Farage rallies support in ‘Britain’s most patriotic town’

Nigel Farage rallied support for his new Brexit Party on a walkabout tour of the seaside town where Ukip gained its first elected MP in 2014.

His blue open-top Brexit Party bus arrived in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex on Wednesday and Mr Farage, wearing sunglasses, addressed people from the top deck with a megaphone.

He then toured the town’s high street surrounded by a large group of minders, journalists and placard-carrying supporters.

He paused to shake the hand of a passing truck driver through the cab window, stopped off in Wetherspoon’s where he posed for photos with a pint, and then spoke to a crowd of hundreds gathered for a rally at the pier.

Nigel Farage with Aileen Kelly, 74, at the Moon and Starfish pub in Clacton
Nigel Farage with Aileen Kelly, 74, at the Moon and Starfish pub in Clacton (Joe Giddens/PA)

Speaking at the event to announce three new European election candidates for the east of England, he described Clacton as “the most patriotic and the most Eurosceptic town in the whole of this country”.

He said that the launch of the Brexit Party had been the “most incredible, phenomenal success”.

“This campaign, this great battle upon which we’re embarked isn’t just now about Brexit,” he said.

“It’s about whether we are a democratic country and whether we have trust that exists between our leaders and ordinary people.”

He was cheered by hundreds who gathered to hear his speech, with crowds lining the promenade.

The crowd during Nigel Farage’s rally in Clacton
The crowd during Nigel Farage’s rally in Clacton (Joe Giddens/PA)

The three Brexit Party candidates announced to stand in the European elections on May 23 include Michael Heaver, a former press adviser for Mr Farage who writes for pro-Brexit political news website Westmonster.

June Mummery, who runs a fish auctioneers in Lowestoft, Suffolk, is joining him alongside Matthew Patten, a former Conservative councillor for Tendring District Council.

Douglas Carswell became Ukip’s first elected MP in 2014 when he defected from the Conservatives and stood for Ukip in a by-election in the Clacton constituency.

He became an independent MP in early 2017, and the seat has been held by Conservative Giles Watling since June 2017.

Aileen Kelly, 74, who spoke to Mr Farage in the beer garden of Wetherspoon’s, said: “He’s a lovely man, he just tells it as it is, that’s what I like about him.”

She said of the Brexit Party: “Oh I support all of that, definitely, yes, definitely for me, all for me, yes.”

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