UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall, Deputy Leader Peter Whittle, Education Spokesman David Kurten and Women’s and Equality Spokesman Margot Parker today launched the broad UKIP integration agenda. UKIP Deputy Leader and Culture Spokesman Peter Whittle has renewed calls for a total ban on face coverings in a public place: “UKIP are the only political party committed to passing a law against the wearing of face coverings in public places. Face coverings are a deliberate barrier to integration and, in many contexts, a security risk too. The time has come to outlaw them. People should show their face in a public place.
Ukip has insisted beekeepers will be exempt from a controversial proposal to ban the “wearing of face coverings” in public places in Britain. It came as the party unveiled a string of predominately Islam-focused policies as part of Paul Nuttall’s “integration agenda” platform for the general election in six weeks’ time. Introducing the event at the Marriott County Hall, Mr Nuttall said: “Today’s message will be a message of positivity, it will not be about negativity.”
UKIP has launched a campaign to ban Sharia Law in Britain as part of a package of policies to tackle Islamic extremism. It came as leader Paul Nuttall confirmed he would make a decision on Friday over whether he would stand at the General Election. Party donor Arron Banks had announced he would stand as a Ukip candidate in Clacton on Sea, Essex. Today he said he had decided to pull out in favour of “hard-working local activists”. Deputy leader Peter Whittle told reporters he thinks Mr Nuttall “will be running” for a Westminster seat. At the launch, Ukip announced measures to fight Islamic extremism with a ban on the burka in public, refusing to allow new Islamic faith schools and a call to prosecute the parents of young girls subjected to female genital mutilation. Mr Nuttall said the plans will “promote integration” and he believed Ukip was “10 years ahead of our time” on the issues, predicting the Tories, Labour and Liberal Democrats will be “where we are today at some point in the 2020s”.
Ukip has announced plans for mandatory annual medical checks for girls in “at-risk minority” groups in a bid to stop female genital mutilation in Britain. The party’s policy announcement on FGM, which is illegal in the UK, comes after the party pledged to ban the burqa from being worn in public in its general election manifesto for June’s vote. Pledging to launch an “integration agenda”, party leader Paul Nuttall, who failed to win a parliamentary seat earlier this year, said the burqa and niqab were barriers to social harmony.
UKIP have been accused of “full-throated Islamophobia” after ratcheting up their rhetoric on multiculturalism and Islam, praising “superior” British values and describing Islam as “regressive”. “UKIP recognises that the biggest issues of our time are cultural,” declared the party’s deputy leader, Peter Whittle, at the launch of UKIP’s “integration agenda” on Monday. “Nobody voted for multiculturalism,” he also said, insisting the doctrine had “failed” and that “UKIP is at its best when it is radical”. During the event, the party’s leadership appeared to draw little distinction between Islam, radical Islam, and Islamism, and were uninhibited in their attacks on “barbaric” and “backwards” practices.
Further to their announcement on banning the burka, UKIP now plan to take on grooming gangs with harsher sentences and shut schools teaching Islamist ideology in Britain. The party has announced that in cases where grooming gangs are of a different religious or racial background, this would be treated as an aggravating factor, meaning longer prison sentences. Schools teaching Islamist ideology would be shut down immediately, with a pause on any new Islamic faith schools opening. When it comes to the epidemic of Female Genital Mutilation, the party wants to introduce school-based medical checks for girls at high risk and prosecute the parents of those who have undergone the barbaric procedure.
Controversial ex-Ukip donor Arron Banks has abandoned a run for Clacton’s seat in Parliament after Douglas Carswell retired from politics. Insurance billionaire Mr Banks had threatened to win the constituency from Mr Carswell as revenge for what he saw as sabotage of Ukip. As recently as today, Mr Banks held a strategy meeting about the contest and his allies had previously promised a lavish campaign featuring ‘pirate radio’ off the Essex constituency’s coast. But Mr Banks tonight announced he would back the existing Ukip candidate Jeff Bray for the town.
Eurosceptic businessman Arron Banks has announced that he will not contest the Clacton constituency at the general election, as he had previously said he would. The millionaire former Ukip donor had previously announced that he would fight the Essex seat in order to undermine Douglas Carswell, who defected from Ukip to become an independent earlier this year. However Mr Carswell last week said he would be standing down as an MP at the June 8 general election and thrown his support behind Theresa May, describing her as a real “revolutionary”.
A new poll has suggested the Tories are on the brink of their first ever majority in Wales as Labour’s leader in the country warned Jeremy Corbyn has ‘work to do’. A YouGov/ITV survey of Welsh voters suggests Tory support has rocketed by 12 per cent to since January to a record breaking 40-points, with most of the increase coming from a collapsing Ukip vote. It means the Tories stand 10 points clear of Labour on 30 per cent – enough to win 21 of Wales’ 40 seats. The Conservative Party has never won a majority Welsh constituencies. Welsh Labour leader and first minister Carwyn Jones said Mr Corbyn was likeable but had so far failed to prove to voters he was a leader.
