UKIP boss says: 'Vote for Phil'

The leader of the UK Independence Party has backed Kettering's Conservative candidate and urged UKIP supporters to vote for him.

Lord Pearson praised Philip Hollobone's 'brave' views on Europe, immigration and banning the burka and promised UKIP members would campaign for his re-election.

Lord Pearson said: "UKIP would be potty if we kept Philip out of the House of Commons.

"We haven't put a candidate up against him and we will do everything to get him in."

Former Conservative Lord Pearson said UKIP had up to 5,000 voters in Kettering but said no UKIP candidate wanted to stand against Mr Hollobone.

Mr Hollobone called for a ban on the wearing of the burka, worn by some Muslim women to cover their entire body, in public in the House of Commons in February.

Lord Pearson said: "Mr Hollobone has been absolutely clear with his views on Islam, the burka and Sharia Law. To do that in the House of Commons against your party whips must have been pretty uncomfortable."

In the first move of its kind, UKIP is backing Euro-sceptic candidates from other parties in five or six marginal constituencies around the country.

Mr Hollobone said: "I'm honoured Lord Pearson should take the effort to come to Kettering and give me his support.

"We agree on Europe, immigration and the burka and the vast majority of residents in Kettering share our values."

Labour parliamentary candidate Phil Sawford said: "I'm not surprised. If anything, this may get more voters to vote more tactically."

Liberal Democrat candidate Chris Nelson said: "We need to have a member who will be working as part of the EU, which is the world's biggest economical unit. For this country to leave the EU would be very damaging."