Friday, 29 April 2011

UKIP Controversy in Leicester South

There is a, admittedly slim, chance you are wondering what has been going on in the Leicester South by-election. Early this week I realised our last post on the contest was almost two weeks ago but, quite frankly, nothing had happened since the Statement of Persons Nominated was released so there was nothing to report. Since then we have a bit of news, and it isn't too good for UKIP.

On Wednesday the Leicester Mercury picked up on an interesting entry on the UKIP candidate Abhijit Pandya's blog (H/T Lord Bonkers). Amongst other things Pandya called Islam 'morally flawed and degenerate' and freely agreed with the controversial Dutch politician Gert Wilders that the religion was a 'retarded Ideology'. Perhaps more worrying for UKIP is the fact Pandya wrote the article in question on Friday and it took until the following Wednesday to reach even the local papers. Regardless, it did finally surface and as around 20% of the population within the constituency are Muslim this doesn't appear to have been the wisest campaign move.

This 'gaffe', if you can call it that, comes in the wake of complaints that the UKIP candidate for the Leicester Mayoral contest is not up to the job. It has been widely reported that their 18-year-old candidate Regine Anderson has been largely absent from the campaign trail. The official explanation is that she is busy 'studying for her A-Levels'. It would seem 'I completely forgot about a major commitment in my life before I sought and won the selection to stand as a candidate' syndrome is quite prevalent in Leicester. Only a month ago the initial Leicester South by-election candidate for the Liberal Democrats Parmjit Singh Gill withdrew his candidacy five days after his selection when he remembered he suddenly remembered his young family.

Back to UKIP, and they have sent their leader Nigel Farage to the Midlands city to try and salvage the situation. I have to say, publicly confirming you are running a paper candidate in an election is a campaign tactic I have not come across before. To be fair, I imagine Farage is quite grateful this is all getting buried amongst the other election noise and not really reaching the national media. It will be interesting to see if these shenanigans affect how many Tories switch to UKIP in Leicester South compared to the previous two by-elections.

Here is the 2010 result with the full candidate list; for traditions sake:

By-Election Candidate


Jonathan Ashworth (LAB)


Zaffur Huq (LD)


Jane Hunt (CON)






Abhijit Pandya (UKIP)


Howling Laud Hope (OMRL)



  1. Pandya is a joke and needs to be thrown out of the country. Does he remind anyone else of the characters of "Goodness Gracious Me"???

  2. It seems to me the UKIP have been sabotaged by dark forces. You can only take the careless angle so far, and in this case the man on the Clapham Omnibus would easily be able to see that no one could have intentionally thought an 18 year old girl is suitable for being in charge of £1 billion of public money per annum. The UKIP have done some foolish things, indeed all parties have done foolish things, but not this foolish. The UKIP needs to mount a full investigation. They owe it to the good people of Leicester, because this is an insult to them and very damaging for the eurosceptic movement in general.