The Conservatives could beat Labour in Wales for the first time in nearly a century, according to a shock new poll. The YouGov Welsh political barometer shows the Conservatives on 40 per cent in the country, up 12 per cent since January. Labour are down three per cent on 30 per cent. The results, if replicated at the general election on June 8, would see the Tories pick up the most votes in Wales for the first time since 1922. The poll has Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru on 13 per cent, unchanged, the Lib Dems on 8 per cent, down 1 per cent, and Ukip on 6 per cent, down 7 per cent.
A BOMBSHELL poll has put Theresa May and the Tories 10 points ahead of Jeremy Corbyn’s ailing Labour party in one of its heartlands. YouGov has released its first snapshot of voter intention in Wales, amid dire national poll ratings for Labour. Over the weekend it emerged that Labour has plunged to historic lows in Scotland, with the Conservatives up by as much as 18 points from the 2015 election. And now in Wales, where Labour has commanded the largest share of the vote in every election since 1922, Mr Corbyn is being rejected. The poll, carried out by YouGov for ITV, has the Conservatives on 40% of the vote, Labour 30%, Plaid Cymru 13%, Lib Dems 10% and UKIP 6%.
Britain will have to settle a demand for €2 billion over its failure to tackle customs fraud before it can agree a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, senior Brussels sources have told The Times. European officials believe that HM Revenue & Customs is failing to curb Chinese crime gangs that systematically undervalue goods imported into the EU through Dover and Felixstowe, avoiding billions of pounds in customs duty and VAT. “This fraud is still going on and Britain knows,” one European Commission source said. “It will come up in trade discussions and it will have an impact on the future customs relationship between the EU and Britain.”
Theresa May will have a face-to-face meeting this week with Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, The Independent can reveal. The Prime Minister will meet the European Commission President and Mr Barnier at Downing Street in what is being described by European officials as a “flying visit” on Wednesday. It comes ahead of the crucial summit this weekend at which European leaders will formally adopt draft Brexit negotiating guidelines, that remain largely unchanged since they were first proposed in March.
Labour will today pledge to tear up Theresa May’s ‘reckless’ Brexit strategy and rule out leaving the EU without a deal. Sir Keir Starmer will say his priority will be to retain the benefits of the single market and the customs union – opening the way to continued immigration. In a major speech, Labour’s Brexit spokesman will promise to scrap the white paper that the Prime Minister unveiled in February, replacing it with a weaker set of negotiating priorities. He will rule out walking away without a deal – potentially handing all the negotiating power to Brussels. Sir Keir will promise to retain hundreds of EU directives even after we leave the bloc, saying they are essential to preserve workers’ rights and the environment.
Labour would ditch Theresa May’s Brexit strategy and guarantee the rights of European Union citizens ahead of negotiations if they win the election. Retaining the benefits of the single market and customs union would also become top priority in Brexit talks if the party is victorious on June 8. Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer is set to outline Labour’s vision for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU in a speech later. The Conservatives, meanwhile, have warned that Jeremy Corbyn’s party is seeking to “disrupt” Brexit talks.
Opposition to Brexit has reached a record high just one week after Prime Minister Theresa May announced a general election in June. Seven days after Ms May called the snap election from the steps of 10 Downing Street, opposition to leaving the European Union rose to 44 per cent, according to the latest YouGov figures, while the same percentage thought Brexit was right. The figures, analysed by election expert Mike Smithson, show that support and opposition to Brexit were now level-pegging, at a crucial time for the Government.
Voters are being urged to unseat prominent Brexit-supporting MPs such as Iain Duncan Smith, Theresa Villiers and Kate Hoey by the successor organisation to Britain’s pro-EU remain campaign. Open Britain has drawn up an “attack list” of 20 seats, held mostly by Conservative MPs, where constituents voted to stay in the EU but their representatives are Brexit supporters. Open Britain hopes to mobilise the half a million supporters it has on its database to oust them. The pressure group believes the disconnect between the politicians and their voters over the issue of Europe provides the chance to eat into or even overturn large majorities. The ultimate aim is to limit the number of proponents of hard Brexit in parliament.
A SWISS-style Brexit deal would be the UK’s best option for withdrawal from the EU, a new report has said. The Centre for European Reform (CER) study found the Government’s priority should be to keep trade barriers between Britain and the EU as low as possible. The pro-European think tank said Switzerland offers the UK a good model as the country represents “the limit of market access that the EU has been willing to accept without the full supremacy of EU law“. The report says the Swiss option provides a middle way for Brexit “between two extremes” as long as the remaining 27 EU members are prepared to be flexible with the UK on free movement of labour.
With opinion polls pointing to a Labour defeat in the general election, Jeremy Corbyn needs all the friends he can get. Now two hard-left groups, the Communist Party of Britain and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, have overcome their aversion to gradualist socialism and announced that they will not oppose Labour on June 8. Mr Corbyn’s election as prime minister would be an “essential first step” towards a left-wing government, Robert Griffiths, general secretary of the Communist Party, said. The TUSC, a far-left electoral alliance co-founded in 2010 by the late rail union chief Bob Crow, took a similar line, with its chairman, Dave Nellist, vowing to support Mr Corbyn in “resisting the efforts of Blairite MPs to water down the anti-austerity platform”.
