New UKIP leader’s quest to build ‘strong’ support

John Saxon, Coun Ron Shepherd, Dr Howard Thompson (L to R) EMN-150211-140308001
John Saxon, Coun Ron Shepherd, Dr Howard Thompson (L to R) EMN-150211-140308001

L to R: John Saxon, North East Lincs UKIP leader Ron Shepherd and Howard Thompson

John Saxon will lead the Gainsborough branch of UKIP, which covers Market Rasen, Caistor and parts of the Wolds.

He replaces Claxby’s Howard Thompson, who has stood down from the role.

Mr Saxon came third in May’s general election, behind Labour’s David Prescott and Conservative MP Sir Edward Leigh.

IT security consultant and former RAF squadron leader Dr Thompson founded the Gainsborough branch, which split off from the larger Lincoln branch a year ago.

Mr Saxon, who has also served in the RAF and has a background in business development, sales and marketing, paid tribute to Dr Thompson and other UKIP Gainsborough committee members.

The Corringham resident said the main issue for the future was the European referendum,

He said: “The fight of our lives starts here. We face a 12 to 24 month campaign. What we have to do is not so much promote UKIP, but promote our ideas of getting out of the European Union.

“My quest over the coming months is to build up a strong base of UKIP supporters and those who want Britain to get out of the European Union.”

His campaign will include working closely with neighbouring UKIP branches.

Dr Thompson, who hosted UKIP’s AGM on Saturday (October 31), said: “I led the transition from Lincoln and Gainsborough and set the direction for the new branch and fought the general election.

“We were disappointed with some of the results but we came close in a number of areas.

“I know the branch is in good hands with John.

“We look forward to moving forward in the (European) referendum campaign,”

UKIP came second in several West Lindsey District Council seats in May.

And John Saxon more than trebled the UKIP vote on 2010, gaining 7,727 votes in the constituency - 15.7 per cent of the total vote, up 11.5 per cent.