The Purple Revolution

The Telegraph continues its extracts from Nigel Farage’s book The Purple Revolution in which he recalls the drunken glory of seven-figure losses and twelve-hour lunches.

I bet the bank on the May 2014 European elections. We may have made British political history with our victory on the night of Sunday May 25, beating both the Conservatives and Labour, but we were also broke – again.

I had spent all the Ukip funds on winning at the ballot box, bar about £6,000.

I love a gamble, I love stacking up the odds, and it has only been through taking enormous risks that the party and I have got to where we are today. It was as a commodities trader in the City of London that I learnt how to calculate and assume risk. Not only did trading in the City help whet my appetite for taking a gamble, it taught me how to get out when the trade started to go wrong, and to brush yourself off when the losses started mounting up.

I went into the City at 18, straight from Dulwich College, following in my father and grandfather’s footsteps. I got a job working for a metals trading business and spent my days buying and selling aluminium, copper, zinc, lead, nickel and tin. Trading metal can be big money, big risk and a huge amount of fun. There is the risk that you may not make much money on a trade – and the risk that you may lose a small fortune.

One morning in the early 1990s – by then I’d been working in the City for a decade – I lost a seven-figure sum in the course of a morning on the zinc market. Not a good day, and it was only lunchtime. Contemplating the sobering loss I had just run up, I grabbed my jacket to head out into Broadgate, with the aim of being less sober while I considered just how much I was down.

”Where do you think you are going?’’ my boss yelled after me. ”Out to lunch – but if you want me to take my jacket off again and stay put, I can start losing the same amount this afternoon if you’d rather,’’ I replied.

Referendum

The Mail claims Farage has offered to work with the Tories after the General Election as long as a referendum on our membership of the EU is held this year.

Nigel Farage has revealed that he is willing to do a deal with the Conservatives after the election on the condition that an EU referendum is held before Christmas this year.

The Ukip leader’s plans would see his party and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) support a possible Conservative minority government on a ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement.

Ukip, who hope to win as many as 10 seats in May, would back the Tories’ first budget if a referendum on Britain’s EU membership was promised before the end of 2015.

Up until now, the Prime Minister has vowed to hold a referendum by the end of 2017, and has said he will campaign to stay in a reformed EU.

But the latest polls suggest neither the Conservatives or Labour will have enough seats to form a government, meaning Mr Cameron may have to find a compromise.

In an extract from his memoir, published in the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Farage said: ‘Depending on how many seats Ukip gets, I could see the Tories, Ukip and the Democratic Unionist Party doing some kind of deal.

‘The terms of my deal with the Tories would be very precise and simple. I want a full and fair referendum to be held in 2015 to allow Britain to vote on being in or out of the European Union

‘There would be no wiggle room for ‘re-negotiation’ somewhere down the line.’

The Ukip leader added that he did not want a formal coalition with the ‘ghastly’ Conservatives and that he would not sit in a future Cabinet with the Prime Minister.

In his The Purple Revolution book, Mr Farage set out four criteria for the proposed referendum, which the Prime Minister would have to agree with.

The points to thrash out include the timing of the vote, the wording of the question, who would be allowed to vote and media coverage.

The Ukip leader also said that a referendum could be organised within weeks, rather than waiting two years for a 2017 vote.

Budget 2015

Several of the media attempt to predict what Chancellor George Osborne is going to say in his Budget on Wednesday.

The Express claims an exclusive story that the Chancellor is ready to unveil his long-awaited plans to slash inheritance tax

CHANCELLOR George Osborne is to unveil plans to slash inheritance tax, allowing millions to pass on their homes to their children tax-free.

The long-awaited reform of the unpopular death duty could be announced as early as Wednesday when the Chancellor delivers his last Budget before the general election.

The plans, however, have met opposition from the Liberal Democrats, who vetoed a Tory manifesto commitment to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1million as part of the Coalition deal in 2010.

An insider told the Sunday Express that if the reform did not make it into the Budget, it would feature in this year’s manifesto, which is expected to be unveiled within a fortnight.

Mr Osborne is said to be studying the best way to reform the tax.

Options under consideration include raising the threshold from £325,000 to £1million or abolishing the tax for a main family home.

“There will be something in the manifesto on inheritance tax,” the source said.

