Could this one time Tory candidate, property tycoon and former barrister be UKIP’s choice for NE Cambs election campaign?
PUBLISHED: 16:32 01 July 2014 | UPDATED: 16:32 01 July 2014
He describes his current party leader as “very sociable, very human”, is known by many as ‘Dr Earth’, owns hundreds of properties in London, and is a qualified barrister.
And anytime soon Andrew Charalambous, 45, could be adopted as UKIP’s prospective Parliamentary candidate for NE Cambs.
“It’s up the national executive to decide,” he said. “I don’t know yet if I am definitely standing- I am not a career politician.”
But Mr Charalambous is a seasoned campaigner, twice unsuccessful as a Parliamentary candidate for the Conservatives before switching to UKIP four years ago.
And he has made a mark nationally as his new party’s spokesman for housing and the environment and charged with shaping policies in that area for next year’s general election.
“We are the only party saying something different and we will protect the countryside,” he said. “I have been to NE Cambs to talk about the lack of affordable housing and issues of transport and it is quite clear there has not been enough investment in either.”
Mr Charalambous said he was confident UKIP could win seats next year “and I think people are coming out of the political mould and looking to us a party for things they believe in. We have touched the pulse of the nation.”
He recently told a national magazine – Inside Housing- that he felt UKIP leader Nigel Farage was “very positive, very sociable, and very human. There is no distance between him and the people he engages with…he’s got that passion for people.”
On housing he told the magazine he felt UKIP differentiated themselves from other parties by being “more demand conscious. For decades, government after government has set house building targets they’ve never met and are never going to meet”.
And he argued that immigration posed the biggest pressure on housing demand with “nine out of 10 new properties which have been built, as I understand it, going to people who’ve come from abroad”.
His defection to UKIP came about, he said, after feeling parts of the Conservative Party to be “totally disconnected from the people…and traditional values.”
A UKIP spokesman said: “We are not releasing the name of our candidate at this time.”