07:24 Friday 3rd May 2013
Bigger Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
[P]AUL STAINTON: The big news you’re waking up to is that UKIP have really started a march across the UK. Counting hasn’t started in the county council elections in Cambridgeshire yet, but there have been a number of overnight counts elsewhere, and some big big gains for UKIP. They’ve won more than 40 seats, they finished second in the Parliamentary by-election in South Shields which was retained by Labour, that seat. The Conservatives have lost control of Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire, but have retained control elsewhere in Hampshire Dorset Essex Somerset and Hertfordshire. And UKIP’s Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall is a very happy man this morning. (TAPE)
PAUL NUTTALL: Well it shows that we’re a party on an upward trajectory, that we’re going places. And it also shows that we’re not just a Southern based party, taking votes from the Conservatives. We’re taking votes in the North as well. And I think this is the fourth by-election where we’ve finished second, so this party really is going places. (LIVE)
PAUL STAINTON: That’s Paul Nuttall. Let’s speak to Peter Reeve. He’s the UKIP district and county councillor for Ramsey of course. Morning.
PETER REEVE: Good morning.
PAUL STAINTON: Well, what a night!
PETER REEVE: We’re obviously delighted, and we’d love to take this opportunity before the Cambridgeshire vote just to thank all of your audience and everyone out there who have chosen to vote UKIP in Cambridgeshire. Whatever the result, we’re very grateful for the impact your listeners have had. We’re told many of them have voted UKIP here.
PAUL STAINTON: Can you expect when the results start coming in, at about mid-day in Cambridgeshire? Are you expecting some sort of replication of the national picture?
PETER REEVE: We are. Last night there was only three hundred odd seats up of counties and we won forty three of those, so so far it looks like a quarter of the people in this country have voted UKIP, those who have (been) counted so far. We’re not complacent by any means, so it’s entirely up to the people of Cambridgeshire what happens in this area. And we’re grateful for the comments people have made, and the way people have looked at us and taken our party seriously. It’s interesting that the Government still don’t seem to get it. They’re trying to write this off as some blip, some protest, whereas people on the doorsteps are actually saying they want UKIP in Government. They want to get rid of David Cameron, and they really believe in the policies that UKIP has. So Grant Shapps, you still don’t get it. David Cameron, watch this space. UKIP are coming to get you.
PAUL STAINTON: Is this a real challenge now to the political elite?
PETER REEVE: It absolutely is. It always was going to be. UKIP is the new Peasants’ Revolt. It’s ordinary working people who are going out there to get a political elite that don’t understand the country any more. At the end of the day with UKIP, your auntie, or the man from the corner shop, or the local landlord could end up as your MP, and we’re very proud to hold those grass roots principles. A huge number of councillors have already been elected, far more than people were predicting, right across the country, and here in Cambridgeshire it’s one of our strongest parts of the country. So it’s going to be interesting today. But the thing that we would like to emphasise is just to thank everybody out there for the support they’ve shown our party, no matter what the results are.
PAUL STAINTON: Council elections though Peter, council elections are always somewhat of a protest vote aren’t they? Are you confident you can carry this wave of positivity through and on towards a General Election?
PETER REEVE: Well we are. You’ve got to remember that in the last five Westminster by-elections we’ve come second, both in the North of England and the South of England. And so this phenomena of UKIP, or what the Tories call the UKIP problem, isn’t just about European elections. And everyone used to write us off as being a party, a single issue party just as Europe. They can’t argue that any more. We’re in town halls up and down the country.
PAUL STAINTON: Well you can’t argue with a million votes, can you? That’s what you’re predicting today.
PETER REEVE: Absolutely. Equally they can’t write us off as just being a local protest, because it certainly isn’t. The vote is spread across the council areas, Labour and Conservative areas, and even LibDem areas. Now the people we’re proudest of are those that UKIP have inspired to come out and vote. I’ve met people yesterday who said they’ve not voted for twenty, thirty years, because they were disgusted with politics and politicians. They came out yesterday to vote UKIP, to register that and re-engage with what’s going on, and they really love what this grass roots party has to offer.
PAUL STAINTON: How many seats are you going to get on the County Council, do you think? What are you predicting?
PETER REEVE: I’m not predicting at all. We’ve always said that this year the plan was to get a string of second places. If we didn’t win a single seat in the country this year we wouldn’t have minded, as long as we got a whole load of second places.
PAUL STAINTON: If you’re confident you’re going to replicate your vote nationwide in Cambridgeshire, you’re going to get, what, fifteen seats, something like that. Who are you going to work with? Because control of the Council, if that should be the case, will be in your hands.
PETER REEVE: Let’s watch this space. Cambridgeshire is a marginal county. They only had a majority of nine, so there’s every chance we’ll hold the balance of power here.
PAUL STAINTON: Will you work with the Tories?
PETER REEVE: We’re not predicting anything. We will work with whoever we decide has the best interests of the ordinary working people of Cambridgeshire at heart. And if that arises, and I’m not predicting it will, but if that arises, then we’ll be scrutinising the other parties very closely, and looking at what’s best for the people of Cambridgeshire. And at the end of the day, that’s what UKIP is all about.
PAUL STAINTON: Peter, congratulations on what’s been a great night for UKIP so far, and it could get better as the day unfolds, particularly here in Cambridgeshire.