A POLITICIAN has paid tribute to his "inspirational" father who died at the height of last month's election campaign.
Ukip candidate Winston McKenzie's father Dudley McKenzie died on May 21 at the age of 83.
The father-of-seven had lived in Birchanger Road, South Norwood, for much of his life, having moved here from Jamaica in the early 1950s.
It was there he and his first wife Daphne McKenzie raised their six boys and one daughter, encouraging many of the sons into boxing, one of Mr McKenzie's favourite sports.
Winston, his second-eldest son, said: "My dad was a great inspiration to us all.
"He was a very popular man and immensely proud of his sons.
"He was never a boxer himself but he just loved boxing. He used to talk to us about some of the great fights.
"He liked the discipline. You had to come home on time in our household.
"He was caring, he was thoughtful, and strict in his attitude towards his children."
Four of the six McKenzie boys took up boxing, including former three-weight world champion Duke McKenzie and former British and European champion Clinton McKenzie.
Mr McKenzie was born in Jamaica and moved to England in his twenties, later sending for his family.
Winston told: "When he came to this country he found what jobs he could in factories and worked his way up, and went to work for Ford in Dagenham.
"He used to cycle from South Norwood to Dagenham every morning, and leave home at about 4am.
"My dad travelled here first and found a job, and got himself a mortgage and a nice big house, and then he sent for us.
"I remember seeing my dad at the airport. I had not seen him for ages. I wondered, who was this strange man who came to pick me up?"
Winston says his father "absolutely adored" his political ambitions – but told him to make up his mind after he left the Tory party in 2008, having previously been a member of Labour and Veritas and also standing as an independent candidate.
His father supported his decision to join Ukip, Winston said, explaining: "They are the only party coming up with any policies for the Commonwealth countries.
"He said to stick with them and try to maintain British sovereignty.
"He believed implicitly that we should not ban immigration but we should control immigration, and believed that we should have a system like Australia."
Mr McKenzie was divorced from Daphne, and later in life married his second wife, Pearl. His funeral will be held on June 18 in Birmingham, where he lived at the end of his life.
He is survived by six of his children: Clinton, Winston, Ray, Michael, Beverley and Duke. His son Dudley predeceased him, some ten years ago.