‘See you at Westminster’ – South Shields Ukip councillor’s rallying cry at conference

SOUTH Shields UKIP councillor Norman Dennis told his party’s North East conference he “will see them all at Westminster”.

Coun Dennis, who made history in South Tyneside when he became the borough’s first UKIP councillor in October, was a guest speaker at the party’s North East conference in Hartlepool at the weekend.

UKIP conference at Hartlepool Borough Hall on Saturday - UKIP prospective candidate for South Shields Coun. Dennis Norman

UKIP conference at Hartlepool Borough Hall on Saturday - UKIP prospective candidate for South Shields Coun. Dennis Norman

His speech covered details of his triumph in taking the Westoe Ward, where he gained 40.9 per cent of the vote, and messages he is taking to South Shields.

Coun Dennis, who is also the UK Independence Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for the forthcoming General Election, told the gathering they need to believe in themselves.

He said: “If you don’t believe in yourself it is never going to happen. I knew I was going to win.

“Don’t be disheartened, go out there and get the message out and believe in yourself.

“Once you get what UKIP means deep in your heart, the people on the door will see it and they will know that we are different.”

Coun Dennis said when he first started his work on the council he was asked by the museums and library staff if they could have the rosette he was wearing on the winning election night.

He said: “They wanted to put an article in the museum because UKIP make history.”

Coun Dennis said for him it is all about the people of South Tyneside, who he said felt lonely, neglected and unheard.

Finishing his speech he said to fellow candidates: “I look forward to seeing every one of you when I go to Westminster.”

The UKIP North East Regional Conference attracted about 200 visitors and among the guest speakers was the party leader Nigel Farage MEP, who told his supporters “you ain’t seen nothing yet”.

He said Hartlepool was one of the areas where the party stood the best chance in the forthcoming election with its candidate Phillip Broughton.

Mr Farage said: “It is one of the seats where we will get our first elected representatives to Westminster from the North East of England.

“We need to concentrate our resources on seats we have a real chance of winning.”

The UKIP leader said there was also another seat in the region which he plans to concentrate efforts on, but said he was keeping it under wraps for the minute.

He said in many of the North East’s towns and cities there has been a one-party state.

“UKIP is now the opposition party to Labour and we are going to bring democracy back to the North East of England,” he said.

Mr Farage said the North East is the friendliest region in the entire UK.

He said it is a region in which UKIP barely registered until two or three years ago, and it has been the party’s success in South Shields which has really got things going for the party in the region.

He told the conference: “What UKIP has done is to change the national conversation.

“People are once again talking and thinking about politics, and without UKIP that simply would not have happened.”

The UKIP leader headed to Hartlepool at the weekend as the build-up to May’s General Election hots up, after claiming the town is “the best place” to gain a regional breakthrough.

Other speakers at the event included Phillip Broughton, Hartlepool’s UKIP Parliamentary Prospective Candidate; Paul Nuttall, deputy leader of UKIP; Jonathan Arnott MEP, Parliamentary Prospective Candidate for Easington and Suzanne Evans, UKIP deputy chairman.

@ShieldsGazette