THE man who represented Ludlow in Parliament for 14 years has slammed the present Government as ‘awful.’ Christopher Gill was Ludlow’s MP between 1987 and 2001, when he stood down after falling out with the Conservative party over Europe.

He is now a member of the UK Independence party (UKIP) and stood in the 2010 general election in Ludlow as its candidate.

Mr Gill, now 76, has just published a second volume of his political memoirs covering his years as an opposition backbencher and prominent Euro sceptic between 1997 and 2001.

Cracking the Whip tells of his g rowing disaffection from the Conservative party leadership that led to him being one of the MPs to have the party whip removed.

“I was never a career politician and my constituents and conscience always come first,” said Mr Gill.

He looks on in sadness at his former party and does little to disguise his contempt for the current leadership and the career politician.

“They are concerned with peripheral issues rather than things that matter like fixing the economy,” he said.

“My advice to anyone interested in a political career is to get a real job first and make a bit of money so you can take an independent line,” said Mr Gill, who spent most of his life in the family butchery and farming business.

He was elected to parliament at the age of 50 and probably could have had at least another term and perhaps two had he been willing to toe the party line.

“I have no regrets because I did what I believed was right and you must be able to look at yourself in the mirror,”Mr Gill said.

“Being an MP can be a very hard job or the ‘life of Riley.’ It is what you choose to make it.”

Mr Gill says that he is saddened and concerned by the way people are disengaging from politics.

“I blame the politicians. When I was younger we had great ideological debates between left and right but now you can hardly put a cigarette paper between the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.”

He believes UKIP is gaining support but has ruled out standing for election again in the future.