Friday, 23 May 2014


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LOCAL ELECTIONS 2014: Outspoken UKIP candidate Winston McKenzie puts on brave face at Croydon count

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CONFIDENT: UKIPs Winston McKenzie
Days after losing his father and uncle, South Norwood’s UKIP candidate Winston McKenzie put on a brave face as his party failed to win a seat in Croydon.
The outspoken politician, notable for joining every major political party and standing as a candidate without any success, held back tears as he talked up his chances ahead of the count.
Mr McKenzie said he was feeling confident and that success in the election would be the perfect tribute to his late father.
“If I do win tonight I will be doing handstands and dedicating my win to that great man in the sky who has made me the man I am today,” he said.
“I won’t be celebrating if I am successful tonight, I will be on an early coach to Birmingham to my father’s funeral.”
Despite his sad news, the 60-year-old former light-middleweight boxer, expected UKIP to increase their proportion of the votes in Croydon and the UK as a whole.
"UKIP is fighting for British sovereignty and I want everyone in Croydon, black, white, yellow or pink to come forward and remember that this country that was once great can be Great Britain again,” he said.
“We have so many career politicians in office who are so out of touch with ordinary people which needs to change and this is why I need to be elected to shake up the whole thing and make them all ruffle.
“Nigel Farage has been running around and I predict feathers will be ruffled everywhere from here to Westminster tonight. Let’s get ready to rumble!”
In reality, Mr McKenzie only captured 480 votes in a ward dominated by Labour councillors.
Although UKIP failed to secure a seat in the council, they were widely influential in ensuring Labour’s victory, as it appears many former-Tory supporters turned purple. 
MP for Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell, said: “Clearly some Conservative voters have chosen to vote for UKIP and that has allowed Labour to win the seats.
“The demographics are quite different among the wards. In UKIP’s natural territories you are tended to see a swing towards Labour, with different make-up you are not seeing such a big swing.”
In the run up to election night, Mr McKenzie created a media storm after labelling Croydon a dump at a carnival designed to promote UKIP’s image. 
“I stand by my comment as it’s there for the whole community and really is plain to see. Croydon sadly has descended into a bit of a dump in various areas.

“There are so many white elephants, pot holes in the streets, fly tipping going on everywhere, a lot of schools known to have really bad drug problems and have not got any better.

Winston Truman McKenzie (born 23 October 1953) is a British politician, perennial candidate for office and former boxer, notable for having joined every major political party and having stood as an Independent or minor party candidate on numerous occasions without success. He stood in the 2010 UK Independence Party leadership contest, and was the UKIP candidate in the 2012 Croydon North by-election, where he came third with 5.7% of the vote.


McKenzie was originally a middleweight boxer and was the All England National Amateur Boxing Champion, he is an older brother of boxer Duke McKenzie, and a younger brother of boxer Clinton McKenzie. He contended that after an underprivileged childhood, "boxing was my salvation".[1] However, his boxing career was cut short at the age of 23 by two detached retinas.[2]
He later worked as a hairdresser, a rug wholesaler, a letting agent and a garage mechanic. He also ran a pub in Parchmore Road, Thornton Heath, with his brothers. When the McKenzies bought the pub, it had "a notorious a 'battleground' rife with gangsters and drug pushers until the brothers took over."[3] They opened it as the McKenzie Bros Bar & Grill, but it was threatened with removal of its licence in July 2001 "after being caught several times by police serving alcohol after hours."[3] It finally closed down in December 2002, after a single police raid resulted in 25 people on the premises all being charged with various drugs and firearms offences. The pub was boarded up after the raid, and in January 2003, Winston McKenzie confirmed it would not be reopening. The building has subsequently been demolished.[4][5] In 2005, he unsuccessfully auditioned forThe X Factor.[6] He is now a youth worker.

