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Former Tory sets up Cumbrian UKIP branch

A former Conservative supporter and would-be crime commissioner has set up an official branch of the UK Independence Party.

Gordon Sandilands photo
Gordon Sandilands

UKIP Eden chairman Gordon Sandilands, 47, believes that the UKIP can add to its growing membership and supporters, winning over discontented voters from the mainstream parties.

Mr Sandilands, of Raiselands Croft in Penrith, said: “UKIP now has branches in Carlisle, west Cumbria and Eden, with further branches planned in the near future within Cumbria.”

The Eden group will meet in the Lowther Arms, in Penrith, to discuss strategies, issues, policies and potential vacancies on local authorities.

Mr Sandilands, a former logistics worker for the RAF, stopped supporting the Conservatives two years ago because of their “stance on Europe and the policies coming out of Europe”.

“We are a grassroots party appealing to more and more of the electorate as the days and weeks pass by, with membership growing at a consistent rate, following day by day discoveries of how we are being restricted in delivering frontline services and what is imposed upon us through EU membership,” he added.

“UKIP want to give power back to the people, with their voices being heard, but most importantly, being listened to. We are the party which has been set up for the people of the UK, abandoned by the mainstream parties – the working class.

“Starting at grassroots level, elected councillors should put their communities, not party politics, first, but above all, councils should be there to serve their communities, not just spend their money.”

UKIP was founded in 1993 by British Euro sceptics in response to the Maastricht Treaty, formally known as Treaty on European Union.

But Mr Sandilands added: “We are wrongly thought of as a single issue party but we entered into the General Election in 2010 with a full manifesto. We are a serious contender to the mainstream parties whose policies all read the same.”

The party also wants the UK to leave the EU which Mr Sandilands says costs the UK taxpayer over £53m for every day of membership.

Mr Sandilands can be contacted at

Have your say

For John Hughes.
John, the article in The New Statesman is one man's opinion. Yes, it should be listened to, maybe even respected but it is not compulsory to share it. For someone who would like us to believe he has researched his subject well he has failed to realise that there is no such word in English as "Ukip". The Party is the United Kingdom Independence Party (abbreviated to UKIP) If he cannot grasp such basics should we give the rest of the article any credence?

Posted by carliol on 23 February 2013 at 11:56

It never takes long for UKIPs critics to play the race card does it? I think the big 2 (can't class the Lib Dems as anything but a support act these days) need to take notice or be prepared to lose votes.

Posted by Johnstitch on 22 February 2013 at 20:37

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Is The Autumn Statement good news for Cumbria?

Yes - the enterprise zone jobs and airport flights are a fantastic boost

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