Arron Banks abandons plan to become Ukip's candidate in Clacton

Posted On: 
24th April 2017

Arron Banks has abandoned his plan to become Ukip MP for Clacton - just a day after saying he "certainly" would stand.

Arron Banks has ditched his bid to become an MP.
PA Images

The multi-millionaire insurance tycoon said he had decided to stand aside to make way for one of the party's local councillors.

His dramatic announcement came 24 hours after he predicted that no local Ukip activists would try to stop him being their general election candidate.

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In a statement, Mr Banks - who last week admitted he knew "nothing about Clacton at all" said: "The local branch of Ukip was full of genuinely decent people. One of the councillors, Jeff Bray, has put his name forward as a candidate for the seaside constituency at the forthcoming general election.

"I have consequently made the decision to remove my candidacy for the seat of Clacton. I will not be standing either as a Ukip candidate or as an independent. Instead, I am putting my full support behind Jeff Bray.

"I have no intention of standing in the way of hard-working activists who are the soul of the party."

But his comments were in stark contrast to his appearance on the BBC's Sunday Politics show yesterday.

Asked if he planned to be Ukip's candidate in Clacton, Mr Banks said: "I certainly will be, if selected."

He added: "Most politicians are carpetbaggers, they're in politics for the wrong reasons and I certainly will be down there to make a difference.

"I don't suppose anybody in Ukip will stand against me, I wouldn't have thought."

Mr Banks - who has been one of Ukip's major donors in the past - initially said he wanted to take on his arch-enemy Douglas Carswell in Clacton. But the former Ukip MP, who defected from the Conservatives in 2015, announced last week that he was quitting the Commons.