I have just received the sad news of the death of Steve Emmens from cancer at the age of 52. Steve joined UKIP at least ten years ago as a Norwich Branch member and became active immediately, throwing himself into a series of local election campaigns in the South of the City. That level of enthusiasm and very hard work would have probably earned him an elected position anywhere else in the County, but he was reluctant to stand beyond his own patch, which was unfortunately a particularly barren area for UKIP.
Steve was a ‘commission only’ door to door salesman, working in the electricity supply industry. No such thing as a ‘quiet day at the office’ for him. If he didn’t get out there and sell successfully, he received nothing for his time. His occupation necessitated a great deal of walking, and I can honestly say that I regarded him as one of the fittest and healthiest of the UKIP members I was in regular contact with.
With his friend Eric Masters he canvassed a huge area of Norwich during the Referendum Campaign, truly humbling me in the process, and it was a real pleasure to take them and their wives out to dinner after the successful result, to reward them for their efforts. There was not a hint of any problems with Steve at the time, and I was therefore astonished to receive a text from him in the autumn advising me of a diagnosis of liver cancer. This progressed at a vicious speed into other organs and completely overwhelmed him in a few short weeks.
When he wasn’t selling or campaigning, Steve was a committed Freemason and very active in the charitable aspect of that organisation. He achieved his ambition of becoming a “Master” in early December, but died before being able to attend a Lodge meeting in his new status.
Steve leaves his widow Tanya, always a great support to him, as he was to her when she suffered serious ill health the previous year. My thoughts are very much with her at the moment.
At the time of writing there are no confirmed funeral arrangements.
Stuart Agnew MEP