Winston Truman McKenzie (born 23 October 1953) is a British politician, perennial candidate for office and former boxer, notable for having joined every major political party and having stood as an Independent or minor party candidate on numerous occasions without success. He stood in the 2010 UK Independence Party (UKIP) leadership contest and was the UKIP candidate in the 2012 Croydon North by-election, where he came third with 5.7% of the vote.
- 1 Background
- 2 Political career
- 2.1 Labour, Lib Dems and Independent
- 2.2 Veritas, Independent and Veritas again
- 2.3 2008 London Mayoral candidacy - Conservative and Independent
- 2.4 Unity Party
- 2.5 UK Independence Party
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Electoral record of Winston McKenzie
- 5 References
- 6 External links
McKenzie was originally a middleweight boxer and was the All England National Amateur Boxing Champion, he is an older brother of boxer Duke McKenzie, and a younger brother of boxer Clinton McKenzie. He contended that after an underprivileged childhood, "boxing was my salvation". However, his boxing career was cut short at the age of 23 by two detached retinas.
He later worked as a hairdresser, a rug wholesaler, a letting agent and a garage mechanic. He also ran a pub in Parchmore Road, Thornton Heath, with his brothers. When the McKenzies bought the pub, it had "a notorious reputation...as a 'battleground' rife with gangsters and drug pushers until the brothers took over." They opened it as the McKenzie Bros Bar & Grill, but it was threatened with removal of its licence in July 2001 "after being caught several times by police serving alcohol after hours." It finally closed down in December 2002, after a single police raid resulted in 25 people on the premises all being charged with various drugs and firearms offences. The pub was boarded up after the raid, and in January 2003, Winston McKenzie confirmed it would not be reopening. The building has subsequently been demolished. In 2005, he unsuccessfully auditioned for The X Factor. He is now a youth worker.
Labour, Lib Dems and Independent
McKenzie first joined the Labour Party in the 1980s. In 2002, he joined the Liberal Democrats and, in February 2003, was quoted in the press as saying "I'm still very involved with the Liberal Democrats and have every intention of standing for MP in the next election." Seven months later, by the September 2003 Brent East by-election, he had left the Liberal Democrats and he stood as an Independent candidate, on a slogan of "The black voice for Great Britain" and a platform to "shut all gates of entry to immigrants and asylum seekers" (with the USA being asked to take on Britain's immigrants in exchange for Britain's support in the Iraq War), and increasing sports facilities for young people. He also opposed university tuition fees on the grounds that young people should be able "to enjoy the privileges of childhood." He polled 197 votes (0.94%), coming seventh out of 16 candidates.
Veritas, Independent and Veritas again
In 2004, McKenzie joined the newly formed Veritas party, calling for "a blanket ban on immigration and asylum for one year", and becoming its principal spokesman on sport. In the 2005 general election, he stood for Veritas in Croydon North, coming seventh of nine candidates with 324 votes (0.7%). After the election, he attacked party leader Robert Kilroy-Silk, whom he publicly blamed for his defeat, lost deposit and other financial losses as a result of his campaign. He resigned from Veritas two weeks after the 2005 election (and three months after originally joining), before then rejoining Veritas when Kilroy-Silk stepped down as leader, so that he could stand for leader of Veritas. He came third out of three candidates, polling 168 votes (14.4%). In between his two short memberships of Veritas, he stood in the 16 June 2005 Fieldway by-election to Croydon Council as an Independent. He came fourth of five candidates, polling 47 votes (2.47%) and beating only the candidate for the Official Monster Raving Loony Party.
2008 London Mayoral candidacy - Conservative and Independent
After the local press reported his 2004 "inaugural Croydon youth games ended in farce [in] October after many events were cancelled at short notice", he had accused the local Conservative council of being "racist" in failing to support the endeavour. However, in November 2006 he joined the Conservative party, announcing his intention to be the next Mayor of London. He stood in 2007 for the Conservative party's nomination, but failed to attract enough support to make the shortlist. He then left the Conservative Party by the end of the year and stood in the 2008 Mayoral election as an independent candidate, under the slogans "I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee; I've got the policies they can't see" and "They said it couldn't be done". He came last of the 10 candidates, polling 5,389 votes (0.22%).
