UKIP campaigner Jim MacArthur died suddenly on Wednesday (February 27) at the age of 70, a party spokesman has said.
Mr MacArthur, of Flore, who served in the SAS before becoming a successful businessman later in life, stood as the UKIP candidate in the elections last November for the post of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
He also fought Northampton North in the 2010 General Election and had been intending to stand in Long Buckby ward in the county council elections on May 2.
He was the chairman of the Northampton branch of UKIP and was co-ordinating the party’s county council election campaign in the town.
Derek Clark, UKIP MEP for the East Midlands, said yesterday (Thursday February 28) that Mr MacArthur’s death had been a “complete shock” as he had been a very fit and healthy man.
Mr Clark said: “He was an enthusiastic member of the party who ran the local branch with purpose and vigour.
“He was doing well in the process of persuading people to stand for UKIP in the county council elections and he will be a sad loss to us.”
Mr Clark, who has known Mr MacArthur for the past three years, said he had been impressed with his PCC election campaign which had resulted in him getting the best poll result of any UKIP candidate in the country.
Mr Clark said: “As well as running his own campaign he also spent a lot of time helping our candidate in the Corby by-election and nothing was ever too much trouble for him.”
Mr Clark said he believed that Mr MacArthur had intended to stand as a candidate in Northampton North in the 2015 general election.