• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Farage defends 'racist' UKIP poster campaign, claiming it's a hard-hitting reflection of reality

Nigel Farage has defended a new immigration-centred Ukip 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 £1.5 million 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.

Under the slogan "take back control of our country", others complain that 75% of British laws are made in Brussels and that UK taxpayers fund the "celebrity lifestyle" of EU bureaucrats.

Critics compared the immigration posters with those used in the past by the far-right British National Party.

Labour MP Mike Gapes said they were "racist" and appealed to "all decent British Commonwealth and EU citizens" to register to vote in May's polls.

But Mr Farage, whose party is tipped to push the Conservatives into third place and perhaps win the election outright, dismissed the concerns of the "chattering classes".

"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," he said.

"Are we going to ruffle a few feathers among the chattering classes? Yes. Are we bothered about that? Not in the slightest.

"Ukip is hugely grateful to Paul Sykes for his magnificent contribution to the great cause of restoring Britain's ability to be a self-governing nation. The political earthquake I have spoken of is on its way."

Mr Sykes said: "I am supporting the biggest advertising campaign in Ukip's history to bring home to the British people what is at stake.

"The European elections are the most important for many years.

"We have the chance to support a party that represents a complete break with the past. The other parties, whatever their merits, are content to work within the existing Brussels straitjacket.

"They cannot do anything about immigration or British workers being undercut by cheap foreign labour and they are prisoners of the European Court of Justice and the closely-related European Court of Human Rights, which stops us deporting foreign criminals and terrorists.

"They are about to embrace new European controls over our policing and justice systems - including the European arrest warrant, they allow interference in our tax system and they subcontract more and more of our foreign and defence policies to unelected EU bureaucrats.

"An overwhelming victory for Ukip will break the political mould in the UK, forcing Labour and the Lib Dems to back a full-scale referendum and intensifying the popular pressure for that to be staged as early as general election day 2015."

The posters will be displayed in two waves over the next four weeks and be accompanied by adverts in digital media.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

228037