'Where was our invite, Nigel?' - Clacton Pier not told about Nigel Farage Reform launch party

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PA Images
Nigel Farage is launching his campaign at Clacton Pier. Credit: PA

The seaside pier where Nigel Farage is launching his latest bid to be an MP has said it was not told about the event in advance.

Bosses only discovered their attraction was set to become the centre of a political storm when Mr Farage announced his candidacy - and the launch event - on Monday afternoon.

Clacton Pier posted on social media: "There's a party on the pier... but where was our invite Nigel Farage?"

The pier added the tongue-in-cheek comment that if other parties fancied using its facilities they should "maybe just ask us?".

Its X account posted a doctored picture of Nigel Farage wearing a party hat and holding a yellow balloon outside the seaside attraction.

Nigel Brown, communications manager at Clacton Pier, said: "The first we heard along with everyone else was about 4pm [Monday] when he announced he would launch his campaign at the end of Clacton Pier at midday.

"He hadn't asked permission and we certainly hadn't given it but given the fact he was going to come we wouldn't have stopped that happening.

"It was a bit of a shock - like someone organising a party for your house, not telling you about it and not inviting you."

However Mr Brown said the pier team had been contacted by Mr Farage's team this morning and were happy to let the event take place.

Nigel Brown, from Clacton Pier, said the attraction appreciated that Mr Farage had a worldwide audience. Credit: ITV News Anglia

He said the pier had no political bias but that it had been criticised on social media after the news of Mr Farage's launch location emerged.

"We have taken a bit of stick because people have assumed we invited him or gave him permission to do it and that certainly wasn't the case," added Mr Brown.

Mr Farage is launching his eighth bid to become an MP in the Essex seaside town on Tuesday.

He performed a surprise U-turn on Monday when he declared he would not only be standing in the election but would lead his party for the next five years.

Who is standing to be the MP for Clacton?

Nominations have not closed yet but candidates who have declared they will be running in the Clacton seat are as follows:

  • Matthew Bensilum, Lib Dem

  • Nigel Farage, Reform UK

  • Natasha Osben, Green

  • Jovan Owusu-Nepaul, Labour

  • Giles Watling, Conservative

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