Former Thurrock Labour and Tory councillor who defected to Ukip to stand in Braintree

UKIP’S Parliamentary Candidate for Braintree has been announced for the May 2015 General Election as counter-terrorism expert and former Thurrock councillor, Richard Bingley.

The party were forced to find a new candidate after the death of Essex County Councillor, Gordon Helm, from a stroke on Christmas Eve.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to have been chosen. We’re all still very upset about the passing of Gordon and we’re determined to honour the work and leadership he showed,” said Mr Bingley.

“We will campaign to win this seat for Ukip because the people of Braintree need a Ukip MP and we need a strong presence in Parliament to change the way the country is run.”

The 39-year-old was unveiled today as the man the party members want to take on Conservative candidate James Cleverly, who won his nomination last week, and Malcolm Fincken of Labour as well as independent candidate Toby Pereira.

Mr Bingley was a Conservative councillor in Corringham and Fobbing between 1997 and 2000. He was then a Labour councillor in Tilbury between 2006 and 2010.

The former Thurrock councillor joined Ukip last year after becoming disillusioned with the party and was chosen to represent Ukip after a vote by party members at the Bocking Arts Theatre on Monday evening.

“This district has some beautiful countryside that is in danger of being concreted over by the massive house building programme from this Government,” said Mr Bingley, who lives in Grays, but will be moving to Braintree.

He says he will be campaigning and meeting the people of Braintree to find out what they want from their representative.

“This is a commuter area but has also suffered from massive price hikes and a poor rail service over the years, so I will be campaigning on the injustice of that,” he added.

“I believe in a free at the point of access health service, but not an international health service so that should not be available for visitors without insurance.”

Richard Bingley has written two books on global terrorism and is a university lecturer on counter-terrorism.

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