A CITY centre bar will double up as a new base for a political party.
Sunderland’s branch of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) is moving into the Westminster pub in High Street West.
Paul Tweddle, from Ford Estate, Sunderland, has been put forward as the city’s UKIP candidate for the local elections, expected to take place in May.
The 49-year-old father-of-two said: “The city is not getting the money spent on what’s important.
“Putting new roads in when there are already roads is not going to make a big difference.
“It’s not what the people want in the city.
“We say the council are taking away things such as the Crowtree Leisure Centre and not putting anything back.
“We would like to see more for people – like training for the young people of the city.
“Labour have had power for 42 years, and they have done more damage than the Luftwaffe.
“My grandfather, John Tweddle, is on the scroll in the civic centre. He fought in the Great War.
“If they had seen what they were fighting for, they would not have done it.”
Ex-RAF serviceman Mr Tweddle said he would be standing on local issues and was also anti-European Union.
He added: “It’s like putting money down a deep hole.
“We were a strong nation, and we will be again, but morale is probably at its lowest ebb. People in the city want someone in power who will speak for them.”
The Sunderland branch of UKIP was formed two years ago.
Its candidates failed to secure any seats in the 2011 local elections, but the party saw a two per cent increase in votes across the city.
The office will be officially open from the first week in January.