Europe features low on agenda for UKIP’s candidate

Winston McKenzie, standing for election again, and again for UKIP

Winston McKenzie’s latest candidature – this time as UKIP’s nominee to stand in the Croydon North parliamentary by-election which is expected to be held on November 29 – coincides with his party opening a branch office for Croydon North and Lambeth.

Meetings are to be held on the third Wednesday of every month at 7.30pm at The Invention Centre, Millennium House, 21a/23 Station Rd, South Norwood, SE25 5AH.

A UKIP press release says, “If anyone is interested in participating or contributing to community and local issues, please contact us on 07949 324201 and join in the decisions about your future.”

Given that the EU is top of the three major parties’ agendas in parliament today, it is a matter of some small surprise that McKenzie’s latest missive on behalf of the anti-EU UK Independence Party relegates the topic of Europe to the bottom of the list of things he believes will resonate with the voters of Croydon North.

McKenzie is most animated about what he calls the “New Project”, which he says aims to create jobs and has been tried and tested in another borough, a self-build housing scheme “which will inspire many young people to walk away from poverty and better themselves”, McKenzie says.

McKenzie’s platform for the Croydon North by-election includes “more jobs and housing for our young people”; “better facilities for the young and senior citizens”; “tackle the root causes of crime”; “no tax on the minimum wage”; and then, finally, “referendum on the EU and save £50 million a day”.

It is not the first time that McKenzie has stood for election in Croydon North, although in a checkered political career, his candidature is remarkable because he is standing for the same political party that he represented when he last sought election.

McKenzie, from a famous south London boxing family, has had an enthusiastic but ultimately unelected career in politics, having been a party member of both the Labour and the Liberal Democrats parties before standing as an independent “the voice of black Britain” at a north London by-election nine years ago.

In 2004, McKenzie joined the Veritas party formed by the former Labour MP and TV presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk, which had among its policies a blanket ban on immigration. McKenzie stood for Veritas in Croydon North at the 2005 General Election and polled 324 votes.

Two weeks after the election, and three months after joining the party, McKenzie resigned from Veritas, only rejoining once Kilroy-Silk had stood down. By 2006, McKenzie had changed parties once more, this time to join the Conservatives, the very party he had accused of racism for its failure to support an earlier Croydon Youth Games venture.

When in 2008 he did not get the Tories’ nomination – they chose Boris Johnson instead – McKenzie stood in the London Mayoral election as an independent, where he came last of the 10 candidates, polling 5,389 votes across the whole of the capital.

Having formed the Unity party in 2009 (which was pro-European), when that party folded later that year McKenzie then chose to join… UKIP, standing for the party at the 2010 General Election in Tottenham.

By May this year, McKenzie was still a member of UKIP and stood as the party’s candidate for the London Assembly in Croydon and Sutton, where he polled a more respectable 7 per cent of the vote, 10,757, coming fourth of the five candidates.

With the possibility of the Monster Raving Looney Party fielding a candidate on November 29, McKenzie looks to have an excellent chance of avoiding finishing last in this latest election, too.

Click here to read McKenzie’s at-length interview conducted before the London Assembly elections

Click here for our archive of other articles on the candidates of all parties for the Croydon North by-election

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