BBC News: Election 2010 BBC News

Page last updated at 08:20 GMT, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 09:20 UK

UKIP asks voters in Somerset to back the Tories

Lord Pearson
UKIP leader Lord Pearson wrote to the Mid Somerset News and Media group

The leader of UKIP has written to a newspaper group in Somerset urging voters to support the Conservatives rather than his party's candidates.

Lord Pearson said constituents should back the Tory candidates in Wells, Somerton and Frome, and Taunton Deane.

The party has asked its candidate in Wells, Jake Baynes, to stand down, but he has so far refused.

UKIP have a policy of supporting eurosceptics from other parties, which they choose not to stand against.

The party's candidate in Taunton Deane, Tony McIntyre, said last night that he had not been told to step aside, and knew nothing about the open letter to Mid Somerset News and Media until he was contacted by the BBC.


Mr Baynes is standing in Wells against Tory eurosceptic David Heathcoat-Amory.

Speaking earlier this month, Mr Baynes said he disagreed with the policy that UKIP should not contest Westminster seats against other genuinely eurosceptic candidates.

"To stand down would be a betrayal... it probably has ruffled a few feathers, but it'll be water off a duck's back at the end of the day," he said.

Lord Pearson has admitted there has been some "disagreement" with Mr Baynes, but that he would not force him to stand down.

Mr Heathcoat-Amory has said he did not believe the number of people voting for him would be affected by whether or not Mr Baynes stood for election.

The other candidates standing in Wells are Richard Boyce, British National Party; Chris Briton, Green; Andy Merryfield, Labour; and Tessa Munt, Liberal Democrat.

Taunton Deane's other candidates are Jeremy Browne, Liberal Democrat; Mark Formosa, Conservative; and Martin Jevon, Labour.

The full list of candidates in Somerton and Frome, is Barry Harding, UK Independence Party; David Heath, Liberal Democrats; David Oakensen, Labour; Annunziata Rees-Mogg, Conservative; Niall Warry, Independent Leave-the-EU Alliance.

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