HAYLING Islander John Perry has launched his campaign to become Havant’s first Ukip MP.
The accountant has been selected as the party’s prospective parliamentary candidate and vowed to put ‘honesty and integrity’ into his politics.
Mr Perry, a serving councillor for Hayling East at Havant Borough Council, will be facing stiff competition in what is traditionally a Tory stronghold in the form of Alan Mak, who has been chosen as the candidate for the Conservatives.
Dr Graham Giles, an international development adviser from Lee-on-the-Solent, has joined the race in the red corner with Labour.
But Mr Perry believes he can win and says Ukip is the only viable alternative for the Havant seat, which Conservative MP David Willetts is standing down from.
He told The News: ‘Being a Havant councillor and having lived and worked in various parts of the Havant constituency for the past 35 years, and having real experience with small and large businesses, I believe I have the skills to best perform the role of MP and serve the Havant constituents.’
Mr Perry, who graduated at the University of Southampton as an engineer before going into accountancy, moved to the area in 1979 and has lived in Leigh Park, Bedhampton and Hayling.
He added: ‘Based on the 2014 European election results when UKIP gained 38.2 per cent of the vote, some eight per cent higher than the Conservative vote, I believe Ukip have a realistic opportunity to win in May. However the real winners would be the people.’
Mr Perry does not believe in claiming expenses as a local councillor and said one of his aims would be to restrict MPs’ expenses.
He said he would want to protect local jobs for local people, provide free NHS and abolish hospital car parking charges.
As well as supporting Ukip policies, his agenda includes defending greenfield sites from mass housing development and cutting overseas aid to help reverse local council cuts.