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Ukip poster campaign is branded racist

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has defended a new immigration-centred Ukip poster campaign as "a hard-hitting reflection of reality" after it was attacked as "racist."

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has defended a new immigration-centred Ukip poster campaign as "a hard-hitting reflection of reality" after it was attacked as "racist."

The 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 reflection of reality 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 campaign in Ukip's history to bring home to the British people what is at stake. The European elections are the most important for years.

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

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