the neighbouring seat of Boston & Skegness?

“I will put my name forward for the nomination & it will be up to the members. If they want me to be their candidate, I will do it.

“I believe this by-election is a huge opportunity for UKIP. Although it is a huge Tory Majority, the same rules do not apply in by-elections.

“62 per cent of people in Boston & Skegness voted to leave, and they deserve to be represented.

“If the people of Sleaford and North Hykeham also elect a UKIP MP to join Douglas Carswell, you will find that we will be leaving the EU much quicker than the government have planned.

“We need to send a clear message that Britain must leave now, and this can easily be achieved by repealing the 1972 European Communities Act.”

Mr Hunter-Clarke could face some stiff opposition however, as UKIP leadership hopeful Suzanne Evans and fellow party county councillor for Spilsby Fen Victoria Ayling have also both expressed an interest in the constituency.

Yesterday, Conservative party members were out campaigning, and will decide who they will be backing ‘in the next few days’. Conservative county councillor and portfolio holder for highways Richard Davies has expressed an interest in running for the seat for the party.

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