UKIP has selected a builder to stand for election in the Fareham constituency.
Malcolm Jones, pictured, will represent the party as Ukip’s prospective parliamentary candidate at the general election in May.
This is the first opportunity that people have had for real change and ordinary people now have a choice of voting for someone who really understands themMalcolm Jones
He will be competing against Suella Fernandes for the Conservatives, Miles Grindey for the Green party, Stuart Rose for Labour and Matthew Winnington for Lib Dems.
Mr Jones, from Eastleigh, was selected by the party on Saturday.
The 49-year-old said: ‘I am really pleased and proud to be selected.’
He said he intends to focus on issues relating to planning and infrastructure, such as problems with congestion on the M27. He also said that if elected he would campaign to bring skilled jobs to the constituency.
Mr Jones will face stiff competition from the Tories in Fareham, after they won the last election with a 17,092 majority, meaning it is considered a Tory ‘safe seat’.
Mr Jones, a father-of-one, said he believed this election will be a turning point for British politics.
He said: ‘This is the first opportunity that people have had for real change and ordinary people now have a choice of voting for someone who really understands them.’
Mr Jones, who went to school in Southampton, joined Ukip last year.
He has replaced Ukip’s previous prospective parliamentary candidate for Fareham Don Jerrard who was deselected by the party after raising concerns about Hampshire organiser Paul Lovegrove, from Portsmouth.
Mr Jerrard was upset about the party not taking action after Mr Lovegrove’s violent criminal past came to light.
Ukip’s leader Nigel Farage said the party supported Mr Lovegrove and gave the reformed criminal a chance.
Mr Jerrard was also joined in his departure by Fareham and Gosport chairman Bob Ingram and Portsmouth councillor Paul Godier, who also did not agree with the party’s stance on Mr Lovegrove.
Meanwhile, Ukip MEP Diane James quit her election campaign for North West Hampshire yesterday due to ‘personal reasons’ relating to a sick family member.