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Ukip targets council seats and Tory leader
8:10am Friday 28th March 2014 in News
Political party UKIP has its sights firmly set on Bradford Council at the next elections.
And it is taking the fight directly to the Tories, with one candidate hoping to give Conservative group leader Councillor Glen Miller a run for his money.
Keighley town councillor Peter Corkindale hopes to create an upset by running against him in the Worth Valley ward.
But Coun Miller has dismissed UKIP as a “protest vote”, saying the Conservatives were the only real challenge to the Labour-led authority, as Bradford Council’s official opposition.
He said: “I welcome anybody standing for election because I do believe in democracy, but I should imagine that UKIP will be sucking sour grapes after the elections.”
UKIP does not currently have any councillors elected onto the Council but is hoping that will change when the district goes to the polls in May.
This year, the local elections coincide with the European elections, held once every five years, and the party hopes this will give them a boost as those voting for UKIP in Europe could be more likely to vote for them locally too.
Coun Corkindale said he had campaigned for many things in his community.
He added: “I didn’t always succeed, but I’ve always tried.
“Is it a protest vote if people vote UKIP? People should ask themselves ‘are they happy with the smug politics of the Tories, are they happy with the way Labour has run the council recently, or do they think there is a better way, where the councillors support the people who voted for them?”
Bradford UKIP district chairman Jason Smith, who is standing in both the European and local elections, said his party hoped to get up to three local councillors elected across the district.
He said: “I’ve been in this game for about ten years and when we first started off no one knew who we were, or thought we were just against the European Union.
“Now they understand all our different policies and can say ‘we agree with you on this policy’.
“We’ve currently selected 19 candidates in the district. We have only ever had up to nine historically in Bradford, so that’s double what we have always had, from a local standpoint.”