CONTROVERSIAL Thornbury millionaire Arron Banks has admitted he “knows nothing” about the constituency he hopes to represent the upcoming general election.
An insurance businessman, Mr Banks, who also owns Old Down Country Estate in Alveston, has put his name down to represent Clacton as an independent, following a public disagreement with the town’s UKIP MP Douglas Carswell.
The former UKIP member announced his candidacy to stand on June 8, following Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to call a snap General Election.
Mr Banks told the Gazette’s sister paper in Essex, the Daily Gazette, he will follow through on his threat to run against Mr Carswell, and will be visiting the town to campaign on Monday.
He added: "I know absolutely nothing about Clacton apart from it's one of the most Euro-sceptic places in the country.
“From what I have been told one of the main issues in the town is regeneration.
“So, we will be looking to put forward a plan for regeneration in the town.
“I would be looking to stand for one term only.
“The reason I want to stand is well known – to take on Douglas Carswell.”
Mr Banks said he will be asking the Leave.eu supporters to fund his "positive" election campaign and added that he would take no salary.
In response to Mr Banks' announcement that he would be standing in Clacton, Mr Carswell joked: "I would be happy to give him a guided tour around Clacton."
Since the announcement, Mr Carswell has announced that he will not be standing for re-election, and Anthony Finnegan-Butler, chairman of Clacton UKIP, said the party has yet to select a candidate for the election.
He added that if the party was unable to find a "credible" local candidate it would consider candidates suggested by UKIP's central office.
Despite being one of UKIP's biggest donors, Mr Banks was suspended from the party in March after he suggested the "current leadership couldn't knock the skin off a rice pudding".