We are not divided says Martin Costello of Swindon UKIP
THE Swindon branch of UKIP has hit back at claims by its former chairman that the party is disorganised, divided and lacking in purpose.
Leading local member Martin Costello has leapt to the defence of his party following Monday’s announcement that former chairman and parliamentary candidate John Short had defected to the Conservatives.
Mr Costello accused the Conservatives of “a blatant attempt by the establishment to down play the remarkable rise of UKIP, not only in the town but the country as a whole.”
He added: “It should not be forgotten that in the 2015 General Election, nearly four million people voted for UKIP nationally.” Despite the number of votes, the party still ended up with just one MP in the Commons, but Mr Costello blamed that result on the electoral system, saying it was “hardly representative democracy.”
“A dedicated team of brexiteers worked hard last year leading up to the referendum to distribute information throughout the Swindon area and the result in Swindon was a resounding 10,000 majority for leave,” he added. “Some of the credit for this can go to UKIP campaigners nobly assisted by members of the other Leave campaigns.
“The only disillusionment we are seeing is that which people have in mainstream politics. Ordinary and hard working folk are being largely ignored by career politicians who have only their personal interests and elitist agendas at heart rather than those of the electorate.”
Mr Short handed over the reigns of the local party to current chairman Lincoln Williams on 26th September 2016 and since then there has been an increase in the membership, particularly among young people.
With the referendum now in the past, members say they want to adopt more policy positions on local issues. Mr Costello said: “With the new structure in place I feel that the Swindon branch is becoming a formidable force following the national trend.
“A rise in the youth membership is allowing us to keep in touch with all communities, young and old, and to focus on issues that are key to our fellow Swindonians such as opposing rises in council taxes to cover shortfalls in local authority funding.”
Paul Nuttalls's response to Theresa May's BREXIT speech 17th January 2017
Responding to Theresa May's speech, UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall: "Some of it did sound like a UKIP conference speech and the Prime Minister is now applying some of the things that we’ve been talking about for many, many years, so I would give her seven out of ten for this effort.
"But I am concerned that what we’re getting is some sort of slow-motion Brexit where she is speaking about interim measures, or a transitional period, which will only begin after April 2019. She has given no end date to these transitional measures.
I challenge the Prime Minister; let’s have this all done and clean before the next General Election in 2020. "Good marks for saying we are leaving the EU's Single Market and stopping mass immigration.
However, the vital issues of leaving the European Court of Human Rights and taking back control of our fishing waters have been left out completely and free movement of people is being offered as a carrot to the EU for the transitional period which has no defined end, so we could end up with no change on that for a decade or more.
"As Home Secretary, Theresa May always talked tough but failed to deliver. I challenge her to change the habit of a political lifetime and actually deliver this time. And I mean on time and in full."
Paul Nuttall accuses Labour of betrayal on immigration
UKIP leader Paul Nuttall said:"Labour has betrayed millions of British families on immigration. It was Labour that threw open our jobs market to millions of Eastern Europeans with no transitional controls at all.
"What Jeremy Corbyn is committing himself to today is not even worthy of the term 'sticking plaster'. For him to think stopping a few online job ads is going to have any real impact on the movement of people from the low wage economies of Eastern Europe is a joke.
"The British people - and working class communities in particular - want full control restored over our borders so the volume of immigration can be brought down sharply.
"That will ease the pressure on the NHS and other public services, on housing and community cohesion and give working people the prospect of a pay rise again after years of flatline wages.
Only UKIP is offering this through our backing of a points system based on criteria that will slash migrant numbers.
"If Jeremy Corbyn thinks working class voters will be fooled by the load of flannel he has come out with today then he has another think coming."
Published and promoted by Stephen Halden and UKIP Swindon, both at 10 Beaufort Green, Swindon, SN3 2AE