“Although there have been moves to introduce reforms in the Budget, it would have to get the approval of our Coalition partners.”

Another insider said: “We always thought it was something for our manifesto and there has been a push to get it in the Budget.

“We expect it to be a very eye-catching announcement.”

And a transport boost for the north of the country.

A MULTI-MILLION pound boost for transport across the north of England is expected to feature in the Budget on Wednesday.

Chancellor George Osborne sees better transport as vital to his vision of a “northern powerhouse” where towns and cities in the North work together to compete with major cities across the world.

Among schemes set to get the go-ahead is the trans-Pennine high speed rail link already dubbed HS3.

The blueprint was drawn up by Transport for the North, a body which brings together northern councils, the Department for Transport, the Highways Agency, Network Rail and HS2.

It was set up last year by Mr Osborne who got a draft of its Northern Transport Strategy report two weeks ago.

Last night the mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, told the Sunday Express: “If George Osborne is serious about creating a northern powerhouse to resemble the southern powerhouse of the capital, we have to rebalance transport spending.

“We are ready to go, we are ready to provide, we are ready to thrive, but we simply can’t do it without the long-term commitment of Government to invest for a whole northern future.

“Now is the time for George Osborne to put his money where his mouth is.”

Ed Cox, head of think-tank IPPR North, said: “The days of the North waiting for crumbs to fall from the Westminster table are fast becoming history.

“Northern leaders are leading, rather than pleading, showing the clear financial case for a stronger northern economy and better transport, but creating a prosperous northern economy needs up-front investment to bring the network up to speed.”

Sky News claims he will announce pension reforms and cuts to inheritance tax.

Chancellor George Osborne is expected to extend pension freedoms to some five million people who have already purchased an annuity.

The change – due to be announced in Wednesday’s Budget – will remove limits on buying and selling existing annuities.

The reform lets people cash in their annuity without incurring heavy tax penalties.

It also allows pensioners the same access to their retirement funds as the Chancellor announced last year for people who have yet to take their pensions.

Under those changes, from 6 April people can cash in their pension savings when they retire, rather than purchase an annuity.

With just weeks to go before the General Election, the announcement is expected to be popular with elderly voters.

The Chancellor is also reportedly considering cutting inheritance tax in a move which could allow millions to pass on their homes to their children tax free.

The Sunday Express reports that Mr Osborne is considering raising the death tax threshold from £325,000 to £1m, or abolishing the tax for a main family home.

The reform will either be announced in the Budget or as part of the Conservative manifesto, according to the newspaper.

Mr Osborne is expected to say on Wednesday that his Budget will deliver “a truly national recovery”.

The Express also predicts the Chancellor will claim success in the economy.

CHANCELLOR George Osborne will this week signal that the end to austerity is in sight thanks to a greater than expected upturn in the economy.

His pre-election Budget on Wednesday is expected to include improved outlooks for economic growth and deficit reduction as calculated by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.

With the economy showing robust growth, low inflation, Government borrowing costs low and wages starting to rise, it is thought Mr Osborne will use the Budget to announce he will relax the austerity shackles during the second half of the next Parliament.

He is also expected to spell out his economic vision for the “long-term”, and deliver “a truly national recovery” to help narrow the North-South divide.

At the same time he is expected to announce a package of measures expected to appeal to the “grey vote”, including plans to extend pension freedoms to around five million people who have already bought an annuity.

From April 2016, the Government would remove the restrictions on buying and selling existing annuities to allow pensioners to sell the income they receive from their annuity, without unwinding the original annuity contract.

Pensioners will then have the freedom to use that capital as they want, just as those who reach retirement with a pension pot can do under the pension freedoms of the 2014 Budget.

They can either take it as a lump sum, or put it in a drawdown account to use the proceeds more gradually.

The Government is expected to remove rules which mean that people wanting to sell their annuity income to a willing buyer currently face a 55 per cent tax charge, or up to 70 per cent in some cases.

Mr Osborne is also set to use his Budget to offer an income tax giveaway to 27 million voters and a “Google tax” crackdown against multinational companies that avoid paying tax in Britain.

He is expected to raise the level at which people start paying income tax “towards £11,000” a year, in a bid to win over voters on modest incomes.

The move is designed to put between £160 and £200 in voters’ pockets ahead of the general election.

