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UKIP announces Euro candidates for East Midlands

Roger Helmer and Margot Parker are the two lead candidates for UKIP in the 2014 European Election Credit: UKIP

UKIP has selected its five candidates to stand in the East Midlands in the 2014 European Election in May.

Former Conservative MEP Roger Helmer is the lead candidate in the list with the UKIP candidate in the Corby by-election in 2012, Margot Parker, in second place.

The remaining places go to Jonathan Bullock, Nigel Wickens and Barry Mahoney.

The current UKIP MEP for the East Midlands, which includes Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire, is Derek Clark. He is stepping down after eight years in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and Brussels.

Under the proportional representation system in use for the European Elections in the UK the five seats are allocated depending on the share of the vote for each party. At the last election in 2009, two Conservatives were elected along with one MEP each for Labour, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP.

Political journalist named lead UKIP candidate in the East

Patrick O'Flynn has been named lead UKIP candidate in the East of England for the 2014 European Elections Credit: UKIP

UKIP has named its list of candidates standing in the 2014 European Elections in the East of England.

At the top of the list of seven candidates is Patrick O'Flynn who is currently the Chief Political Correspondent at the Daily Express.

The current UKIP MEP for the East of England Stuart Agnew is second on the list with the head of the party's Policy Unit, Tim Aker third.

UKIP came second in the East of England in the 2009 European Elections with 20% of the vote.

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Norfolk takes over €350m economic growth programme

30 jobs will be created after Norfolk win the bid to run a major European business project Credit: ITV News Anglia

Norfolk County Council has won the bid to run a €350 million cross-border European project to boost economic development over a swathe of England and northern France.

It will create up to 30 jobs and bring £12 million into the Norfolk economy.

When Norfolk takes over the reins in January, it will be the first time ever that an English County Council has become a programme manager for a European Territorial Cooperation Programme.

It will run the programme for an area covering a dozen counties across England as well as France.

Leader of Norfolk County Council, George Nobbs said: "We will be responsible for allocating major international projects from the Wash to Land's End and from the Pas-de-Calais to Finistere in France.

"At a time when we have had to put up with so many negative stories about local government it is a real shot in the arm for us here in Norfolk to win this prestigious and financially significant project. I am immensely proud of Norfolk."

The current programme, which has been managed by the region of Haute Normandie in northern France since 2007, funds nearly 130 co-operation projects between France and England, and involves around 500 different organisations on both sides of the Channel.

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Eastern region MEP challenges Euro finances

One of the East of England's Conservative MEPs Vicky Ford is to challenge the EU's accounts

One of the Anglia region's Conservative Euro MPs is to travel to Luxembourg this week to challenge the European Union's finances.

Vicky Ford, MEP for the East of England, will meet with the UK representative on the EU Court of Auditors in a bid to unravel the EU accounts and the reason why they remain unaudited.

Mrs Ford sent out an email to 1,500 people across the East of England asking them to share any thoughts on the auditing process or experience of managing EU funded projects and she got 30 responses.

Vicky Ford said:

"It is completely unacceptable that the EU accounts continually fail their audit. Correcting this must be one of the ambitions of the current seven year budget negotiations, and I hope this trip will help us to better understand how this might be achieved."

MEP defects from UKIP to Tories

The South East MEP Marta Andreasen has quit UKIP to join the Conservatives Credit: Johnny Green/PA Wire

Another of the Anglia region's MEPs has defected from the UK Independence Party to the Conservatives.

Marta Andreasen, who represents the South East which includes Milton Keynes, quit UKIP and launched an outspoken attack on Nigel Farage's leadership.

She dismissed the party's chances of achieving real power, and hailed the Prime Minister's speech pledging an in-out referendum on EU membership as a "game changer".

In an open letter Ms Andreasen wrote: "UKIP has good people in it at grass roots that care about the future of the United Kingdom and our place in a re-negotiated relationship with Europe. Unfortunately, their party leader treats any views other than his own with contempt."

In May 2011 one of the MEPs for the East of England, David Campbell Bannerman, also switched sides from UKIP to the Conservatives.

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