In March 2009, McKenzie founded the Unity Party and announced he would be the Unity Party candidate for Croydon Central at the next UK general election. In October 2009, McKenzie reported that Unity had folded as a party because of the withdrawal of its main financial backer.
UK Independence Party
2009 leadership election and 2010 general election
In September 2009, he joined the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and immediately announced he was a candidate in their leadership election to succeed Nigel Farage. However, as he was still the leader of the Unity Party, he was barred from standing in the leadership election. In February 2010, McKenzie was adopted as UKIP's candidate for Tottenham. In the 2010 general election he came sixth of 10 candidates in Tottenham, polling 466 votes (1.1%).
2010 leadership election
2011 London mayoral election
In May 2011, Mckenzie confirmed that he was again seeking to be Mayor of London, this time seeking the UKIP nomination - he told UKIP paper The Voice: "The rumours are true. I am definitely looking to be nominated as a candidate." There were five other candidates for the UKIP nomination: David Coburn, Michael Corby, Mick McGough, Paul Oakley and Lawrence Webb. In a ballot of members in August, 2011 McKenzie came joint third with Mick McGough, both on 7.4%, behind winner Lawrence Webb, who won with 42%, and David Coburn on 29%.
2012 local election
In January 2012, UKIP announced that it had selected McKenzie as candidate for the Croydon and Sutton seat in the 2012 elections to the Greater London Assembly. At the pre-election hustings in Croydon, a local newspaper reported that "he provided the audience with some welcome, but not always intentional, comic relief". When the issue of the building of a new waste incinerator was raised he announced "To be honest, ref, I'm not too hot on this issue", and the paper noted that he did not have "the first clue about the incinerator debate" and had a "lack of policies". He also bizarrely stated: "A couple of people in the audience to-night, I can see your faces. I owe you money... You know where to find me." In the election, he polled 10,757 votes (6.99%) across the boroughs of Croydon and Sutton, an increase of 1.6% on the UKIP vote in 2008, coming fourth of five candidates.
2012 Croydon North by-election
In October 2012, he was announced as the UKIP candidate for the Croydon North by-election. On 27 November 2012, McKenzie gave two interviews to the Croydon Advertiser and the London Metro which were subsequently repeated in the local and national press, in which he was reported to have commented that adoption by gay couples constitutes "child abuse", and asked the interviewer, "If you couldn't look after your child and you had to put them up for adoption, would you honestly want your child to be adopted by a gay couple? Would you seriously want that or a heterosexual family? Which would be more healthy for the child? A caring loving home is a heterosexual or single family. I don't believe [a gay couple] is healthy for a child." The comments were condemned by Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive of Stonewall, as "inflammatory", while UKIP distanced itself from the comments. The original Croydon Advertiser interview also described as "a bizarre rant" McKenzie's related comments about people who "pretend" to be gay: "Some people take on being gay as a sort of fashion. Celebrities come out to become more well known, it gets attention. It's a fact of life that some people actually are gay. They are what they are. They can't help it but the other bunch take on being gay as a fashion and push it because they have nothing better to do with their lives. They let the side down." The subsequent Metro interview, held to clarify McKenzie's earlier remarks, quoted him as elaborating: "To say to a child, 'I am having you adopted by two men who kiss regularly but don't worry about it' – that is abuse. It is a violation of a child’s human rights because that child has no opportunity to grow up under normal circumstances."
Despite the controversy, McKenzie went on to come third in the Croydon North by-election, winning 5.7% of the vote. He also retained his deposit for the first time in his political career.
2014 local election
In campaigning for the 2014 local and European elections, a UKIP event organised in Croydon was picketed by protestors angry at Farage's recent comments on Romanian immigrants and bearing a placard reading "We Are Romanians". McKenzie said that the protesters had "diminished the meaning of racism.... They've taken away the meaning of racism, which is a very potent subject." A steel band had been booked to play at the event but pulled out when they learnt that it was a UKIP event. Farage had been due to attend but did not arrive, with McKenzie informing reporters that "He's a responsible family man and political party leader. Certain situations you have to avoid," before adding that "Croydon is unsafe and a dump." He was not elected to Croydon council.
Asked to name his proudest achievements, McKenzie said, "Of all the things in life that one could possibly achieve, I guess I am proud of the honour, dignity and self-respect that I have earned throughout the years through boxing, politics and the love of my former wife, Cheryl."