The Sunday Times encourages the Chancellor to honour his budgetary promises

NEW figures reveal on the eve of the final budget before election day, that the number of higher-rate taxpayers has jumped by nearly 50% since David Cameron entered Downing Street.

HM Revenue & Customs data shows that there are currently 4.5m people caught in the 40p tax trap, compared to just 3m in the 2010-11 tax year. The figures highlight just one of the ways Britain’s tax and benefits system has been radically changed by the coalition government since it was formed in May 2010.

Big changes include the introduction of means-testing for child benefits, an overhaul of Isas and the pensions system, and an end to the much-hated “slab” system of stamp duty land tax.

And on a lighter note, the Mirror quotes odds on the Chancellor using some of his favourite phrases like ‘hard working families’, ‘tough decisions’ and ‘Labour’s economic mess’.

Bookmakers have revealed the most likely phrases George Osborne will utter in his last budget before the General Election.

Forget changes to tax thresholds, duty on booze and a possible overhaul of pensions, there’s a quicker way to lose money before the Chancellor’s speech on Wednesday.

And if buzzwords are your thing there’s plenty to choose from in the betting.

It seems nailed on that ‘hard working families’ will be mentioned with both Hills and Ladbrokes offering evens money.

Other selected odds include ‘Tough decisions’ at 11/8 with Hills and 6/4 at Ladbrokes, while ‘Labour’s economic mess’ is 5/1 with William Hill and 6/1 with Ladbrokes. Meanwhile mention of former Scottish National Party leader, Alex Salmond, is 12/1 with both.

William Hill is offering 4/7 that Mr Osborne will take longer than 55 minutes to present his last Budget before the General Election.

While the colour of his tie could attract more interest than the colour of his money with Mr Osborne being 8/15 to be wearing a blue tie, followed by purple: 4/1; green: 14/1 while pink and grey are at 16/1.

Follow our coverage of the budget as it happens with our live blog featuring all the expert opinions and analysis you’ll need.

And motormouth Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who has been in the headlines all week, is also included in William Hill’s list, priced at 18/1 to be mentioned.

Election 2015

Several of the media continue with their predictions for this year’s General Election.

The Independent analyse each party’s policies.

With 53 days until the election, the pledges from the political parties are coming thick and fast. In the latest of these, Nick Clegg yesterday announced an additional £1.25bn for children with mental health problems over the next five years – to be confirmed in this week’s Budget.

But are these really giveaways? While politicians noisily give with one hand, they are also fond of quietly taking away with the other.

The money for child mental health, unveiled at the Liberal Democrat conference in Liverpool, represents an annual increase of more than one-third on the current £700m budget. Yet the coalition has presided over cuts to children’s mental health services since 2010. Official figures published earlier this year show that spending on these services in England has fallen by more than 6 per cent in real terms, equivalent to nearly £50m.

The Conservatives and Lib Dems say they have cut income tax for 26 million people on low and middle incomes, worth in excess of £800 to individuals, with more than three million of the lowest paid paying no income tax at all. Yet, as Labour has pointed out, the rise in VAT to 20 per cent and other tax and benefit changes have meant that the overall tax burden has increased since 2010 by an average of £1,127 a year.

The Guardian reports a  LibDems source saying the party could lose half seats and still hold power.

The Liberal Democrats could lose nearly half their seats and still remain a party of government, most probably in coalition with the Conservatives, a source close to Nick Clegg has said.

As the deputy prime minister declared Wednesday’s budget as the “last act” of the coalition, it emerged on Saturday that the highest levels of the party still believe it could return only 30 MPs on general election day but still hold the balance of power.

Those close to the Lib Dem leadership are convinced the Tories will be the largest party after 7 May, although there are concerns that David Cameron would snap up an offer from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party (DUP) to give them the required numbers to form a government.

Party strategists realise that there is an opportunity for Lib Dems if the Tories fail to attain enough seats to make a government using the DUP’s small number of MPs. It is further conceded among senior Liberal Democrats that even attaining 40 seats would be an “amazing” achievement for the party, given the results of current polls. The party won 57 seats in 2010.

A source close to Clegg said: “Reaching 325 [MPs] is the key and if the Tories have 295, then we would be the ones to get them to that number. Around 30 MPs would be enough. I can’t see any way in which Labour forms the largest party. Everything is in favour of the Tories. It is going to be really tough. To get 40 seats would be amazing, but 30 could still put us back in government.”