Political career

Labour, Lib Dems and Independent

McKenzie first joined the Labour Party in the 1980s.[7] In 2002, he joined the Liberal Democrats and, in February 2003, was quoted in the press as saying "I'm still very involved with the Liberal Democrats and have every intention of standing for MP in the next election."[4] Seven months later, by the September 2003 Brent East by-election, he had left the Liberal Democrats and he stood as an Independent candidate, on a slogan of "The black voice for Great Britain" and a platform to "shut all gates of entry to immigrants and asylum seekers" (with the USA being asked to take on Britain's immigrants in exchange for Britain's support in the Iraq War), and increasing sports facilities for young people. He also opposed university tuition fees on the grounds that young people should be able "to enjoy the privileges of childhood."[sic][8] He polled 197 votes (0.94%), coming 7th out of 16 candidates.[9]

Veritas, Independent and Veritas again

In 2004, McKenzie joined the newly formed Veritas party, calling for "a blanket ban on immigration and asylum for one year",[10] and becoming its principal spokesman on sport.[7]In the 2005 general election, he stood for Veritas in Croydon North, coming 7th of 9 candidates with 324 votes (0.7%). After the election, he attacked party leader Robert Kilroy-Silk, whom he publicly blamed for his defeat, lost deposit and other financial losses as a result of his campaign.[11] He resigned from Veritas two weeks after the 2005 election (and 3 months after originally joining), before then rejoining Veritas when Kilroy-Silk stepped down as leader, so that he could stand for leader of Veritas. He came 3rd out of 3 candidates, polling 168 votes (14.4%).[12] In between his two short memberships of Veritas, he stood in the 16 June 2005 Fieldway by-election to Croydon Council as an Independent. He came 4th of 5 candidates, polling 47 votes (2.47%) and beating only the candidate for the Official Monster Raving Loony Party.[12][13]

2008 London Mayoral candidacy - Conservative and Independent

After the local press reported his 2004 "inaugural Croydon youth games ended in farce [in] October after many events were cancelled at short notice",[10] he had accused the local Conservative council of being "racist" in failing to support the endeavour.[12] However, in November 2006 he joined the Conservative party, announcing his intention to be the next Mayor of London. He stood in 2007 for the Conservative party's nomination, but failed to attract enough support to make the shortlist. He then left the Conservative Party by the end of the year and stood in the 2008 Mayoral election as an independent candidate, under the slogans "I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee; I've got the policies they can't see" and "They said it couldn't be done".[1] He came last of the 10 candidates, polling 5,389 votes (0.22%).[2]

Unity Party

In March 2009, McKenzie founded the Unity Party and announced he would be the Unity Party candidate for Croydon Central at the next UK general election.[14] In October 2009, McKenzie reported that Unity had folded as a party because of the withdrawal of its main financial backer.[15]


2009 leadership election and 2010 general election[edit]

In September 2009, he joined the United Kingdom Independence Party and immediately announced he was a candidate in their leadership election to succeed Nigel Farage. However, as he was still the leader of the Unity Party, he was barred from standing in the leadership election.[16] In February 2010, McKenzie was adopted as UKIP's candidate forTottenham.[17] In the 2010 general election he came 6th of 10 candidates in Tottenham, polling 466 votes (1.1%).[18]

2010 leadership election

In September 2010, McKenzie stood again for leader of UKIP, after Lord Pearson of Rannoch resigned.[19] He came last of the four candidates, with 530 votes cast (5.3%).[20]

2011 London mayoral election

In May 2011, Mckenzie confirmed that he was again seeking to be Mayor of London, this time seeking the UKIP nomination - he told UKIP paper The Voice: "The rumours are true. I am definitely looking to be nominated as a candidate."[21] There were five other candidates for the UKIP nomination: David Coburn, Michael Corby, Mick McGough, Paul Oakley and Lawrence Webb. In a ballot of members in August, 2011 McKenzie came joint third with Mick McGough, both on 7.4%, behind winner Lawrence Webb, who won with 42%, and David Coburn on 29%.[22]

2012 local election

In January 2012, UKIP announced that it had selected McKenzie as candidate for the Croydon and Sutton seat in the 2012 elections to the Greater London Assembly.[22] At the pre-election hustings in Croydon, a local newspaper reported that "he provided the audience with some welcome, but not always intentional, comic relief". When the issue of the building of a new waste incinerator was raised he announced "To be honest, ref, I'm not too hot on this issue", and the paper noted that he did not have "the first clue about the incinerator debate" and had a "lack of policies". He also bizarrely stated: "A couple of people in the audience to-night, I can see your faces. I owe you money... You know where to find me."[23] In the election, he polled 10,757 votes (6.99%) across the boroughs of Croydon and Sutton, an increase of 1.6% on the UKIP vote in 2008, coming 4th of 5 candidates.[24]

