Campaign manager to lead Ukip’s Euro poll candidates

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Jane Collins will lead the UK Independence Party’s efforts to secure Yorkshire seats in the European elections next year.

She will top the list of candidates Ukip puts forward for Yorkshire in May following a poll of party members.

European elections are fought regionally with voters choosing parties rather than individuals.

Parties that secure big enough shares of the vote then allocate seats to candidates on their regional list.

With Godfrey Bloom, elected as a Ukip MEP but currently sitting as an independent, standing down in 2014 and the party expecting to significantly improve its performance compared to the last elections in 2009, Mrs Collins is highly likely to secure a seat next year.

Mrs Collins is a former campaign manager for Mr Bloom and was second in last year’s Rotherham by-election, matching the result she enjoyed in the Barnsley Central by-election in 2011.

Bradford businessman Amjad Bashir was second in the poll and will also have high hopes of winning a seat in Brussels in May.

He said he received the nomination with “pride and humility”.

“On winning a seat as an MEP in May 2014, I would work night and day to bring about change for the people of the Yorkshire & North Lincs region.

“I will also be working as part of a UKIP team that is fighting for the best interests of the United Kingdom as a whole.

“On the regional level, I will be putting my 40 years of business experience to use in exploring ways to increase investment, infrastructure and quality of life in Yorkshire, while trying to cut legislation and red tape that hampers growth in our local economy.”

Mr Bloom is currently sitting as an independent after he was suspended by Ukip for calling a group of women activists “sluts”.

He has said he will retain his membership of the party and support Mrs Collins in her campaign to secure a seat next year.