The latest Opinium/Observer poll has the Lib Dems on only 7%, with just 28% of the public saying that the Lib Dems’ decision to join the government was a good thing. However, a third (32%) say the Lib Dems will be better off in the long term for having been in government, while 32% disagree.

Clegg said that, two months before election day, the coalition had – in the form of the budget – completed its last act of any “significant decision-making”. Despite the privately held concerns over May’s results, in his speech to his party’s spring conference on Sunday Clegg will publicly insist that his party will “surprise” people at the general election.

He is expected to tell party activists: “I’ve heard the predictions. I’ve seen the polls. But let me tell you this: we will do so much better than anyone thinks. In those seats where we are out in force, making our case loudly and proudly, we are the ones making the weather. I’ve seen it for myself in Liberal Democrat seats across the country.”

But Sky News report LibDem leader Nick Clegg’s comments that his party are ‘here to stay’

Nick Clegg will deliver a defiant pre-election message when he addresses his party’s spring conference later by insisting the Liberal Democrats will do “better than anyone thinks” at the 7 May election.

Despite opinion polls indicating the Lib Dems could lose dozens of seats, the Deputy Prime Minister will tell delegates that the party “can and will win” in areas where it can mount a strong campaign on the doorstep.

Hailing the party’s “incredible resilience”, he will declare: “It is because of our resilience that Britain has a strong, stable Government and a strong, stable recovery.

“It is because of our resilience that we have been able to achieve incredible things. And it is because of that resilience that we will defy the odds and win again this May.

“So when people tell you we can’t, tell them where to go. I have a message for all those who are writing us off once again: the Liberal Democrats are here to stay.”

The Telegraph reports that the Labour leader has dropped a contentious claim against the Conservatives.

Ed Miliband dropped a claim that the Tories would take Britain back to a time when children left school when they were just 14 years old.

Labour is making increasing desperate attempts to scare people into voting for the party at the general election in less than two months’ time.

Last week Ed Balls, the shadow Chancellor, said that cuts to public spending planned by the Tories could mean that the Foreign Office and other Government departments have to be closed down.

Mr Miliband had planned to up the rhetoric in a speech to activists by claiming that the Tories planned cuts to public spending which had not seen since children left school aged 14 in the 1930s.

According to pre-briefed comments on Friday, the Labour leader had planned to say the Conservatives would cut “public services to the very bone so they hit their target of spending back to levels not seen since the 1930s, before there was a NHS and children left school at 14”.

However in his speech delivered on Saturday to the 1,500-strong audience in Birmingham, Mr Miliband said: “And they will strip public services back to the very bone. Their current plan is to cut public spending back to the levels of the 1930s, before there was an NHS.”

However Mr Miliband cut a confident figure, speaking twice in his speech of “my Government”, and talking of himself as “Prime Minister” on two occasions.

The Labour leader said if he were Prime Minister he would cut the deficit every year for the next five years as he seeks to deliver on a pledge to clear it by the end of the decade.

Mr Miliband insisted that none of Labour’s manifesto commitments will need additional borrowing. He said: “We will cut the deficit every year – balancing the books as soon as possible in the next Parliament.”

A Labour government would stand up to the “powerful”, he said.

David Cameron, the Tory leader, was not showing “leadership to claim to be a strong leader but to refuse to defend your record in front of the British people in a TV election debate”.

And the Labour leader also launches his election pledges, according to Sky News.

Ed Miliband has unveiled Labour’s pledges for the General Election, covering the economy, the NHS, immigration and tuition fees.

The Labour leader said the choice for voters is not simply between parties and leaders, but between different visions of the country.

The party’s five pledges are:

:: Economy –  Labour claims it will balance the books and cut the deficit every year.

:: Living standards – Boosted by Mr Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy bills until 2017.

:: NHS – Labour says it will recruit 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs.

:: Immigration – People who come to the UK will not be able to claim benefits for at least two years.

:: Young people – Tuition fees cut to £6,000, more apprenticeships and smaller class sizes for primary school children.

Speaking to delegates in Birmingham, he said: “Today I urge the British people to choose optimism, to choose a country for the many, to choose the good of all, to choose hope – and to recognise that when working people succeed, nothing can stop us as a country.”

