Lincolnshire UKIP councillor criticised after running for seat 255 miles away in Wales
A Lincolnshire County councillor who is also in the running for a seat in another county council 255 miles away has defended the move.
Skegness South’s Coun Robin Hunter-Clarke, who represents UKIP, has been nominated for the role in Gibbonsdown, Wales, for the Vale of Glamorgan Council in the upcoming by-election on November 3.
But the news has angered independent county councillor for the Vale of Glamorgan Kevin Mahoney who can’t understand how he could manage the two roles.
Coun Mahoney said: “I find it quite amazing and a gross insult to the residents who elected him, that having put their faith in him, he has decided that he seemingly now prefers to represent a ward of which he has no links to on the other side of the country in Barry whilst still representing Skegness South.”
But Coun Hunter-Clarke, who is also chairman of UKIP’s Vale of Glamorgan branch and chief of staff to Neil Hamilton, says he gives 100 per cent to his role in Skegness.
He said: “I was nominated for Lincolnshire County Council when I wasn’t based there and was still a student at university in Chester but I still gave it 100 per cent.
“I was criticised back then so I am used to the ‘character assasination’.
“I have said that I am retiring from Lincolnshire County Council in May and for the next six months I will fulfil my commitments. I have always given 100 per cent to Skegness.”
Coun Hunter-Clarke has homes in both Skegness and Cowbridge, Wales, but says he does not claim travelling expenses.
He said: “I have never claimed travelling expenses for outside of Lincolnshire from the county council. I have claimed expenses in the past for travelling from Skegness to Lincoln but I took the decision last year not to claim and have not for the past year, instead paying for my travelling myself.”
“I divide my time appropriately depending on what needs doing.
“I went to Skegness Grammar School and Skegness will always be my home but I think it’s important to take on new challenges and get life experience.”
The 24-year-old councillor said he would like to look at running again as MP for Boston and Skegness in future elections after he lost the bid last year.
He said: “My words were always that I will be back. A week is a long time in politics and it’s something I will evaluate at the next elections.”