Enniskillen bomb campaigner Aileen Quinton stands for Brexit Party at European election

Aileen Quinton (left) and Leave supporting MP Kate Hoey in London on the eve of the EU referendum in June 2016
Aileen Quinton (left) and Leave supporting MP Kate Hoey in London on the eve of the EU referendum in June 2016
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Fermanagh woman Aileen Quinton has decided to enter the political fray and is standing in the European elections – in London.

Aileen, a former senior civil servant who spent most of her working life in the city, still spends much of her time living there.

And although she believes she has no serious chance of personally taking a seat in London, she believes her party definitely does – and is standing on a point of principle.

“There are two main reasons I am standing,” she told the News Letter. “How I feel about Brexit and how I feel about democracy and the will of the people.”

The avowed Brexiteer believes the ongoing delay in implementing Brexit has pitched her into “a battle to save democracy”.

She feels the Brexit Party, led by former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, has taken a notably different direction to his former party.

“To me Ukip seems to be watering down its Brexit position and is putting more of its focus on Islam. But for a lot of people that is not what they want to focus on; they are just concerned about Brexit.

“What is also exciting is that for all the slurs against the Brexit Party about racism, so many people from diverse backgrounds have come forward and are not letting people’s prejudices about Leavers prevent them from standing.”

Aileen will also bring her significant media experience to her campaign; she has been an outspoken campaigner for victims of terrorism, her mother Alberta having been one of 12 killed in the IRA Enniskillen bombing in 1987.

To her, the Brexit Party has left issues such as ‘left’ and ‘right’ politics behind.

“I get a strong sense from politicians in the Brexit Party who came from Tory or Labour backgrounds that they are feeling a sense of freedom from those old shackles.”

She added: “The Brexit Party is not standing in NI. Standing as an independent in Northern Ireland would be difficult and I think pretty pointless. Being part of something bigger is a different matter and all my working life was in London so it is in its way home too.”

Just over a month ago, Mr Farage was describing the Brexit Party as a “virtual” entity. Now it is favourite with some bookmakers and political commentators to win the most seats in the polls.

However, London may be one of the toughest nuts for it to crack; almost 60% in the capital voted to remain.

“Yes but don’t forget,” Aileen said, “lots of people who voted remain may now not want to thwart Brexit due to their democratic principles. So they might consider supporting us in support of democracy.

“London Labour MP Kate Hoey has been an outspoken Brexiteer but despite this she still increased her majority in the 2017 general election.”

Aileen is optimistic her party could take up to two European seats out of eight in the capital. But even then she will not be elected.

Her party is fielding eight candidates to contest the eight London seats, so it is only in the unthinkable scenario the party takes all eight seats that would she win a seat.