By William Mills
UKIP’s parliamentary candidate for Hove, Kevin Smith braved hecklers at only his second public speaking event in Brighton’s Thistle Hotel.
Last night the Argus newspaper hosted a hustings for five parliamentary candidates including ex MPs Simon Kirby and Caroline Lucas.
Speaking after the event which was chaired by Mike Gilson, the Argus’ editor, Kevin Smith spoke of his initial nervousness at addressing a crowd of about 250.
Kevin Smith said;
“We were all given two minutes to make a speech. Kirby went first then I followed. I was immediately heckled as soon as I started to speak. The chair did intervene but I was completely thrown, and as I wasn’t given any extra time allowance I was unable to finish my speech.
I said; ‘I’m not a politician. I got into politics because I was fed up with politicians.’ There was actually a ripple of laughter through the crowd at this. I went on; ‘ Politicians are always trying to fix the issue after it is broken and in the meantime we have to pay the price. The art of management is to identity what is going to break and fix it before it happens.’
I was surprised at how partisan the crowd were. Clearly many were political activists from the different parties and when asked to identify themselves a number said they were council election candidates. I would have preferred a wider audience of residents who were there to listen to the arguments before making their minds up.