2012 Croydon North by-election[edit]

In October 2012, he was announced as the UKIP candidate for the Croydon North by-election. On 27 November 2012, McKenzie gave two interviews to the Croydon Advertiser and the London Metro which were subsequently repeated in the local[25][26][27][28] and national[29][30] press, in which he was reported to have commented that adoption by gay couples constitutes "child abuse", and asked the interviewer, "If you couldn't look after your child and you had to put them up for adoption, would you honestly want your child to be adopted by a gay couple? Would you seriously want that or a heterosexual family? Which would be more healthy for the child? A caring loving home is a heterosexual or single family. I don't believe [a gay couple] is healthy for a child."[29] The comments were condemned by Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive of Stonewall, as "inflammatory",[29] while UKIP distanced itself from the comments.[26] The original Croydon Advertiser interview also described as "a bizarre rant" McKenzie's related comments about people who "pretend" to be gay: "Some people take on being gay as a sort of fashion. Celebrities come out to become more well known, it gets attention. It's a fact of life that some people actually are gay. They are what they are. They can't help it but the other bunch take on being gay as a fashion and push it because they have nothing better to do with their lives. They let the side down."[25] The subsequent Metro interview, held to clarify McKenzie's earlier remarks, quoted him as elaborating: "To say to a child, 'I am having you adopted by two men who kiss regularly but don’t worry about it' – that is abuse. It is a violation of a child’s human rights because that child has no opportunity to grow up under normal circumstances."[28]
Despite the controversy, McKenzie went on to come third in the Croydon North by-election, winning 5.7% of the vote. He also retained his deposit for the first time in his political career.[22]

2014 local election

In campaigning for the 2014 local and European elections, a UKIP event organised in Croydon was picketed by protestors bearing "We Are All Romanians" placards angry at Farage's recent comments on Romanian immigrants. McKenzie said that the protesters had "...diminished the meaning of racism...They've taken away the meaning of racism, which is a very potent subject."[31] A steel band had been booked to play at the event but pulled out when they learnt that it was a UKIP event.[31] Farage had been due to attend but did not arrive, with McKenzie informing reporters that "He's a responsible family man and political party leader. Certain situations you have to avoid," before adding that "Croydon is unsafe and a dump."[31] He was not elected to Croydon council.[32]

Personal life

Asked to name his proudest achievements, McKenzie said, "Of all the things in life that one could possibly achieve, I guess I am proud of the honour, dignity and self-respect that I have earned throughout the years through boxing, politics and the love of my former wife, Cheryl." [33]

