Brexit Party candidate speaks out after not contesting Waveney seat
PUBLISHED: 09:37 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:24 20 November 2019
A parliamentary candidate for the Brexit Party has spoken of his disappointment at not contesting the Waveney seat in December's general election.
Robert Rowland was among the first of the party's chosen candidates in August in anticipation of a general election.
The businessman, who was elected as a Brexit Party MEP for the South East in the European elections earlier this year, made a number of visits to Waveney in the following weeks, but will not contest the seat previously held by Conservative candidate Peter Aldous.
The stand-down came as party leader Nigel Farage announced candidates will not stand in seats the Conservatives won in 2017.
In a letter to this newspaper, Mr Rowland called the decision "magnanimous", saying: "Sadly, it means my previous position as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Waveney has now come to an end.
"The Brexit Party was created to perform three tasks. First, to create an electoral vehicle to represent the 17.4m people who voted to leave the EU and ensure they were not betrayed by an overtly Remain facing government led by Theresa May; second, to shine a light on areas of the country that have been neglected or abandoned by successive governments and where specific EU policies like the Common Fisheries Policy have decimated communities; third, to act as a catalyst to change the prevailing Establishment monopoly in areas like the civil service, the judiciary, the BBC, academia and the multiple layers of government that have now become undemocratic, ossified and overtly leftist in their agenda.
"Towns like Lowestoft bear the scars of years of willful neglect and it is only through far sighted thinking and bold initiatives that there can be chance of revival.
"One such initiative is being spearheaded by my fellow Brexit Party MEP, June Mummery, who has devoted a lifetime to the fishing industry and has now established REAF (Renaissance of East Anglian Fisheries).
"Only if we leave the EU, scrap the iniquitous quota system and take back full control of 200 nm of our EEZ can we have any chance of bringing back a thriving fishing industry to towns like Lowestoft and many others on the East coast of Britain.
"Although I will not be standing as the Parliamentary Candidate for Waveney, I will still be an MEP until the end of January 2020 when I believe we will have finally left the EU.
"During the next two and a half months I will be fighting for Great Britain's interests on all aspects of EU policy that I believe adversely affects us.
"The pressure must be maintained to ensure we leave on January 31 2020 and then do not extend beyond December 31 2020 transition period.
"I would personally like to thank all the volunteers and supporters who have devoted so much of your time and energy to helping us get elected in May this year and giving us hope that our fight was not in vain."
The Waveney seat will be contested between Peter Aldous (Conservative), Sonia Barker (Labour), Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw (Green), Dave Brennan (Christian Peoples Alliance) and Helen Korfanty (Liberal Democrats).