Electoral record of Winston McKenzie
|United Kingdom local elections, 2014, South Norwood Ward, London Borough of Croydon, 22 May 2014|
|Labour||Wayne James Patrick Lawlor||1,971||+3.0|
|Conservative||Jonathan Thomas Ewan Cope||909||-6.9|
|Conservative||Matthew Edward O'Flynn||739||-6.2|
|Conservative||Rosina Rachel Mat St. James||731||-6.0|
|Green||Graham Ronald Geoffrey Jones||494||+5.6|
|Green||Andrew Howard Ellis||486||-0.2|
|UKIP||Winston T. McKenzie||480||+6.8|
|Green||James Anthony Seyforth||359||+2.9|
|Liberal Democrat||Robert James Brown||314||-11.6|
|Liberal Democrat||Kimberley Erica Sarah Reid||220||-12.7|
|Liberal Democrat||Jonathan Douglas Regan||177||-13.7|
|Croydon North by-election, 30 November 2012|
|UKIP||Winston T. McKenzie||1,400||5.7||+4.0|
|Liberal Democrat||Marisha Ray||860||3.5||-10.5|
|Christian Peoples||Stephen Hammond||192||0.8||N/A|
|National Front||Richard Edmonds||161||0.7||N/A|
|Monster Raving Loony||John Cartwright||110||0.4||N/A|
|Nine Eleven Was An Inside Job||Simon Lane||66||0.3||N/A|
|Young People's Party||Robin Smith||63||0.3||N/A|
|London Assembly election, 3 May 2012: Croydon and Sutton|
|Liberal Democrat||Abigail Lock||21,889||14.2||-4.1|
|UKIP||Winston T. McKenzie||10,757||7.0||+1.6|
|Total formal votes||153,819||98.6|
|UK Independence Party leadership election, 5 November 2010|
|UKIP||Winston T. McKenzie||530||5.3||N/A|
|General Election, 6 May 2010: Tottenham|
|Liberal Democrat||David Schmitz||7,197||17.7||+0.9|
|UKIP||Winston T. McKenzie||466||1.1||N/A|
|Independent People Together||Neville Watson||265||0.7||N/A|
|Summary of the 1 May 2008 Mayor of London election results|
|Name||Party||1st Preference Votes||%||2nd Preference Votes||%||Final||%|
|Boris Johnson||Conservative||1,043,761||43.2 (+14.1)||257,292||12.9||1,168,738||53.2 (+8.6)|
|Ken Livingstone||Labour||893,877||37.0 (+0.2)||303,198||15.1||1,028,966||46.8 (-8.6)|
|Brian Paddick||Liberal Democrat||236,685||9.8 (-5.5)||641,412||32.0||N/A|
|Siân Berry||Green||77,374||3.2 (+0.1)||331,727||16.6||N/A|
|Richard Barnbrook||British National Party||69,710||2.9 (-0.2)||128,609||6.4||N/A|
|Alan Craig||Christian Peoples Alliance||39,249||1.6 (-0.6)||80,140||4.0||N/A|
|Gerard Batten||UKIP||22,422||0.9 (-5.3)||113,651||5.7||N/A|
|Lindsey German||Left List||16,796||0.7||35,057||1.7||N/A|
|Matt O'Connor (withdrew from contest)||English Democrats||10,695||0.4||73,538||3.7||N/A|
|Winston T. McKenzie||Independent||5,389||0.2||38,854||1.9||N/A|
|Veritas leadership election, 15 September 2005|
|Veritas||Winston T. McKenzie||168||14.4||N/A|
|Fieldway Ward By-Election, London Borough of Croydon, 16 June 2005|
|Labour||Simon A. Hall||993||52.4||-13.0|
|Liberal Democrat||Simon E. Hargrave||136||7.2||+7.2|
|Independent||Winston T. McKenzie||47||2.5||+2.5|
|Monster Raving Loony||John S. Cartwright||6||0.3||+0.3|
|General Election, 5 May 2005: Croydon North|
|Liberal Democrat||Adrian Gee-Turner||7,590||17.2||+6.8|
|Croydon Pensions Alliance||Peter Gibson||394||0.9||N/A|
|Veritas||Winston T. McKenzie||324||0.7||N/A|
|The People's Choice||Michelle Chambers||132||0.3||N/A|
|Brent East by-election, 18 September 2003|
|Liberal Democrat||Sarah Teather||8,158||39.12||+28.5|
|Socialist Alliance||Brian Butterworth||361||1.73||N/A|
|Public Services Not War||Fawzi Ibrahim||219||1.05||N/A|
|Independent||Winston T. McKenzie||197||0.94||N/A|
|Socialist Labour||Iris Cremer||111||0.53||–0.8|
|Monster Raving Loony||Alan Hope||59||0.28||N/A|
|No label||Aaron Barschak||37||0.18||N/A|
|No label||Jitendra Bardwaj||35||0.17||N/A|
|www.xat.org||Rainbow George Weiss||11||0.05||N/A|
|Liberal Democrat gain from Labour||Swing||+29.0|
- "Winston Mckenzie 4 Mayor". Mckenzie4mayor.co.uk. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- "Profile: Winston McKenzie". BBC News. 1 April 2008.
