UKIP rallies to support Hadleigh’s anti-Tesco superstore development
PUBLISHED: 05:12 23 April 2010
Lord Pearson and David Campbell Bannerman support residents’ campaign
THE UK Independence Party pulled off a massive coup in Suffolk when national leader Lord Pearson came to support residents of a market town in their fight to prevent a Tesco super store being built.
Lord Pearson of Rannoch was supporting the Suffolk South UKIP parliamentary candidate David Campbell Bannerman in the campaign in Hadleigh.
“UKIP has a localism policy,” said Mr Campbell Bannerman. “We believe that the best people to judge how their communities are planned are the people who live in them.
“We would offer communities the opportunity to vote in a local referendum on the issue and the Tesco development here in Hadleigh is a perfect example of how that policy would work.
“This would give local democracy the accountability which members of the public want. True localism is not supported by the main parties because they want to keep control out of the hands of the voters.”
Lord Pearson believes the current general election campaign gives his party the opportunity to support a hung parliament.
“We support proportional representation because the current first-past-the-post system treats unfairly minor parties who poll thousands of votes but cannot win in individual constituency.
“I like the list system which we have for the European Parliament elections, where votes are distributed among the parties, giving smaller parties the opportunity to have their voices heard.
“We have two Euro MPs for the East of England under the list system. Our aim to have MPs elected to Westminster.”
Lord Pearson has become a familiar figure during the election campaign. However, he is still angry that UKIP - which polled the second highest total vote in the European elections last year - has been excluded from the televised leaders’ debates.
“We should have been involved in the defence, security and foreign affairs debate because of the strength of our representation in the European Parliament. However, the others other parties did not want us present.”
Lord Pearson denied that UKIP was “a one trick pony” with policies only on Europe, but argued that Britain’s membership of the EU was hampering the economic recovery.
“We are paying £18m a day to belong to the EU - which would pay the annual salaries of 900 nurses. Just think how many nurses and medical staff we could train and employ if we were no part of this super state.”
He accused Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg of a conspiracy of silence, not wanting to debate Britain’s membership of the EU when it was obvious that the majority of British voters were at least Eurosceptic.
“When he was leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Menzies Campbell argued that we should hold a `in or out’ vote on Britain’s relations with the European Union, but that had now been abandoned.
“If we had that referendum, then we could draw a line under the issue and move on.”
Lord Pearson was greeted in Hadleigh by Town Crier Barry Nutt, who blew in trumpet in support. He is the Hadleigh branch chairman of Suffolk South constituency UKIP.
Other candidates standing in the election are Tim Yeo (Conservative), Emma Bishton (Labour) and Nigel Bennett (Liberal Democrat)