New Veritas party call on McKenzie
1:10pm Wednesday 9th February 2005 in News
The organiser of Croydon's ill-fated youth games has joined Robert Kilroy-Silk's new political party Veritas.
Winston McKenzie, owner of the now derelict McKenzie's pub in Parchmore Road, Thornton Heath, plans to run against pensions minister Malcolm Wicks for the Croydon North seat in the general election.
Mr McKenzie, whose inaugural Croydon youth games ended in farce last October after many events were cancelled at short notice, says he believes he has a good chance of beating the Labour MP.
The dad-of-two, originally from Jamaica, said he wanted a blanket ban on immigration and asylum for one year.
He said he also wanted to get into Croydon's schools to motivate pupils and act as a role model in the hope of reducing crime.
This is not the first time the 48-year-old has shown his political aspirations. He stood as an independent candidate for his party Black Voice of Great Britain in the 2003 byelection in Brent East and won 0.94 per cent of the overall vote.
The former boxer joined Veritas two weeks ago after receiving a phone call from ex-chat show host Robert Kilroy-Silk and has been appointed as the fledgling party's spokesman for sport.
Veritas, meaning Latin for truth, was officially launched last Wednesday and Mr Kilroy-Silk made a speech attacking the UK's immigration and asylum policies. The party was formed after its leader's defection from the euro-sceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP).
Veritas, which prides itself on straight talking, has around 450 members.
Mr McKenzie said Veritas would be helping him fund his election campaign and he would be fighting for the Croydon seat on a strong anti-crime message.
"I have a very good chance, I'm very confident I will win the seat," he said.
He added: "My heart is in Croydon and I believe that Croydon North is so swamped with crime at this present moment and the people deserve more.
"Some of the people who are committing crime at the moment really need a role model, somebody to look up to."
Mr Wicks, who won the Croydon North seat in 2001 with a 16,858 majority, said: "I will be standing on my own record in the constituency, in parliament and in Government. It will be for the electorate to decide who becomes their next MP and I stand ready to take on all comers."