Hayle UKIP Viv Lewis mistaken for a woman
A UKIP councillor believes he won his seat because voters mistook him for a woman.
Bearded biker Viv Lewis, of Phillack, Hayle, admitted he was surprised to be elected to represent Camborne Treswithian on Cornwall Council.
The retired coach driver, who aims to get to know his electoral division on his Chinese motorcycle, said: "There were vacancies in Camborne and I was asked by the party to put my name forward to help UKIP gain a foothold on the local political scene.
"When I agreed to it I did not think I would get in. It was a great surprise. The only reason I can think of why I got in is that my Christian name is Vivian and that's what was printed on the ballot paper.
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"I think voters in Camborne thought I was a woman and I think a lot of people think women should be able to run things.
"Mrs Thatcher had been in the news a lot so that might have been in the back of their minds.
"I suspect this because someone rang Harry (Blakely, new UKIP councillor for Camborne Pendarves) and asked what Mrs Lewis was like and Harry said, 'you will not like him because he has got a beard'."
The 82-year-old moved from London to Hayle 25 years ago and is a great grandfather of one.
He said: "I believe we should come out of Europe. We pay £52 million a day into the European fund and I don't think we get much back.
"I am not totally against immigration and if I lived in Australia I would say, 'immigrants come in'. But look at the size of this country, we are overpopulated now."
Mr Lewis and Mr Blakely plan to hold monthly surgeries at Heartlands visitor centre in Pool. In the meanwhile he is taking computer lessons to be able to better communicate with his electorate.