Ukip secure half the Yorkshire and Humber region seats on European Parliament (From The Northern Echo)
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Ukip secure half the Yorkshire and Humber region seats on European Parliament
THE UK Independence Party has celebrated for the second time in 72 hours after winning half of the Yorkshire and the Humber region seats at the European Parliament.
Restaurant group chairman Amjad Bashir, miner's daughter Jane Collins and ex-serviceman Mike Hookem all secured seats for UKIP in Brussels, days after the party gained 22 seats on councils across Yorkshire.
Timothy Kirkhope, of Scotton, near Knaresbrough, North Yorkshire, is the remaining Conservative MEP for the region and veteran Labour MEPs Linda McAvan and Richard Corbett were returned for Labour.
Ukip, whose campaign had been bankrolled by Ripon property tycoon Paul Sykes, gained a vast amount more votes than in 2009, coming top in York and Scarborough and second to the the Conservatives' 9,618 votes in Hambleton, with 7,193 votes, where Labour secured 3,012, the Green Party 1987 and the Liberal Democrats 1,423.
The Conservatives gained a narrow victory over Ukip in Richmondshire with 4,301 votes and also beat Ukip into second place in Ryedale.
The region’s best-known MEP, Godfrey Bloom, who lost UKIP’s party whip after making comments about Bongo-Bongo land and sluts, stood down after ten years at the Brussels parliament.
His former campaign manager for Godfrey, Ms Collins has admitted emerging from the shadow of the controversial politician would be a challenge.
She said: "We will be the eyes and the ears of the people who have given us their vote."
The sole seat of the Liberal Democrats went in a dismal night for the party, in which Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield MP Nick Clegg's saw his party falling to fifth place in the city, Of the 3.8m electorate, 1.3m voted (33.6 per cent), of which 11,645 were from Richmondshire; 24,577 from Hambleton; 26,239 from Scarborough; 43,928 from Harrogate; 12,862 from Ryedale and 47,435 from York.
Mr Kirkhope, of Scotton, near Knaresbrough, North Yorkshire said it had proved a difficult campaign, and that low Conservative turn-outs in some areas may have been caused by the Thirsk and Malton constituency party's high-profile feud with its MP Anne McIntosh.
"I am sorry that I am not being joined by anyone from my team. It is my intention to continue supporting the reform agenda in Europe," he said.
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