Andrew Pemberton is the Ukip candidate for Clacton in the General Election.

Mr Pemberton, 52, has been a member of UKIP since 2014 when the former Conservative MP Douglas Carswell resigned his seat to stand and win a by-election for Ukip.

Mr Pemberton was a councillor for Ukip from 2015 to 2019 and has lived in Clacton for 30 years.

Asked why he is qualified to be Clacton’s MP, he said he had the experience, and that he has had “many run-ins” with councillors over the way they deal with the town, which is "in a state”.

He said: “There’s not enough development going on and every bit of money they ring-fence - they don’t send it to the right areas.

"Most of the money goes to Jaywick. We have worse areas in Clacton than Jaywick.

"We have homeless people and little accommodation for homeless people.”

He said with Jaywick “the more money you give it, the more money it wants” and that Harwich and Dovercourt “get money as well”.

Mr Pemberton was asked about the four independent councillors who moved their allegiances to Reform UK during the General Election.

He said he was told by Reform UK leader and Clacton candidate Nigel Farage that if Reform wins in Clacton, Mr Farage will ask for four by-elections as they “swapped”.

Reform - (Clockwise from top left) Tendring District Councillors Jeff Bray, Richard Everett, Peter Harris, and James Codling were independents then 'swapped allegiances' to Reform on June 18Reform - (Clockwise from top left) Tendring District Councillors Jeff Bray, Richard Everett, Peter Harris, and James Codling were independents then 'swapped allegiances' to Reform on June 18 (Image: Web)

Asked for his own opinion, Mr Pemberton said: “They shouldn’t have done it in the first place.

“They were all selected for the Tory party, and they had an argument with the Tory party because they weren’t getting their own way. Then they became independent, then they jumped on Reform”.

He added: “It’s not who the people of Clacton voted for - they voted for a Tory.”

Mr Pemberton said he has “never switched” to the Conservatives, but has switched between UKIP and Reform.

Asked about food bank usage, Mr Pemberton said: “I don’t have a problem with food banks.

“By giving someone free food you are hundred per cent guaranteed that a child is going to eat today. That’s what I have always said.”

Mr Pemberton said there were food banks when he was a child, and that he was helped by the Salvation Army, adding: “I don’t think Salvation Army gets enough funding.”

Asked if the cost-of-living is having an impact, Mr Pemberton said it “hundred per cent has” and there “a knock-on” effect from “the food crisis and the pandemic”.

Asked if he thinks there will be a new crisis, Mr Pemberton claimed Labour leader Kier Starmer is likely to “poke the bear” of Russia and get involved in Israel.

He added: “I think we shouldn’t be funding wars, that’s what UKIP is all about.”

Asked about the environment, Mr Pemberton said he believes in 'chemtrails' - a theory that high-flying aircraft are spraying chemicals behind them - and said: “I think the Government is playing with the weather.”

Asked why the Government would do that, Mr Pemberton said: “I don’t know why, I don’t think we ever will know why. I just believe they are.”       

Mr Pemberton insisted Ukip was the only party “who can stop the boats”.

When asked about Reform UK’s pledge for immigration to allow for "essential immigration" for the NHS, Mr Pemberton said: “It’s not though is it?

“When I worked at the NHS, we worked on the wards for years. They seconded you - you could be seconded to dentistry, nursing, radiography, and the NHS would pay for it.”

He said when he worked at the NHS as orthopaedic practitioner he had a manager with a PA, who also had a PA, adding: “I think what a waste of money. Leave it to the matrons who knew what they are doing.”

Mr Pemberton said he loved the NHS but health tourism was a “big thing” and “massive in London”.

He claimed that “ethnics” from all over Europe, Asia, and India “are getting treatment from the NHS”, which he said is “because we’ve allowed them to do it all this time”.

When asked if had a problem with people paying into the NHS system as legal immigrants, Mr Pemberton said “as soon as people get a national insurance number it is fine as they are paying into the state”, but before that they should not be entitled to treatment.

Mr Pemberton also revealed that he quit his job in the NHS after the 2005 London 7/7 bombings as he could have been in Whitechurch Hospital.

He said: “It’s a good thing they cancelled my contract the night before otherwise I could have been on that train.”

Mr Pemberton did say that if he doesn’t retire in a year, he could go back to the NHS as it “might be worth going back for the 35 per cent pay rise”.

Mr Pemberton added: “Nigel Farage has said he is worried about me taking his vote, so the only competition is between me and Nigel.

“If you want Nigel to win, vote for the Nigel. If you don’t want Nigel to win, vote for UKIP - it’s quite simple.

“A lot of people would vote for me to just get him out, to stop him winning.

“I think the worst thing for him would be losing to Ukip."