UKIP leader Nigel Farage abandoned a public appearance in scandal-hit Rotherham today because of crowds of protesters outside his party’s office.
Mr Farage was due to cut the ribbon on the campaign office of Ukip’s general election candidate Jane Collins, but his team said he was not coming out on police advice.
Mr Farage is set to have dinner at the Grand Hotel, in Hartlepool, later today before holding the party’s North East conference at the Borough Hall tomorrow.
He picked the town after stating it is “the best place” to gain a regional breakthrough.
Around 40 demonstrators had gathered on a narrow pavement outside the office in Rotherham, along with a similar number of media.
His visit comes in the wake of the withering Casey report into way Rotherham Council failed to deal with child sexual exploitation in the town.
The party has 10 councillors in the town which is one of its main target seats in the north.
The protesters were peaceful, but noisy, many of them carrying placards saying “Reject Ukip lies”, and shouting that the Ukip leader was not welcome in the town.
Source – Hartlepool Mail, 06 Feb 2015
A political leader is heading for Hartlepool after claiming the town is “the best place” to gain a regional breakthrough.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage said last year that he considered Hartlepool to be “interesting” as he earmarked areas where his party could gain seats.
As the build-up to May’s General Election hots up, Mr Farage has now confirmed he will be spending two days in the town next month with a gala dinner followed by UKIP’s North East conference.
Eric Wilson, chairman of the UKIP regional branch, said:
“Obviously we are delighted that Nigel Farage has chosen Hartlepool to host the regional conference and to do a keynote speech.
“This will be a boost to Phillip Broughton’s election campaign, and will be the chance to show how much support we have built up in Hartlepool in recent years.
“We have done well here, and it is a target seat for UKIP.”
Speaking on his last visit to the region, Mr Farage told the media in Gateshead:
“We will not win where Labour has a massive majority, but we can find marginals or other seats where we can make a difference. Hartlepool is very, very interesting. Watch Hartlepool. It is an interesting seat for us in 2015.
“We have a base there, it is our longest established branch in the North-East.
“The North-East is our fastest growing membership area, and if I had to pick I’d say Hartlepool was an area where we can make a substantial impact.
“We will have to look hard after the elections at what our targets will be in 2015, but Hartlepool is very interesting to us.”
Back in 2010, UKIP took just seven per cent of the vote in Hartlepool and Iain Wright retained his seat.
But with Phillip Broughton put forward as the parliamentary candidate for May, the party are hopeful he can turn up the heat on Labour.
And Mr Farage will be hoping he can sweet-talk some of the electorate in Hartlepool early next month.
He will be at a dinner, which is being held at the Grand Hotel, on Friday, February 6.
Tickets for the event, which includes a four-course meal and entertainment, are £25 though people can shell out £99 if they want to sit with the UKIP leader.
The following day, the Borough Hall on the Headland will host a conference which will see various speakers and exhibitions between 10am-5pm.
Day passes for that event are £20.
Mr Farage added:
“It’s a Labour heartland, but you know what, we’re having a go.
“Let’s be honest. We are at a later stage in our development in the North-East, compared to, say, the East of England.
“That’s because we didn’t quite get over the line in 2009, 15.4 per cent in those elections. Let’s see where we are after these elections.”
The UKIP party’s North East webpage says more details will be released nearer to the time.
Source – Hartlepool Mail, 08 Jan 2015
Nigel Farage is due in Tyneside this week as Labour prepares for a battle for its heartland.
The UK Independence Party leader is speaking at a party event at the Sage in Gateshead as polls continue to suggest Mr Farage will see a North East MEP elected in this May’s Euro poll.
UKIP are threatening to take working class votes off Labour across the North amid speculation the party has maximised the amount of support it can take off the Conservatives.
Mr Farage, in the region on Wednesday, has seen his party rise to second in many polls looking at voting intentions for the European elections.
With him will be North East Euro candidate Jonathan Arnott, who pointed to one YouGov poll which had UKIP on 33% compared to Labour’s on 37% across the North.
He said: “Polls have been confirming what we’re seeing on the doorstep across the region, that UKIP are within touching distance of winning here in the North East. If these polls are to be believed, we’re not far from beating Labour and actually taking two of the three North East seats.
“Our message of being good trading neighbours with Europe and the rest of the world is going down well, and as the Farage-Clegg debate showed, Labour and Lib Dem scaremongering about threats to jobs is hollow.
“We are the party of rebuilding our trade links with the Commonwealth and developing links with emerging global markets – something which would boost the economy and create jobs.”
UKIP yesterday had to defend a new immigration-centred election poster campaign as “a hard-hitting reflection of reality” after it was attacked as “racist” by political opponents.
The anti-European Union (EU) party is using £1.5m of funding from millionaire ex-Tory donor Paul Sykes to launch its biggest-ever publicity drive ahead of European Parliament elections on May 22.
To be displayed at hundreds of billboard sites across the country, they carry stark warnings that “British workers are hit hard by unlimited foreign labour” and that 26 million unemployed people across Europe are “after” UK jobs.
Others complain that 75% of British laws are made in Brussels and that UK taxpayers fund the “celebrity lifestyle” of EU bureaucrats.
> As opposed to the celebrity lifestyle and general abuse of the system by those in the British parliament ?
Mr Farage said: “These posters are a hard-hitting reflection of reality as it is experienced by millions of British people struggling to earn a living outside the Westminster bubble. Are we going to ruffle a few feathers among the chattering classes? Yes. Are we bothered about that? Not in the slightest.”
Source – Newcastle Journal 22 April 2014