UKIP’s members in Croydon South yesterday rejected the questionable political “skills” and charms of Winston McKenzie in favour of a local candidate who has been better known for distributing newspapers, rather than creating headlines for them.
Kathleen Garner will stand for the eurosceptic party at the General Election next May. She is already a well-known face in parts of South Croydon, where for many years she would weekly go from door-to-door in all weathers to push the local free paper through her neighbours’ letter boxes.
Garner won the vote in a shortlist of five candidates who included McKenzie and Jeff Bolter, the former policeman who stood for parliament for UKIP in the constituency at the 2010 General Election.
The arch-expenses claimant, “Sir” Tricky Dicky Ottaway , who has never lived in the constituency he has represented since 1992, retained the seat at Westminster for the Conservatives in 2010 with a 15,800-vote majority, beating the LibDems into second place. UKIP’s Bolter won 2,500 votes. Ottaway will retire before the next election, with the local Conservatives having opted for Tory party donor, Chris Philp, to “inherit” one of the safest seats in London.
Garner was the only candidate seeking UKIP selection yesterday who lives in the constituency. She has run in the last four local council elections, back to 2002 for wards in Croydon South. In May, she stood as the sole UKIP candidate in Croham ward where, despite her party leader Nigel Farage promising an “earthquake” in the local elections, she finished seventh, garnering (sorry) 629 votes.
Garner’s hope for 2015 must be to build on the 19,000 votes her party attracted in the constituency in the recent local elections, although according to a source, the decision of the selection meeting has not been welcomed by the local party’s leadership.
“Kathleen will make a limited impact – she is just too quiet,” they said.
Coming to Croydon
- South Norwood Arts Festival, July 5-20
- David Lean Cinema: Half of a Yellow Sun, July 17
- Love Norbury launch event, July 19
- Boom Band plays the Half Moon Putney, July 19
- Summer butterfly walk, Farthing Down, July 20
- Picnic in Grangewood Park, July 20
- David Lean Cinema: Pantani: Accidental Death of a Cyclist, July 21
- David Lean Cinema: Tracks, July 24
- Fragile, Spread Eagle Theatre, July 24-26
- CODA’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at Wandle Park, Jul 30-Aug 2
- David Lean Cinema: Locke, July 31
- Elm Tree Cottage garden open day, Aug 10
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Streatham Common 6M race, Sep 27
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
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