THE controversial politician hoping to become UKIP’s first MP was educated in Southampton.

The Daily Echo can reveal that Roger Helmer, pictured, spent seven years of his life studying at a city grammar school.

He is currently battling to become MP for Newark in Nottinghamshire, following his party’s success in the European elections.

The 70-year-old has become a controversial figure due to his outspoken views on subjects such as gay marriage and rape.

He spent seven years studying at the King Edward VI Grammar School in Southampton during the 1950s and 1960s, before going on to Cambridge University and holding senior positions in a number of businesses, including Readers’ Digest and United Distillers.

But despite UKIP’s recent surge, the Conservative candidate, lawyer Robert Jenrick, is predicted to win by a comfortable margin when the constituency goes to the polls today.

Mr Helmer has sparked controversy by opposing gay marriage and climate change policies and being critical of the NHS.

He also suggested on his online blog that victims of date rape “shared part of the responsibility”, while in a separate article he wrote that homophobia “did not exist”.