A Newtownabbey councillor nicknamed ‘Bacardi Bob’ has confirmed that he will stand for UKIP against Ian Paisley Jnr in this year’s general election.
The former DUP representative Robert Hill, who quit the party last year after publicly criticising South Antrim MP William McCrea, will stand as the UKIP candidate in North Antrim.
Cllr Hill, who was nicknamed ‘Bacardi Bob’ after he drank a Bacardi Breezer alcopop during a council meeting in 2013, says that while he has no strong links with North Antrim, he will work hard between now and the election in May to get to know the area and its people.
“I aim to spend as much time as possible on the ground in North Antrim getting out and meeting people and trying to convince them that UKIP is the way forward for them,” he said.
Asked if he believes he can upset the odds and unseat Ian Paisley Jnr, Cllr Hill said: “Who knows?”
“The DUP have been promising for years that they are going to connect with the grassroots and it has failed to happen.
“We (UKIP) are willing to get in there and work from the grassroots up. We are willing to tackle issues that other parties run away from,” he continued.
Acknowledging that he’s unlikely to win the seat, the Glengormley man stressed that his campaign will be aimed at building the party’s vote in the area ahead of next year’s Assembly election.
Cllr Hill, who failed to secure a seat on the new Antrim and Newtownabbey Council, added: “The party has said for a long time that the main aim is the Assembly election next year. We are running 10 candidates this year for Parliament and we’ll see how people vote.”