Richard Taylor: Patrick O’Flynn hasn’t been attending general election hustings in Cambridge so I’d like to ask him why he hasn’t been attending.
Do you not think it’s valuable to see you up on stage not just at a great public meeting like this, which it would fantastic if other parties held, but next to and debating with the other candidates from the other parties?
And not only are you not there but UKIP is completely unrepresented at these events so perhaps now we’ve got Nick Clarke – Will Nick Clarke be attending those events you can’t attend?
Patrick O’Flynn: I’ll tell you what my position is on hustings. My campaign has never, and I said this right at the outset, my campaign is not based on going to the sort of thirty or is it forty this time hustings that are held in Cambridge in a general election cycle.
Because and I’m going to say something slightly controversial here so I hope the camera is still running Richard but I think it is the same to some extent it’s the same two hundred and fifty liberal middle class do-gooders moving from hall to hall right whereas
Cllr Kevin Price : Who you’re scared of.
Patrick O’Flynn: No, whereas because my campaign is based on action days in target wards talking to real working people in Cambridge. I think that going to forty hustings would be a waste of my time because I think common sense working people of Cambridge are not to be found at three different hustings you know. I think that’s not subjectively a cross section of public opinion. I think it would be rather like the audience Nigel Farage faced last night.
I am doing a few more hustings. I’m not going to dozens. I’m not sure how many of the other candidates have benefited from their hustings addictions. My Conservative collegue has had a couple of moments; the wristbands moment and the observations on how the people of Abbey and Arbury keep their homes and gardens which I’m not sure have necessarily powered her campaign ahead so I actually keep an eye on Richard’s splendid and comprehensive updates about hustings but I think holding public meetings and inviting not just UKIP supporters but anyone who wants to come and contribute, take part, is more valuable and holding action days in the wards is more valuable and I am allowed to say how I conduct my campaign and the people are allowed to decide in the end.
Member of the Public: But Patrick what about the hustings you held at the union? You had a BBC+ audience there.
Patrick O’Flynn: Yes. BBC+ well we took a straw poll and one of the questions asked was would you be in favour of leaving or staying in the EU and I think it was more than 90% of that audience were in favour of staying in the EU but I enjoyed that evening and indeed I intend to do a hustings towards the end of the campaign at my own Cambridge College, King’s College. It is by far the most left-wing college so that will be an interesting experience for me. If I spent my whole campaign going around such hustings I don’t think I’d meet more than a couple of dozen people who would seriously consider voting for me so I prefer to get out on action days and meet people with a much wider cross-section of opinion.
I have previously asked Patrick O’Flynn about his absence from a specific hustings:
— Richard Taylor (@RTaylorUK) February 20, 2015