- "Boxing brothers fight to keep pub". Croydon Guardian. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
- Patrick Bruce (19 February 2003). "Boxing brothers call time on troubled pub". Croydon Guardian.
- "McKenzie bar closes". Croydon Guardian. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
- "McKenzie is shown the door". Croydon Guardian. 10 June 2005.
- "London - London Local - ‘I'll knock out the opposition’". BBC. 31 March 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- "mckenzie". By-elections.co.uk. 2003-09-18. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- "Brent East 2003". By-elections.co.uk. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- "New Veritas party call on McKenzie". Croydon Guardian. 9 February 2005.
- "McKenzie: I lost thousands in Veritas fiasco". Croydon guardian. 18 May 2005.
- Anonymous (8 November 2006). "CroydonLife: X Factor reject (and Croydonian) wants to be Tory mayoral candidate". Croydon.org.uk. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- "Official Monster Raving Loony Party: Croydon Branch". Myweb.tiscali.co.uk. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- "Winston McKenzie launches Unity party push with American pickup". Croydon Guardian. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
- Lidbetter, Ross (21 October 2009). "South Norwood ex-boxer closes down political party". This Is Croydon Today. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
- "Junius on UKIP: UKIP leadership election: Winston McKenzie may be forced to stand down". Juniusonukip.blogspot.com. 20 October 2009. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- Pears, Elizabeth (3 February 2010). "Haringey Elections 2010: UKIP candidate launches his campaign for Tottenham seat". Harringey Independent. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
- "Election 2010 | Constituency | Tottenham". BBC News. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- Hawkins, Ross (3 September 2010). "BBC News - UKIP considers leadership hopefuls". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- "Nigel back as UKIP Leader". Ukip.org. 5 November 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- The Voice, 20 May 2011.
- "Lawrence Webb unveiled as UKIP's mayoral candidate". BBC News. 5 September 2011.
- Advertiser, Friday, 27 April 2012.
- "Results for the Croydon and Sutton assembly seat". Bbc.co.uk. 6 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- "UKIP candidate for Croydon North says gay people should not be allowed to adopt". Thisiscroydontoday.co.uk. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
- "UKIP election candidate criticised for call to ban gay fostering". Yourlocalguardian.co.uk. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
- Key 103 Manchester, UKIP member says gay adoption is "child abuse"[dead link]
- Higginson, John (26 November 2012). "Culture spokesman for UKIP says gay adoption is 'child abuse'". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- Ben Quinn (27 November 2012). "UKIP by-election candidate calls gay adoption 'child abuse'". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- Patrick, Joseph. "UKIP Culture Spokesman: Same-sex adoption is 'child abuse'". Pinknews.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- "Street rows force Nigel Farage no-show". BBC News Online. 20 May 2014.
- "Ukip's Winston McKenzie Fails In Croydon Election Bid After Calling Area ‘A Dump'", Huffington Post UK, 23 May 2014.
- "Interview with Winston McKenzie". Insidecroydon.com. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- "London Borough of Croydon election results, 2014". Croydon Council. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- Tottenham UKPolling
- UK general election 2005 - Results for Croydon North Electoral Commission
- McKenzie 4 Mayor 2008 website
- Campaign video of McKenzie as a UKIP candidate, 2010
- Campaign video of McKenzie as an Independent candidate, 2008 on YouTube
- Campaign video of McKenzie standing for the Conservative nomination for Mayor of London, 2007 on YouTube