Labour face electoral wipeout under Jeremy Corbyn after new polls put the Conservatives on course for a historic Commons majority of up to 150 seats. The Tories have surged so far ahead that they could win 65 seats from Labour in England and Wales, as well as up to 12 seats in Scotland, according to a new series of polls. Theresa May could also rewrite the electoral record books by winning the most seats in Wales for the first time since the 1850s. If the polls were repeated on June 8, it would put the Conservatives on course for around 400 seats, with Labour reduced to around 160, reversing the state of the parties after Labour’s modern-day record majority of 179 after the 1997 landslide. It confirms Labour’s worst fears that Jeremy Corbyn’s disastrous poll ratings, combined with Mrs May’s growing popularity, particularly with working class women, will lead to a doomsday scenario for Labour at the snap election
A Labour government would scrap the Conservatives’ Brexit white paper and draw up new negotiating priorities for taking Britain out of the EU, the party will announce on Tuesday. Labour’s shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer will spell out his party’s plan to retain the “the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union”, which the party says will be key to preventing job losses and economic malaise after leaving. In a speech aimed at clarifying the party’s position on Brexit Mr Starmer will pledge an immediate and “unconditional” rights for EU nationals to remain on the basis that “they should not be used as bargaining chips”.
THE Tories have stepped plans to crush Labour in its heartlands by fast tracking candidates for target seats held by Remoaner MPs. The Daily Express has learnt that Tory candidates for Labour seats which are seen as “highly winnable” were told by party bosses that they would be reselected and to start their campaigns to unseat Labour MPs. With Jeremy Corbyn’s party in disarray under his hard Left leadership and polls suggesting they could be reduced to 150 or less seats, Tory central office has decided to go on the offensive. Among the candidates from 2015, who have been told to start campaigning again is Julie Marson who is standing again in Dagenham and Rainham against Labour MP Jon Cruddas. Other seats from a long list of vulnerable Labour constituencies include Chester, Ealing Central & Acton, Wirral West, Halifax and Brentford.
Marine Le Pen announced on Monday night that she was temporarily stepping down as head of France’s Front National party in a bid to widen her appeal ahead of next month’s presidential election run-off. The far-Right candidate will face Emmanuel Macron, the centrist, on May 7 with the country divided as never before over Europe. By distancing herself from the party founded by her father in 1972, Ms Le Pen hoped to reach out to potential voters who backed the Eurosceptic and protectionist far-Left candidate, Jean-Luc Mélénchon, and François Fillon, the defeated conservative, some of whose harder-line supporters could vote FN.
French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is “temporarily” stepping down as leader of the National Front party. It appeared to be an attempt to distance herself from the racist element of her party and appeal to a wider range of potential voters. The party leader last night came second in the first round of the French Presidential election, putting her through to the final run-off next week. In a dramatic announcement on the live prime time France 2 television news broadcast at 8pm, the 48-year-old said: “It is essential to take leave of the National Front, and this evening I am no longer the president of the National Front.
EUROPE was today facing a popularity crisis in France despite Emmanuel Macron’s first round election win, with figures showing that half of voters backed openly eurosceptic candidates. Experts said the relief emanating from Brussels over the centrist europhile making the final round of the contest masked an alarming rise in the number of people backing anti-Brussels politicians. Together the far-right’s Marine Le Pen and the far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon, who both advocate Frexit unless the EU is seriously reformed, clinched just under a fraction of 50 per cent of the vote last night. In 2012 the pair secured just 29 per cent of the electorate, meaning they have massively grown their support base in the space of just four years under Francois Hollande’s leadership. Francois Fillon, the centre-right candidate who crashed out at the first hurdle with 20 per cent of the vote, is also seen as being more eurosceptic than his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy.
Thousands of people are being diagnosed with cancer in A&E every year – despite having visited a GP three or more times with symptoms, research shows. According to a new study, 71% of all patients diagnosed as an emergency have seen their GP at least once displaying symptoms which transpired to be the disease. Of that percentile, 41% had sought help three times or more while 59% had seen their GP once or twice. Cancer Research data showed that in total 22% of all cancer diagnoses in the UK are made in A&E, equating to 78,000 cases. The figures have been described as “concerning” by cancer charities.
Family doctors fail to spot cancer in tens of thousands of patients, a study reveals today. Seven in ten people whose illness is picked up in casualty have had it missed by a GP. An estimated 32,000 of them visited a local surgery three times without their cancer being diagnosed. Women and younger patients were more likely to have their symptoms overlooked, even for common cancers. The research by Cambridge University, University College London and Public Health England fuels fears that the disease is being detected too late. ‘These are extremely concerning findings as the later breast cancer is diagnosed, the less effective treatment can be,’ said Samia al Qadhi, of Breast Cancer Care. She said the charity’s research showed that a third of patients with incurable breast cancer did not feel doctors had listened to them.