Ray Finch is Group Leader for UKIP on Hampshire County Council, and fourth on the SE MEP list. He works as Assistant to Nigel Farage.
As a Councillor, he has embarrassed the Hampshire Labour Party by working with the unions to save dementia care homes in Hampshire when they refused to help save the crucial service.
Before the 2010 election, he made it known that Ford were going to close the Transit factory down and give the jobs to Turkey with a loan from the “EU bank”. The Labour Government refused to listen while in power but whined when it happened under the Tories.
Although now based in the South of England, Ray originally came from Liverpool. A working class Lad who’s done good, Ray is also a fishing pal of Nigel Farage’s.
Q1. Why did you enter politics and what was your previous working background?
I was an engineer for a cable TV company for 20 years. I joined UKIP because my wife was sick of me going on about it. She saw an advert for our local AGM in the Portsmouth News and told me to go and bore them!
Q2. Was there a defining moment when you knew UKIP was the party for you and what was it?
Every time I go to conference and am surrounded by people who love our country and our democratic heritage as I do.
Q.3 What are your personal long-range goals and objectives for the next 5 years within 5 years?
If I am elected as an MEP it means that, in all likelihood, the defector Marta Andreasen loses her seat. I want, and have wanted for as long as I can remember, to be one of the UK MPs who consign our membership of the EU to history. After that, who knows? The fight will still be on to restore faith in our future as a nation and a future for our children.
Q.4 What would you consider to be your major strengths?
I am fairly brutally honest.
Coming from a very working class background I defy the stereotype with which the champagne socialists from the media would like to pigeonhole us.
I like to think I am a “good soldier” I was 10th on the MEP list in 2009 and still worked as hard as anyone.
Q.5 What would you consider to be the accomplishments that have given you most satisfaction to date?
Until we are free, there are no accomplishments. Only stepping stones.
Q.6 Why should the people of the South East give you their vote in May?
Because I believe in Britain. I believe in democracy. I tell it like it is.
Q.7 What UKIP policy would you consider to be the one that most resonates with you and why?
Aside from rejection of the EU, I love our education policy. I was lucky enough to go to grammar school. A young lad in my position now would be stuck on the dole forever. Social mobility is the great unspoken issue in this country. You are born poor, you live poor, you die poor. We have to restart that engine or we consign our children to a life without hope.
Q.8 What is your favourite…
Wine? Not really a wine drinker but I quite like prosecco.
Newspaper? Express because my good friend Patrick O’Flynn is an inspiration.
Meal? When I go to Liverpool I always go to the local chippy and get savoury cake and chips. Fabulous. They don’t seem to do it anywhere else.
TV Programme? “Whatever happened to the Likely Lads” a great piece of social commentary on the changes in our class system in the 60′s and 70′s and some really funny writing.
Political interviewer? Peter Henley from BBC South Today. Always challenging, always fair, very smart, and, off air, a really nice bloke.
Q.9. What would be your favourite or ideal day off?
I rarely get one but either sitting at my beach hut on Hayling Island with some cigars and reading, going to Liverpool to see my mum and dad, visit the Walker Art Gallery, and watch Everton thrash Liverpool, or fishing in the channel with Nigel who puts up with my uselessness with rod and reel with great good humour mixed with a few choice expletives.
Q.10 Name 5 politicians, alive or dead, you would have loved to have had dinner with all together and why?
1. Winston Churchill because he would argue about anything and have good cigars and brandy
2. Terry Fields Labour “Militant Tendency” MP because he stood up for what he believed in.
3. Thomas Jefferson because he understood freedom.
4. W.E. Gladstone who believed in low public spending and electoral reforms.
5. Hugh Gaitskell the best Prime Minister we never had. His speech against European Union said it all. “The end of a thousand years of history”.
I have only gone for past politicians. With the exception of our people, none of the present lot have any kind of belief system.
Ray Finch in action: