MADAM – I recently had the pleasure of standing as the UKIP candidate for the Slad Valley by-election.

I am writing to firstly thank the good people took the trouble to go out and vote for UKIP and myself.

They, like many, are disillusioned with the current local and national political situation and expressed their desire for change.

My thanks also go to the many UKIP helpers from across the Gloucestershire area; your kind work was not in vain.

During the canvassing, my colleagues and I were subjected to multiple obscene gestures, verbal abuse and a number of very vocal threats of criminal damage and theft of legally placed election posters (since carried out).

We were also subjected to punitive attempts to bully and intimidate our democratic right to canvas.

While I fully understand the cut and thrust of politics in general, and have encountered far worse in my previous career, the response of the other parties in Slad Valley to democracy fell far short of the standards of behaviour UKIP are standing for.

No doubt this will continue in various forms in a pathetic attempt to discredit UKIP in the coming general election.

This clearly illustrates the other parties contempt for both the democratic system and the voters located in the Stroud area.

This is not sour grapes.

Coming from a standing start, UKIP came a credible third behind an entrenched Green/Labour vote, beating the Conservatives into fourth at our first standing in the Slad Valley area.

What I find appalling is the low turnout of voters.

This is a frightening indication of the low standing politics and politicians have in the eyes of the majority of the population of Stroud and in general.

But this plays into the hands of the current ruling ‘elite’ and allows them to mobilise a small number of dedicated followers to dictate to the silent majority.

This elite have no desire to engage with the population at large, and are happy to leave them sleeping in their blind and wilful ignorance.

UKIP are here to stay despite the barrage of smears and misinformation dished out on a daily basis by the entrenched parties and their poodle-boys in the media, and will continue to fight to restore democracy and the good name of this country.

Stuart Love