“I have no doubt that UKIP will throw the kitchen sink at this Newark by-election, but it won’t be me doing it and we won’t get that huge distraction.
It was only 12 hours ago that Patrick Mercer stood down so I haven’t had long to think about it, but I have thought about it and we’re just over three weeks away from a European election at which I think UKIP can cause an earthquake in British politics, from which we can go on and not just win one parliamentary seat but win quite a lot of parliamentary seats.
And for that reason I don’t want to do anything that deflects from the European election campaign so I’m not going to stand in this by-election.
I want to focus the next three weeks on winning the European elections and also I don’t have any links with the east Midlands; I would just look like an opportunist and I don’t think that would work.”
The Lobby are calling him a bottler but it is the sensible decision…