Mr Miliband claimed “the Tory experiment” over the past five years had failed, and suggested that working people were £1,600 worse off because of David Cameron’s Government.

Green deals

The Telegraph reports a fresh blow to the Government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme as it emerges hundreds of companies have had to be barred from installation work.

More than a tenth of companies implementing the Government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme have been banned after breaking its code of practice, ministers have admitted, raising fears thousands of homeowners may be being ripped off by dodgy tradesmen.

The Green Deal scheme aims to encourage people to install insulation or other home improvement measures to cut their energy usage. The policy originally offered loans for homeowners to fund the work but after low take-up ministers began offering cash grants, which have proved hugely popular.

The latest £70 million tranche of funding from the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund giveaway is up for grabs from Monday 16 March, with homeowners able to claim up to £5,600 each for work including solid wall insulation, double glazing or a new boiler.

But new figures reveal that more than 350 of the companies registered to carry out assessments or installation work for the scheme have had to be stripped of their certification after breaking its code of practice, which is designed to ensure they are properly qualified and deal with complaints correctly.

In order to be eligible for cash from the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund,a household must either have a recent Energy Performance Certificate or pay for a “Green Deal Assessment”, carried out by a registered assessor, to identify what measures could benefit the property.

The improvement works – which typically require a significant financial contribution from the homeowner in addition to the cash grant – must also then be installed by a registered Green Deal installer.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has now admitted that 43 Green Deal assessor organisations – about 10 per cent of all those registered – and 324 installers, or 12 per cent of those registered, “have had their authorisations as a Green Deal participant removed for non-compliance issues against the Green Deal Code of Practice”.

Radicalistion by Tony Blair

There are several reports that the former Labour deputy leader John Prescott blames former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair for radicalisation of young Muslims.

The Independent claims Prescott said Blair was wrong for invading Iraq in 2003.

John Prescott has reportedly linked Tony Blair’s invasion in Iraq and Afghanistan to the radicalisation of young Muslims at a fundraising event for his son.

Prescott’s comments were made in February as he spoke at the fundraising event in Gainsborough, The Telegraph reports.

The outspoken former deputy PM, who was recently appointed as an unpaid adviser with special responsibility for climate change by Labour leader Ed Miliband, said he believes Blair was wrong for invading Iraq in 2003.

“They told us it wasn’t regime change. It was. And that’s exactly what the Americans have had,” he was recorded saying.

“Now Tony, unfortunately is still in to that. I mean the way he’s going now, he now wants to invade everywhere.

“He should put a white coat on with a red cross and let’s start the bloody crusades again.”

He went on: “When I hear people talking about how people are radicalised, young Muslims. I’ll tell you how they are radicalised.

“Every time they watch the television where their families are worried, their kids are being killed or murdered and rockets, you know, firing on all these people, that’s what radicalises them.”

The Telegraph also reports the story.

Tony Blair’s “bloody crusades” in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to the radicalisation of a generation of young British Muslims, John Prescott has suggested.

Lord Prescott, the former deputy prime minister, said that Mr Blair is “unfortunately” a supporter of regime change in the Middle East and that he “wants to invade everywhere”.

In controversial comments made in February, Lord Prescott, who has been brought into Ed Miliband’s inner circle as a climate change advisor, appeared to link the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the radicalisation of British Muslims.

It comes amid a growing national discussion about young British Muslims travelling to the Middle East to fight alongside terrorist organisations like Isil.

At the event, Lord Prescott also criticised the current Labour leadership’s failure to “argue the economic case” and warned that the party “lose an awful lot of people in that process”.

The comments were made at a February fundraising event for Lord Prescott’s son, David, in Gainsborough.

The event came just days before Mr Miliband, the Labour leader, announced that the former deputy prime minister was becoming his special adviser on climate change.

A Labour spokesman distanced the party from the comments and said: “John’s views on this do not represent the views of the Labour Party.”

Lord Prescott said: “I was with Tony Blair on Iraq. We were wrong. They told us it wasn’t regime change. It was. And that’s exactly what the Americans have had. Now Tony, unfortunately is still in to that. I mean the way he’s going now , he now wants to invade everywhere.

“He should put a white coat on with a red cross and let’s start the bloody crusades again.”

As does the Mail.

