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East Anglia: UKIP tops poll and snatches extra seat at European parliament as LibDems lose

PUBLISHED: 23:37 25 May 2014 | UPDATED: 23:45 25 May 2014

UKIP european election candidate Patrick O'Flynn. Photo: Bill Smith

UKIP european election candidate Patrick O'Flynn. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2014

The UK Independence Party and the Conservatives triumphed in the East at the expense of the Liberal Democrats who lost their Eastern voice in Europe last night.

Each won three seats, with Richard Howitt taking one for Labour in a declaration half an hour after the polls closed across Europe.

MEPs of many parties paid tribute to Lib Dem Andrew Duff, who has served three terms in the European Parliament, who said his party had been “clobbered” in coalition and confounded by a wave of nationalistic sentiment across the country.

Patrick O’Flynn, the top UKIP candidate for the East of England, talked of his party’s “political earthquake” after taking more than half a million votes, ahead of the Conservatives.

The UKIP communications director added: “Voters in the East, as in the rest of the UK, are concerned about open door migration, about pressure on green field land and about living standards – but they also wanted to give the other parties a bloody nose and we have to recognise UKIP was a convenient vehicle for that.

“We now need to convince people to stick with us. We need to build on our strategy, work on our vision and broaden our agenda.

“If we do that we can be confident of winning seats in parliament.”

Richard Howitt, who was re-elected as the Labour MEP in the East, said the party must acknowledge Ukip’s success but not mirror their policies.He added: “Labour has seen a big increase in its vote in this region but we must acknowledge the concerns that Ukip has tapped into – we do not reject those concerns.”

In the past week children across East Anglia exited school gates sheepishly clutching brown envelopes with a look of dread writ large across their faces.

Police have abandoned their search of a landfill site after 20 weeks looking for the body of missing airman Corrie McKeague.

The family of missing Corrie McKeague are “devastated” by the news that they may now never know what has happened to the 23-year-old RAF gunner, after police called off a 20-week landfill search.

A man has been charged with possessing an imitation firearm, with intent to cause fear of violence, following an incident in Ipswich on Thursday.

The family of a seven-year-old girl from Bury St Edmunds in urgent need of a stem cell transplant is calling for as many people as possible to join the register.

Firefighters faced the difficult job of containing a blaze that broke out in several isolated parts of a Suffolk field.

Owners of Felixstowe pier have announced that the new building will open to the public this month.

Children and staff at Sprites Primary School in Ipswich have said a fond farewell two long-running staff members.

Ipswich’s New Wolsey Theatre is set to get a new roof in a bid to cure persistent problems with leaks that have continued for many years.

Meat cleavers, machetes and axes are among dozens of dangerous weapons seized by police from children under 18 in Suffolk over the past year.

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