Bright star at Christmas hustings in Cathedral

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Image: www.ukip.org

Candidate Duncan Odgers offers Exeter the gift of the latest UKIP manifesto

UKIP candidate Duncan Odgers got a chance to flash the new UKIP manifesto ‘hot off the press’ at a hustings event with Labour MP Ben Bradshaw next to the Christmas tree.

Four of the six candidates took part in the event at Exeter Cathedral, giving Duncan a chance to spruce up proceedings with some sparkling answers to questions on a range of topics, including Brexit, presented by the Dean of Exeter, the Very Rev Jonathan Greener.

The cathedral previously banned UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin from appearing during the European Elections.  This time it was the Brexit Party candidate and a local pantomime Dame, standing as an independent, who decided not to turn up.

UKIP is campaigning strongly on the issue of free speech and combatting political correctness including the practice of universities and other bodies of ‘no platforming’ people.

The party also wants to scrap the BBC licence fee. Former BBC journalist Robin Aitken spoke at this year’s party conference.  He criticised the corporation’s institutional bias and suggested that while Tory-supporting journalists in the BBC newsroom were a rarity, UKIP ones were probably non-existent.

Labour’s Ben Bradshaw, the son of a clergyman, is a former BBC journalist. He has been vocal in his support of remaining in the EU.

As the only truly ‘clean break’ Brexit candidate on the platform, Duncan was able to comment on the disaster that 22-years of Labour control of Exeter had been for the ordinary working people of the city, as the university and other public institutions dominated the local economy and the city expanded without proper infrastructure improvements.