September 2 2014 Latest news:
Monday, March 31, 2014
“This is the start of the most significant year for our party. This is the year we are changing politics.”
That was the message from the UK Independence Party (UKIP) Regional Chairman George Konstantinidis this morning at their East of England European election campaign launch.
At a meeting held at the Assembly House in Norwich, lead candidates Patrick O’Flynn, Stuart Agnew and Tim Aker outlined their plans for the campaign.
The party, who saw two MEPs from the region elected in 2009, remained tight-lipped about the number of euro MPs they hope to see elected on May 22.
Mr O’Flynn said: “We would be disappointed not to top the poll and we would be disappointed if the vote share doesn’t start with a three in this region. I don’t think it makes sense to say how many MEPs we want, other than more than last time.”
Mr Konstantinidis said that the line-up of candidates, which also includes Michael Heaver, Michael McGough, Andy Monk and Mark Hughes, offers “both youth and experience”.
Policies in the campaign include reforming the controversial Common Agricultural Policy and dealing with immigration, which they said they were willing to have a “mature debate” about.
If one day elected, UKIP hope to leave the European Union and implement an Australian or Canadian points-based approach to immigration, where people are assessed on whether they put more into the pot than they take out.
Mr O’Flynn said the party aims to give “immigration a good name in this country”.
UKIP membership reached record numbers this weekend, hitting 4,000 in the East and 35,000 throughout the country, but Mr Aker, the party’s head of policy, said UKIP will continue to look to the future.
He added: “This doesn’t end today. This ends in May 2015 when we will finally get an MP elected into Parliament.”
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