A senior Latham & Watkins lawyer is running for Parliament as a member of a controversial right-wing political party in the U.K.’s upcoming general election on June 8.
Tim Page, counsel in Latham’s London office, has been selected as the local candidate for the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) in Devizes, a small town in southwest England. The news was first revealed by the U.K. law blog, “Roll On Friday.”
UKIP was established as an anti-European Union party and is best known for being one of the driving forces behind the successful Brexit campaign. Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage was the first British politician to meet with Donald Trump after he was elected president of the United States last November.
The populist party has repeatedly faced controversy because of its hardline policies and the behavior of its members and supporters. Its stance on immigration, in particular, has led to accusations of institutional racism and xenophobia. In a recent poll, almost half of UKIP supporters admitted to being “racially prejudiced,” while one of the party’s parliamentary candidates was suspended last week for sending a series of racist tweets.
Page, a former partner at magic circle firm Clifford Chance, is not expected to win the election as the U.K.’s Conservative party has held the seat in Devizes for more than 90 years. At the last general election, in 2015, UKIP secured just 15 percent of the vote in the constituency. UKIP currently has no elected politicians in the U.K. parliament and lost all of its existing local council seats during local elections in early May.
A Latham spokesman declined to comment and Page did not respond to a request for comment.
During the upcoming election, each of the 650 parliamentary constituencies will elect one member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons, the lower house of Parliament. The general election was not due to take place until 2020, but a call for a snap election by Prime Minister Theresa May received the necessary two-thirds majority in the House of Commons in April, prompting the 2017 election.
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