UKIP celebrating again as Black Country delivers for them in Euro poll

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UKIP topped the polls in Dudley borough in the European elections and came second in Sandwell - helping send new Sedgley councillor Bill Etheridge to the EU Parliament.

Councillor Etheridge beat former Stourbridge and Cradley Labour MP Lynda Waltho for the remaining seventh MEP to represent the West Midlands in Brussells.

UKIP won three seats, Labour two and the Conservatives two in an election which mirrored the national results which saw UKIP surge to the top of the polls and the Liberal Democrats having a horror show at the polls.

Cllr Etheridge MEP said: "I am ecstatic and delighted we have made this breakthrough. It is the best achievement in my life and I am so proud of everyone in our team.

"We won in the Dudley borough by over 10,000 votes over Labour and got 20,000 votes in Sandwell so it is an historic result.

"The people of the Black Country came through for UKIP and I want to go out there and thank every single one of them."

Despite wanting to leave the EU the new MEP promised to work with its institutions to get a better deal for the Black Country.

He said: "This is a different kind of MEP that has been elected for UKIP this time, we are not going over there to play silly games."

"We are going out there to achieve something, we might not agree with the institutions but there is a lot of Euroepean grant money out there and I want to get money for this area, we want our money back."

"At the next general election we will have a record to stand on' People will be able to see that we are hard-working ordinary blokes who are doing everything we can for our area."

Councillor Etheridge pledged to keep both roles as a councillor on Dudley Council and a Member of the European Parliament.

He said: "I will do both jobs, I am passionate about Dudley and I can't wait for the General Election next year."

Lynda Waltho was third on Labour's list behind Sion Simon and Neena Gill so missed out on being an MEP.

She said: "We took the fight to UKIP from the start and I put 100 per cent into it, as did my team."

When asked about next year's General Election said: "I will serve Labour in any way in which they want me to."

71 candidates from 11 parties fought for the seven seats up for grabs, with the count being held in Birmingham's ICC.

In Dudley borough UKIP polled 31,891, Labour 21,513, Conservatives 18,402, Green Party 3.620 and the Liberal Democrats 1,821.

In Sandwell borough Labour polled 30,991, UKIP 20,776, Conservatives 8084, Green Party 2,224 and the Liberal Democraths 1,317.

The West Midlands new MEPS are Jill Seymour (UKIP), Neena Gill (Labour), Philip Bradbourn (Conservative), Jim Carver (UKIP), Sion Simon (Labour), Anthea McIntyre (Conservative) and Bill Etheridge (UKIP).

The two Conservative MEPs were defending their seats, Liberal Democrat Phillip Benion lost his seat, Labour's sole winner from 2009 Michael Cashman retired.

Both UKIP winners in 2009 were on the ballot paper as had left the organisation and set up their own parties.

Nikki Sinclaire, whose We Demand A Referendum Party polled 23,426 votes, said: "It has been an honour and a pleasure to represent 5.2 million constituents over the past five years. I have met thousands of people in my role, getting involved in community projects and giving a voice to the voiceless, and lending an ear when others simply wouldn't listen.

"I'm also proud of the campaign we ran here in the West Midlands, far larger than anybody had ever seen before, and many thanks to those who spent time talking to me and the team on the campaign trail."

Mike Nattrass, who was first elected for UKIP in 2004 and helped bank roll the party for a period, polled 27,171 votes through his An Independence from Europe party.

Mr Nattrass, whose choice of party name UKIP complained would confuse voters as it was the first party on the ballot paper, cheerfully said: "That's politics, I've had a great time."

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