Candidate defends ‘poor and working class’ comments

Mike Hookem
Mike Hookem
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UKIP MEP Mike Hookem has defended a social media post he made describing Grimsby as “one of the poor bits full of working class people”.

Mr Hookem made the comment on Twitter in October last year but it has now been deleted.

The post said: “By the way, Grimsby is one of the poor bits full of working class people between Cambridge and Edinburgh.”

The Yorkshire MEP will contest the Great Grimsby seat for Ukip at the coming General Election.

Mr Hookem said: “Grimsby is one of the poorer areas of the UK and is a prime example of how the Labour Party have failed working men and women.

“As a proud working class man myself, it sickens me that Labour politicians trapped in the Westminster ‘bubble’ do nothing to help people who, frankly, deserve better.

“For decades, the people of Grimsby have seen declining living standards, reducing job opportunities, and falling income levels under Labour’s watch.

“This must change and I am determined to turn this town around.

“While Labour are determined to keep the UK in the EU, I am equally determined to use our exit as an opportunity to rebuild and regenerate the town.

“The fact is, there is no reason that Grimsby cannot be great again, but it is going to take considerable vision and effort to do so.

“While people may wish to waste they efforts examining every word I put on Twitter, my focus is on creating jobs and bringing back industry to a town that deserves better.”

Ukip had high hopes of succeeding in Great Grimsby going into the 2015 General Election with the seat among those targeted by the party.

But Labour’s Melanie Onn won with a majority of 4,540 while Ukip candidate Victoria Ayling was third polling 8,417 votes.

Mr Hookem was one of three Ukip MEPs elected to represent Yorkshire at the 2014 European elections although one, Amjad Bashir, subsequently defected to the Conservatives.

He stood in the Hull East constituency in 2010.