Electoral record of Winston McKenzie

Croydon North by-election, 30 November 2012
LabourSteve Reed15,89264.7+8.7
ConservativeAndrew Stranack4,13716.8-7.3
UKIPWinston T. McKenzie1,4005.7+4.0
Liberal DemocratMarisha Ray8603.5-10.5
GreenShasha Khan8553.5+1.5
RespectLee Jasper7072.9+2.4
Christian PeoplesStephen Hammond1920.8N/A
National FrontRichard Edmonds1610.7N/A
CommunistBen Stevenson1190.5+0.2
Monster Raving LoonyJohn Cartwright1100.4N/A
Nine Eleven Was An Inside JobSimon Lane660.3N/A
Young People's PartyRobin Smith630.3N/A
Rejected ballots
Labour holdSwing
London Assembly election, 3 May 2012: Croydon and Sutton[34]
ConservativeSteve O'Connell60,15239.1-4.2
LabourLouisa Woodley50,73433.0+13.8
Liberal DemocratAbigail Lock21,88914.2-4.1
UKIPWinston T. McKenzie10,7577.0+1.6
GreenGordon Ross10,2876.7+1.6
Total formal votes153,81998.6
Informal votes2,1651.4
UK Independence Party leadership election, 5 November 2010
UKIPNigel Farage6,08560.5N/A
UKIPTim Congdon2,03720.2N/A
UKIPDavid Campbell-Bannerman1,40414N/A
UKIPWinston T. McKenzie5305.3N/A
UKIP holdSwing
General Election, 6 May 2010: Tottenham [35]
LabourDavid Lammy24,12859.3+1.4
Liberal DemocratDavid Schmitz7,19717.7+0.9
ConservativeSean Sullivan6,06414.9+1.4
TUSCJenny Sutton1,0572.6N/A
GreenAnne Gray9802.4-2.2
UKIPWinston T. McKenzie4661.1N/A
Independent People TogetherNeville Watson2650.7N/A
ChristianAbimbola Kadara2620.6N/A
IndependentSheik Thompson1430.4N/A
IndependentErrol Carr1250.3N/A
Labour holdSwing+0.2
Summary of the 1 May 2008 Mayor of London election results
NameParty1st Preference Votes %2nd Preference Votes %Final %
Boris JohnsonConservative1,043,76143.2 (+14.1)257,29212.91,168,73853.2 (+8.6)
Ken LivingstoneLabour893,87737.0 (+0.2)303,19815.11,028,96646.8 (-8.6)
Brian PaddickLiberal Democrat236,6859.8 (-5.5)641,41232.0N/A
Siân BerryGreen77,3743.2 (+0.1)331,72716.6N/A
Richard BarnbrookBritish National Party69,7102.9 (-0.2)128,6096.4N/A
Alan CraigChristian Peoples Alliance39,2491.6 (-0.6)80,1404.0N/A
Gerard BattenUKIP22,4220.9 (-5.3)113,6515.7N/A
Lindsey GermanLeft List16,7960.735,0571.7N/A
Matt O'Connor (withdrew from contest)English Democrats10,6950.473,5383.7N/A
Winston T. McKenzieIndependent5,3890.238,8541.9N/A
Veritas leadership election, 15 September 2005
VeritasPatrick Eston61052.2N/A
VeritasColin Brown39033.4N/A
VeritasWinston T. McKenzie16814.4N/A
Veritas holdSwing
Fieldway Ward By-Election, London Borough of Croydon, 16 June 2005[36]
LabourSimon A. Hall99352.4-13.0
ConservativeAnthony Pearson71437.6+3.0
Liberal DemocratSimon E. Hargrave1367.2+7.2
IndependentWinston T. McKenzie472.5+2.5
Monster Raving LoonyJohn S. Cartwright60.3+0.3
Labour holdSwing
General Election, 5 May 2005: Croydon North[37]
LabourMalcolm Wicks23,55553.7−9.8
ConservativeTariq Ahmad9,66722.0−1.3
Liberal DemocratAdrian Gee-Turner7,59017.2+6.8
GreenShasha Khan1,2482.8N/A
UKIPHenry Pearce7701.8+0.4
Croydon Pensions AlliancePeter Gibson3940.9N/A
VeritasWinston T. McKenzie3240.7N/A
IndependentFarhan Rasheed1970.4N/A
The People's ChoiceMichelle Chambers1320.3N/A
Labour holdSwing−4.3
Brent East by-election, 18 September 2003
Liberal DemocratSarah Teather8,15839.12+28.5
LabourRobert Evans7,04033.76–29.4
ConservativeUma Fernandes3,36816.15–2.0
GreenNoel Lynch6383.06–1.6
Socialist AllianceBrian Butterworth3611.73N/A
Public Services Not WarFawzi Ibrahim2191.05N/A
IndependentWinston T. McKenzie1970.94N/A
IndependentKelly McBride1890.91N/A
IndependentHarold Immanuel1880.9N/A
UKIPBrian Hall1400.670.1
Socialist LabourIris Cremer1110.53–0.8
IndependentNeil Walsh1010.48N/A
Monster Raving LoonyAlan Hope590.28N/A
No labelAaron Barschak370.18N/A
No labelJitendra Bardwaj350.17N/A
www.xat.orgRainbow George Weiss110.05N/A
Liberal Democrat gain from LabourSwing+29.0