10:41 Monday 1st December 2014
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
PAUL STAINTON: UKIP have been putting the finishing touches to their list of candidates for the next General Election. The South Cambs branch appointed Deborah Rennie out of a shortlist of four on Saturday night, and in Peterborough Mary Herdman was selected as the candidate to fight for Stewart Jackson’s seat. Peterborough will surely be a target for Nigel Farage’s party. We talked to UKIP last week and we heard Stewart Jackson saying, ‘why stand when my views are almost in line with yours?’. In fact when we spoke to Stewart he was almost begging the party not to field a candidate in Peterborough. Well their candidate joins us now. Mary good morning.
MARY HERDMAN: Good morning Paul.
PAUL STAINTON: Why stand? Why split the vote?
MARY HERDMAN: We won’t be splitting the vote. If you vote for UKIP you will get UKIP.
PAUL STAINTON: You’ll get Miliband they say if you vote for you.
MARY HERDMAN: No no. Definitely not Paul. If we can get MPs in a lot of seats throughout Britain, if you vote UKIP you will get UKIP. And we need UKIP in the Government.
PAUL STAINTON: Alright. Run through a list of policies then Mary that you’re going to be standing on.
MARY HERDMAN: Well the NHS, obviously. We need that to be free for everybody as it is.
PAUL STAINTON: That’s not what Nigel said is it? Nigel said he was thinking about privatising it a couple of years ago.
MARY HERDMAN: No no no no no. All ..
PAUL STAINTON: He’s changed his mind, has he?
MARY HERDMAN: Well everything has to be debated Paul. You have to think through every single option. And the NHS is in debt. It’s struggling financially. And everybody has to think through options before they, you know. No the NHS will definitely be free and doctors’ surgeries.
PAUL STAINTON: Do you welcome then the protestations this morning from the Conservatives that they’re going to put an extra £2 billion in? Will you agree with that?
MARY HERDMAN: The NHS, that money will just go into a black hole Paul. The crisis in the NHS has been caused by the Conservatives and Labour. The A&E crisis was brought about by Labour when they allowed doctors to opt out of evening and weekend work. The obvious flaws in the NHS should be sorted out first without just throwing money at the NHS. It will just go in a black hole.
PAUL STAINTON: OK. So the NHS a big issue for you in Peterborough. What else will you be standing on? What else is going to attract people to you rather than to Stewart Jackson and Labour and the Libdems?
MARY HERDMAN: It’s definitely got to be immigration, hasn’t it? Because Peterborough is .. dare I use the word swamped? (LAUGHS) It’s got so much immigration in Peterborough. It’s one of the top three towns in Britain, or city as Peterborough is, that’s had so much, together with Luton and Boston. We have the most in Britain. And it needs to be sorted, because our infrastructure can’t cope, our hospitals can’t. The schools are overloaded. And of course we need more and more housing in Peterborough, which is all going on Green Belt land and it’s going on our prime agricultural land which we need to feed Britain.
PAUL STAINTON: You’ll speak to a lot of businesses in and around Peterborough who would say ‘what do you mean cope with immigration?’. What do you mean ‘swamped?’. Without some of these people we have no workers to pick the things that we need to pick. What would you do straight away then? You’d bring in a law straight away would you and boot people out?
MARY HERDMAN: We wouldn’t boot anybody out that’s here Paul. Not at all. What we want is we want to take back control of our borders. We want very much like the Australian points system under Tony Abbott where we pick and choose who comes in to Britain. We cannot have an open border to let the whole world into Britain. And also we love immigrants. We want them. They give a lot back to the community in Britain. But we cannot let everybody into Britain. We want to pick and choose. If we need nurses we’ll have nurses. If we need hairdressers we’ll let hairdressers in, or engineers. We can’t just have a free open border to everybody.
PAUL STAINTON: OK. So NHS, immigration, what else will be on your ticket?
MARY HERDMAN: Well obviously .. I mean .. I tell you what Paul, absolutely almost everything needs sorting out. Welfare ..
PAUL STAINTON: Big job.
MARY HERDMAN: .. our culture. And you know British .. anybody who takes British nationality must recognise and value the British culture, and its values.
PAUL STAINTON: What do you mean by that? What do you mean?
MARY HERDMAN: Basically anybody from any ethnic or religious background. It’s very important that our culture is recognised and we’re not frightened to talk about the values we have in Britain. We welcome everybody into Britain, but they really must value the British culture.
PAUL STAINTON: Are you confident you can win? Can you beat Stewart Jackson? Can you beat the Labour Party, the Greens, the LibDems? Are wew going to have a UKIP MP in Peterborough?
MARY HERDMAN: Yes we are. I feel very confident that we can beat Stewart Jackson. It is a seat that has swung in the past, between Labour and Conservative, and everywhere I go Paul I’m getting such a wonderful reaction from the people. They all say ‘well I’m going to vote UKIP’. I’m so fed up with the rhetoric and the false promises that those Conservatives and Labour give to the people. They’ve had five years to sort things out, and they’re all just now changing their minds and dancing to the UKIP theme.
PAUL STAINTON: Mary we’ve got to leave it there, but thank you for coming on this morning. Mary Herdman, she’s the UKIP Parliamentary candidate for Peterborough. Confident she will be elected in that seat, and that Stewart Jackson will be walking down the road. Labour, LibDems, Greens hold no fear for her.