The Newport West by-election on April 4 will be significant for a number of reasons - not least that it will see a new MP elected for the constituency for the first time since 1987. There are an unprecedented 11 candidates standing in the election, and, in the latest in a series of interviews, IAN CRAIG met Hugh Nicklin, candidate for For Britain.

AS WITH most by-elections, it's not just the usual suspects who are fielding candidates in Newport West - with a number of newer and less mainstream parties also throwing their hats into the ring.

Among them is For Britain, which was formed by former Ukip leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters in 2017, with Hugh Nicklin named as the party's candidate.

The party is unashamedly anti-Islam and anti-immigration, with key policies including ending Sharia law and Halal slaughter, as well as freezing immigration for five years and deporting all illegal immigrants, and has frequently faced accusations of being on the far-right.

But Mr Nicklin said this was to take an overly-simplistic view of the party.


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"Politics has moved, not us," he said.

"Who would have thought the Conservative Party of, say, 1945 would have been saying the things the Conservatives are saying today about immigration and so on, and saying things like Islamic culture is compatible with British culture?

"We say we are still in the mainstream of European politics since the enlightenment, and everyone else has moved, not us."

He said these accusations - particularly claims of racism - served as a way of "blocking discussion" about the party's policies.

"Once they say that about us people then believe 15 other things which aren’t true," he said.

"We say bare-faced we don’t think Islam is compatible with Western civilisation, and if you ask me why I'll say because we love animals and we love our children, simple as that."

Although Mr Nicklin is not from Newport, he said he has put a lot of work into understanding the issues affecting the city.

"If you look at our manifesto you'll see 95 per cent of the things that we are talking about are represented very well in Newport," he said.

"The social deprivation, the infrastructure questions - we nearly missed an appointment this morning because of traffic jams - homeless veterans and other homelessness issues. All these issues are covered in our manifesto.

"Being a historian the first thing I did when I was selected as read the history of Newport - I could have written it myself because it contains all the ingredients of British history over the past 1000 years."

Among the party's policies which Mr Nicklin said could benefit Newport are to reduce taxes for small businesses in order to give struggling high streets a boost. He also said he is favour of an M4 relief road - although would like a new version of the scheme which causes as little damage to the Gwent Levels, as well as Newport Docks, as possible.

"Because of the M4 Newport has a huge artery pumping life through it," he said.

"The new bypass will increase that, so we are in favour of it.

"In economic terms it must be a good idea.

"I've been through the Brynglas Tunnels a million times, and it's just getting worse and worse."

The party also supports a no-deal Brexit, and for the entire EU to be collapsed.

Although Mr Nicklin said he was aware he faced a challenge in getting his and his party's message out, he said in the current political climate anything is possible.

"One of the things I say about our policies is that they're solid blocks of common sense that everybody knows and everybody approves of," he said.

"And that is our mission, to get that across to the audience.

"We are a new party so we've got to work hard to establish our brand.

"I would like me to come first, Mr Hamilton to come second, and Labour and the Tories to lose their deposits.

"One can dream."


Age: 76

Originally from: Evesham, Worcestershire. Today lives in Herefordshire.

Education: Worcester Royal Grammar School, studied an educational diploma open scholarship to Oxford University educational diploma, and later studied in Nottingham.

Professional background: Has worked as a History teacher in the public and private sector.

Political background: Previously supported Labour and the Conservatives, before joining Ukip following the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby by Islamic extremists in May 2013. He later joined For Britain.

Family: Married, two children, and wife has three children from a previous relationship. Together they have four grandchildren.

Hobbies: History writing, cricket, rugby.


- Jonathan Clark, Plaid Cymru

- June Davies, Renew

- Matthew Evans, Conservative

- Neil Hamilton, Ukip

- Ruth Jones, Labour

- Ryan Jones, Lib Dem

- Ian McLean, SDP

- Hugh Nicklin, For Britain

- Richard Suchorzewski, the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party

- Phillip Taylor, Democrats and Veterans Party

- Amelia Womack, Green Party