John Prescott has suggested the rise in radicalised teenagers is down to Tony Blair ‘wanting to invade everywhere’.

The former Labour deputy prime minister claimed it was unsurprising that young Muslims were turning to extremism when they switch on the television to see ‘more rockets being fired’ in the Middle East.

The comments were made at a fundraising event in Gainsborough on February 19 for Lord Prescott’s son David.

They come amid an increasing anxiety about the number of young students fleeing to the Middle East to fight for ISIS.

The 76-year-old said: ‘I was with Tony Blair on Iraq. We were wrong. They told us it wasn’t regime change. It was.

‘Now Tony, unfortunately is still in to that. I mean the way he’s going now, he now wants to invade everywhere.

‘He should put a white coat on with a red cross and let’s start the bloody crusades again.

‘Every time [people] watch the television where their families are worried, their kids are being killed and murdered and rockets firing on all these people, that’s what radicalises them.’

The event was just days before Ed Miliband announced Lord Prescott would be joining the Labour party as a special adviser on climate change, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The decision to call on Prescott ahead of the general election has be seen by some as an attempt to turn the clock back to when Labour used to win elections.

The move was backed by Alastair Campbell, Blair’s former spin doctor, who also pledged to join the effort to get Miliband elected.

Blair raises cash to help Labour fight unions

The Sunday Times claims former PM Tony Blair has raised a war chest to help Labour keep the unions out.

TONY BLAIR was engulfed in a Labour funding row last night after he helped to broker a secret £1m donation deal with the party’s biggest business backer in a move to weaken the influence of the trade unions over Ed Miliband.

The former prime minister used a dinner at his London home last week to drum up cash for Labour’s election war chest and freeze out Unite, the union that is the party’s biggest paymaster.

At the dinner Assem Allam, chairman of Hull City football club, told Miliband that he would give Labour £300,000 on top of the £200,000 he has already handed over this year.

He promised a further £500,000 if the Labour leader loses money by standing up to Unite’s general secretary, Len McCluskey.

Race

The Sunday Times has a piece from Trevor Philips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality and himself black, about true things about race that can’t be said.

When I took over as chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) in March 2003, I was braced for trouble. Race and religion are the most divisive and potent flashpoints in western societies. I was pretty well prepared for the job of race relations tsar. I had been a journalist for 25 years; I had run several public bodies; and I had been elected to chair the London Assembly. Like most men of my age and background I’d also managed to get myself stopped by the police in pretty much every model of car I’d ever owned. I thought I knew what I was taking on. But to paraphrase the famous Monty Python sketch, nobody expects to be shot in the face.

In Autumn 2005, what I thought was a car backfiring outside the office turned out to have punched a hole in the window near to my desk.

Blunder!

And finally, The Socialist Workers’ Party is facing embarrassment after accidentally sending details of the mailing list for the ‘Wales Stand Up to UKIP’ campaign to UKIP members, says Breitbart.

The email revealed a number of unexpected names for the hard-left group, including three Tory Members of the Welsh Assembly: Nick Ramsay, Mohammed Ashgar and William Graham.

It urged members on the list to donate their time at a series of stalls throughout the election period in an effort to smear UKIP candidates and the party.

On receiving the email, UKIP Wales replied to the group, telling them that “you appear to have sent us the details of the entire membership of your ‘stand up to UKIP organisation’ in Wales.”

Adopting a tongue-in-cheek tone, they added: “On a more positive note we have studied our events calendar and are able to confirm that none of your action days as listed clash with our own and we are therefore able to give you clearance to carry on as you feel fit on that front.”

The group is alleged to have been behind a number of attacks on UKIP premises in recent weeks, including the party’s shop in Merthyr being regularly daubed with graffiti and CCTV cameras on one premises in Shotton smashed, with blood left over the building from the perpetrator’s attempts to cause damage.

And South Wales Police have arrested two men after a discussion on social media where they threatened to set fire to the campaign HQ for the constituency, with one saying he would be pleased if activists who were inside were killed.

The appearance of the Tory politician’s names on the distribution list, along with the ‘Welsh Communists’ and the Regional Secretary for the Unite Union as well as a member of Welsh NHS staff who has been passing on information from the SWP on her work email, caused raised eyebrows as the SWP are traditionally sworn enemies of the Conservatives.

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