Ukip candidate for Brent North joined to speak the unspeakable

Alan Craig, UKIP parliamentary candidate for Brent North

Alan Craig, UKIP parliamentary candidate for Brent North - Credit: Archant

From a champagne lifestyle to helping some of the most disadvantaged people in society, Brent North has the opportunity to vote for what is arguably its most controversial candidate.

Alan Craig joined Ukip (United Kingdom Independent Party) last October under a storm of controversy for calling gay rights movements the “Gaystapo” after the Nazi secret police. He was also forced to stand down from participating in an event, Transformational Potential, where he was due to speak about a “gay cure”.

He said of his views on homosexuality: “I never aimed to upset anybody. I hate nobody but politics is about debate and I am therefore commenting on gay activists, gay politicians and so on are doing in the public realm. If I criticise them I criticise them as much as I criticise David Cameron or anybody else. All I want to say about that, we do live in a democracy, we are allowed to debate public issues, it’s never a personal attack on any individual, it’s not an attack on their lifestyle but on their ideology and their politics and in a democracy we should be allowed to do so.”

Born and educated in Surrey, at the age of 14, while a pupil at Kingston Grammar School, he wrote an inflamed letter to his Tory MP William Robson Brown asking why he didn’t do anything for his constituency.

He’ll do things differently: “I’d work hard on the people’s issues. You have active surgeries, you spend a lot of time in the constituency talking to people finding what the issue are. It’s a well known concept that between a good and bad constituency MP the good ones take an interest and act on people’s behalf.”

The 69-year-old, who lives in Stratford, read a politics and economics degree at Newcastle University before launching himself in to a business life, first for an investment bank in industrial management before leaving to “making a lot of money very quickly” setting up an investment advice consultancy with a friend.

His 29th year was a pivotal one. He was made chief executive of a manufacturing company with more than 2000 employees. “I was jetting to the States in Concorde, buying up companies; I thought I was the bees’ knees in those days.”

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He stood for the Conservative Party in the 1974 general election in a Labour safe seat in northern England. “When you start out you have to do the impossible ones, the ones you are not going to win,” he said.

What followed was a religious conversion to Christianity where he abandoned his career, political dreams, moved to the East End and opened up a hostel for ex offenders, where he became a full time warden.

He later returned to politics, forming the Christian People’s Alliance in 2004, winning a seat in Newham Council where he was “the sole opposition” for eight years.

“I loved it. I felt I was speaking up for the people of Canning Town. It’s the outsider role speaking out for people who don’t have a voice. It leads to one of the reasons I’m with Ukip, to be the outsider and say things that nobody else will say is a really important role in politics - to say the unsayable.

“If you believe what you’re saying is true and saying it on behalf of other people you just say it and if people take offence you say you’re sorry. I never make my attacks personal.”

He said for the people of Brent North he will access the courage to talk about things that nobody else will talk about, on many topics, like Europe, immigration, Ukip’s key policies.”

He says he’s more than capable to serve the constituency: “I’ve got the experience of being a councillor so in terms of individual issues, be it housing or asylum I shall use the position of Member of Parliament to do my best for those people. It’s my job to do that and enjoy doing it.”

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