UKIP’s parliamentary candidate for the Bedford and Kempston constituency has pledged to improve the lot of businesses.
Charlie Smith has been selected as the party’s candidate to stand at the General Election in 2015.
Mr Smith, who was born in Kempston and attended the former Pilgrim Grammar School in Bedford, is a business consultant, residential property owner and regional chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses.
Speaking to the T&C he said: “What attracted me to UKIP was their opposition to a lack of democracy in the European Union, and the constant deluge of regulations imposed on us in business - and it’s always the small businesses that suffer the most.
“I am a local man, I run a number of businesses in the Bedford area and what I would like to do is improve the lot of small businesses and I would like to improve the lot of Bedford businesess. I personally believe in democracy and everyone having the right to a good education - every child from a poor background should have the opportunity to attend a good school.”
Mr Smith, who voted for the Referendum Party prior to UKIP and before that Conservative said: “If I wasn’t prepared to work hard for my own home town I wouldn’t have the audacity to stand for Parliament. I certainly don’t agree with UKIP councillor Donna Edwards (who said last month businesses should be allowed to refuse service to women and gay people).
“Nor do I agree with (the commment by UKIP councillor David Silvester about UK storms being the result of gay marriage) - it was a crackers comment.”
Mr Smith added: “I don’t know if the candidate (who said Lenny Henry should move to a black country) has resigned yet but if they haven’t they should - if it had been a member of our local branch who said that they would have been out the door the next day. We do not tolerate racism in any way.
When asked if he agreed that British Muslims should be asked to sign a commitment to abstain from violence and extremism Mr Smith stated: “We have to assume that every citizen in this country is law abiding and you can’t pick out any groups because of a few extremists in any religion or ethnic groups - you can’t tar the whole of them with the same brush can you?”
Mr Smith also said: “We should support foreign aid to disaster areas, and for clean water and education in disavantaged Third World countries - any decent human being would agree with that.
“We don’t think as a party we could win the next General Election, that would be absurd. What we do think we can do is to target a number of seats - to be honest if we got one MP that would be an improvement but we are looking to win far more than that.
“What Nigel Farage said about working mothers being less than men was taken out of context - people think Nigel Farage is posing as the bloke with a pint of beer in his hand - he a normal bloke down the pub - but he’s got a lot more drive than the man down the pub.”