Diss visit for MEP candidates Richard Howitt and Rupert Read

European election candidates have been on the streets in Diss as they attempt to drum up support and votes.

Current Labour MEP Richard Howitt met supporters at The Waterfront Inn, in Mere Street, last Friday, while Green Party candidate, Rupert Read, was in the town yesterday.

Mr Howitt, who has represented the East of England in the European Union since 1999, said: “I do know there is a big environmental community here. One of the strongest cases for staying in Europe is that we can’t protect our environment unless we work with other countries across our borders.

“This European election is about jobs and growth, and if you’re worried about your job, or your child’s future job prospects, and the security of your job, don’t flirt with UKIP or the Conservative party - vote for Labour which puts your jobs and British labour first.”

Some polls suggest UKIP is leading over Labour as the election draws near. Mr Howitt responded by saying he was “very concerned” the country was “sleepwalking towards exiting the EU” - something he believes would be a “historic mistake”.

“It would be hugely damaging to our business and to people’s jobs. But this is not a referendum on a referendum - this is about who represents you in Europe.”

Despite the Green Party having 46 representatives in Europe currently, Mr Read would be the first of the party to represent the East of England. He said he hoped to bring a transport and energy revolution, adding he wanted to place emphasis on public transport. Renewable energy should be harnessed - but with community benefits, he said.

“It is very clear there is a huge dissatisfaction with the old parties in East Anglia and there are only two beneficiaries for that - ourselves and UKIP.

“In terms of somewhere like Diss, we stand for a more local way of life where our market towns are enhanced. People are crying out for real change and this is something that we in the Green Party can offer.”