UKIP cry foul at being unable to market their candidate

Leighton Buzzard Market.
Leighton Buzzard Market.

A UKIP member claims that Leighton-Linslade Town Council has “denied freedom of speech” after refusing to allow the party a stall in the market.

Ian Reynolds, of Grange Close, contacted the town council to take a pitch on the market, in order to introduce residents to UKIP’s new South West Beds parliamentary candidate John Van Weenen.

UKIP member Ian Reynolds

UKIP member Ian Reynolds

However Mr Reynolds’ approach was rebuffed by the council, who told him that they no longer allow political lobbying in the market.

This is despite Green party adverts in December, which invited constituents to visit a stall featuring their deputy leader Amelia Womack.

Mr Reynolds told the LBO: “We managed to get a stall on Dunstable market with no problems, I suspect that this is a politically motivated move.

“This is our best chance of getting somewhere in the town centre so that people can meet our candidate.

“I feel like the story we are being given is incorrect and that UKIP has been targeted.”

He added: “If anything I feel like this would be beneficial for the market, only recently the council said it did not have enough people there.”

Council clerk Mark Saccoccio said that officers believed the stall in December had been taken by a community group campaigning about plans for a solar farm in Eggington, rather than a political party overtly lobbying.

He told the LBO: “In the best interests of the market, as a place to sell goods or services, no political party will be offered a stall for political lobbying purposes until further notice.

“Should this position change, all those parties expressing an interest in hiring a market stall for this purpose will be informed.”