ONE of UKIP’s big hitters took a stroll through Andover – and party chiefs say their main man is set to follow.

MEP for southeast England and party spokeswoman for Home Affairs, Diane James, took to the High Street on Saturday to meet residents and answer their questions on the party’s plans for Test Valley.

Mrs James, who famously ran Liberal Democrat MP Mike Thornton close in the 2013 Eastleigh by-election, discussed several issues such as healthcare and parking in the town.

Backed by an entourage of UKIP members including Hampshire County councillors Phil Fawkes and Tony Hooke, Mrs James spent two hours in the town before moving on to Tadley.

Her visit followed Cllr Hooke’s pledge to “bring the big guns” to Andover – and he told the Andover Advertiser that UKIP leader Nigel Farage could soon follow suit.

He said: “There is a huge amount of work to be done and we are hoping to get Nigel visiting early next year alongside some other big names in the party.

“Nigel has been here before and he loves the town.”

Cllr Hooke also hinted that Mrs James could be persuaded to stand for the North West Hampshire hotseat in next May’s general election.

He added: “We would be absolutely delighted if she was to throw her hat into the ring because I feel that she, or someone like her, is exactly what this town needs.”