Anonymous donor leaves £10,000 to UKIP branch in North Norfolk
Archant Norfolk 2016
UKIP is alive and well in north Norfolk and has just received one of its largest ever donations - that’s the message from the branch treasurer.
Michael Baker said reports of the party’s demise were premature and a donation of £10,000 towards the constituency’s coffers in a supporter’s will proved it.
While he said the donor had wanted to remain anonymous, he added: “He was always an extremely keen supporter of Great Britain, and he wanted to see his country return to its own rule and taken out of the hands of foreign powers.
“The exact use of the donation will be down to the branch but this will enable us to properly fund local by-elections.
“UKIP is very much alive. There has been much in the news recently about the potential demise of UKIP. Here in the North Norfolk constituency, one of the highest memberships in the UK, support is very buoyant. We are immensely proud to have been included in a local resident’s will.”
Mr Baker was the party’s candidate at two of the last three general elections, and he said they would be looking to find a suitable person for the next.
The local businessman added: “Although the country has had its say, deciding that we come out of the political union with the EU, we have not done that yet. We need to keep on to politicians to ensure we come out of the EU.
“The scare stories that nobody will wish to trade with us are totally misleading. I’m in business and we trade with Europe, and I have no problem coming out of Europe. We can row our own boat.”
UKIP did not stand a candidate in North Norfolk at the last election and it was a chastening result for the party across the country.
Their leader Paul Nuttall suffered a crushing defeat in his bid for Boston and Skegness, which triggered his resignation.
And in Norfolk and Waveney, they picked up just 12,500 votes.
In 2015, when the party got more than 83,000 votes, they came close to this year’s total in a single seat - when Paul Smyth came second to Elizabeth Truss in South West Norfolk with just over 11,600 votes.
In South West Norfolk, their vote share nosedived by more than 18pc, it dropped almost 15pc in North West Norfolk and Mid Norfolk, fell by nearly 14pc in Broadland and was nearly 11pc down in Waveney.