Although the party is not fielding a candidate against ‘staunch Brexiteer’ Tory Henry Smith in Crawley, it has announced candidates for six of the seven other constituencies today (Tuesday May 9).
Three stood at the last general election in 2015, where UKIP finished second in all-but two West Sussex seats. These are Mike Glennon in East Worthing and Shoreham, Roger Arthur in Horsham, and Toby Brothers in Mid Sussex.
Patrick Lowe, who was UKIP’s candidate in last year’s Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner election, is standing in Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, while John Wallace has been picked to contest Arundel and South Downs.
Meanwhile Mark Withers will be UKIP’s candidate in Worthing West.
A UKIP candidate for Chichester has yet to be announced.
The candidates will be hoping to avoid a repeat of last week’s West Sussex County Council elections where UKIP lost all ten of its seats to the Tories.
Mr Glennon, who was elected as a county councillor for Lancing in 2013 but did not re-stand, said: “The overriding priority for us in UKIP is that we end up with a strong parliament heavily committed to securing British independence and self-determination.
“In UKIP we will be selective as to where we put campaign effort, fighting strongly in constituencies where the candidates of other parties clearly favour EU subjugation of UK sovereignty.
“On the other hand, where an incumbent MP is already a confirmed Brexiteer, we would tread more lightly and in some cases not field a candidate at all.”
Asked if UKIP candidates might split the pro-Brexit vote, Mr. Glennon said: “In reality most of the constituencies in this county are safe Tory seats and I don’t think that anyone anticipates that this is about to change.
“However, during the campaign period it is vital that UKIP are on the platform of debate where necessary, urging voters not to be seduced by the fantasies of the Remainers and definitely not to vote for those parties advocating a sell-out to Brussels.
“As far as UKIP is concerned, this campaign is not about party interests, but about our future as a self-governing country.”
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