THE article in your paper introducing Sue Perkins as Ukip General Election hopeful was generally very good but contained some inaccuracies which should not go without comment.

Sue Perkins is our candidate and Malcolm Bint was delivered to us, ready packaged, as per the provisos in Ukip’s rules in situations where the administration believe a constituency to be without a working committee, or a candidate, at a late stage in a pre-election period.

However, the fact that the party administrators believed this to be the case says a lot about the direction the branch had been led by someone we unknowingly supported, respected and followed.

Had the branch been properly led then Malcolm Bint would never have been parachuted in to fill what party officials believed to be a crisis situation.

The fact that our independent minded committee and members thought otherwise is a measure of the spirit within the local party and is not to be seen in any way as being ‘in disarray’.

We were certainly dealt a severe blow by the sudden departure of our previous chairman but it was not a fatal blow.

We have now picked up the pieces and the electorate of NW Hants will see a vigorous campaign fought by, and on behalf of, Sue Perkins, our candidate selected by all members who attended a packed meeting and listened to presentations from three, very good, would-be candidates.

As the immediate past General Election candidate for Ukip, I fully support and endorse Sue and would ask all my previous supporters to give her the support they gave, and I hope would still give, to me.

The fact that we could react so successfully and so quickly to the situation forced upon us reflects the health and well being of the local party rather than anything else.

Your article contained a specific error in that the party did not vote ‘against Malcolm Bint’ at the Monday night meeting. He chose not to take part in the selection and was therefore not considered – he might well have been chosen if he had presented himself there. No one voted against anybody – we all voted for somebody and the somebody who won the ballot was Sue Perkins.

While we might have some sympathy for the position of a party member who thinks another branch has acted unwisely in their choice of a party officer there are ways to protest within the party – to resign from a key position at such a point in the election process does have to make one wonder if the commitment to Ukip’s key objective was sincere all along.

To compound this with subsequent actions which, if they have any effect at all, will be to damage Ukip’s election chances, reinforces the feeling that we might have been misled somewhat for a very long time.

To have a significant effect on Andover’s fortunes one might be expected to maximise the efforts to win elections to, and therefore significantly control the direction of, TVBC. To confuse the issue of the General Election race might even make one wonder if we had not harboured a plant all along.

I hope you have room to say that I feel greatly let down by thinking and having to say the foregoing about someone I supported wholeheartedly through a significant period in the local branch history and development.

Stanley Oram, Ukip candidate in NW Hants in 2010.