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UK Independence Party
Welsh name Plaid Annibyniaeth y DU
Leader Nigel Farage MEP
Secretary-General Jonathan Arnott
Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall MEP
Executive Chairman Steve Crowther
President Jeffrey Titford
Founded 1993
Headquarters Newton Abbot, Devon
Youth wing Young Independence
Membership  (2012) 19,000[1]
Ideology Euroscepticism
Right-wing populism
Political position Right-wing[2][3]
International affiliation None
European affiliation None
European Parliament group Europe of Freedom and Democracy
Colours Purple and Yellow
House of Commons Template:Infobox political party/seats
House of Lords Template:Infobox political party/seats
European Parliament Template:Infobox political party/seats
London Assembly Template:Infobox political party/seats
Northern Ireland Assembly Template:Infobox political party/seats
Scottish Parliament Template:Infobox political party/seats
Welsh Assembly Template:Infobox political party/seats
Local government Template:Infobox political party/seats
Website
http://www.ukip.org/

The UK Independence Party (UKIP, Template:IPAc-en Template:Respell) is a Eurosceptic[4][5] right-wing populist[5][6][7] political party in the United Kingdom. The party describes itself as a "democratic, libertarian party".[8]

UKIP has one seat seat in the House of Commons, but has three members in the unelected House of Lords, all of which are as a result of defections by Conservative peers. It also has 12 seats in the European Parliament, which is a reduction from 13 won in 2009 because of defections, but with one gained from the defection of Roger Helmer from the Conservative Party. UKIP currently holds one seat on the Northern Ireland Assembly due to a defection from former Ulster Unionist Party MLA David McNarry in October 2012.[9][10]

The leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, was re-elected on 5 November 2010,[11] having first served from 2006 to 2009. Farage has been a UKIP MEP since 1999[12] and is a founding member of the party after leaving the Conservative Party in 1992 when it led Britain into the Maastricht treaty.

In the 2009 election to the European Parliament, UKIP attained 13 seats with 16.5% of the vote, coming second behind the Conservative Party, overtaking the Labour Party in terms of votes, and drawing with it in terms of seats. In the 2010 general election, the party polled 3.1% of the vote, an increase of 0.9% from the 2005 general election. In the 2011 local elections, UKIP took control of Ramsey town council, and maintained its seven councillors across England,[13] and one in Northern Ireland.[14]

HistoryEdit

Template:Recentism

Founding and early yearsEdit

UKIP was founded in 1993 by Alan Sked and other members of the all-party Anti-Federalist League – a political party set up in November 1991 with the aim of fielding candidates opposed to the Maastricht Treaty.[15]

Its primary objective was withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The new party attracted some members of the Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party, which was split on the European question after the pound was forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992 and the struggle over ratification of the Maastricht Treaty. UKIP candidates stood in the 1997 general election, but were overshadowed by James Goldsmith's Referendum Party.

After the election, Sked resigned from the leadership and left the party because he felt "they are racist and have been infected by the far-right"[16] and "doomed to remain on the political fringes".[17] However, Goldsmith died soon after the election and the Referendum Party was dissolved, with a resulting influx of new UKIP supporters. The leadership election was won by the millionaire businessman Michael Holmes, and in the 1999 elections to the European Parliament UKIP gained three seats and 7% of the vote. In that election, Nigel Farage (South East England), Jeffrey Titford (East of England), and Michael Holmes (South West England) were elected.

Over the following months there was a power struggle between Holmes, and the party's National Executive Committee (NEC). This was partly due to Holmes making a speech perceived as calling for greater powers for the European Parliament against the European Commission. Ordinary party members forced the resignation of both Holmes and the entire NEC and Jeffrey Titford was subsequently elected leader. Holmes resigned from the party itself in March 2000. There was a legal battle when he tried to continue as an independent MEP until resigning from the European Parliament in December 2002, when he was replaced by Graham Booth, the second candidate on the UKIP list in South West England.

UKIP put up candidates in more than 420 seats in the 2001 general election, attaining 1.5% of the vote and failing to win any representation at Westminster. It also failed to break through in the elections to the Scottish Parliament or the Welsh Assembly, despite those elections being held under proportional representation. In 2002, Titford stood down as party leader, but continued to sit as a UKIP MEP. He was replaced as leader by Roger Knapman.

Kilroy Silk and UKIP under KnapmanEdit

The European Elections of 2004 proved to be UKIP's first major electoral victory, coming third place and winning 12 MEPs. In the London Assembly elections of the same year UKIP won two London Assembly seats.

In late 2004, reports in the mainstream UK press speculated on if or when the former Labour Party MP and chat-show host Robert Kilroy-Silk would take control of the party. These reports were heightened by Kilroy-Silk's speech at the UKIP party conference in Bristol on 2 October 2004, in which he called for the Conservative Party to be "killed off" following UKIP's forcing the Conservatives into fourth place in Hartlepool.

Interviewed by Channel 4 television, Kilroy-Silk did not deny having ambitions to lead the party, but stressed that Roger Knapman would lead it into the next general election. However, the next day, on Breakfast with Frost, he criticised Knapman's leadership. After further disagreement with the leadership, Kilroy-Silk resigned the UKIP whip in the European Parliament on 27 October 2004. Initially, he remained a member, while seeking a bid for the party leadership. However, this was not successful and he resigned completely from UKIP on 20 January 2005, calling it a "joke". Two weeks later, he founded his own party, Veritas, taking a number of UKIP members, including both of the London Assembly members, with him.

UKIP had hoped to sustain its momentum in the 2005 General Election, but despite fielding 495 candidates, the party failed to achieve a breakthrough as it had in the European elections a year before. UKIP gained 618,000 votes, or 2.3% of the total votes cast in the election, an increase of 220,000 votes / 0.8% from their result in the 2001 general election. This placed it fourth in terms of total votes cast, behind the Liberal Democrats and ahead of the Scottish National Party. However, the party again failed to win any seats at Westminster. 45 UKIP candidates saved their deposits, up from only six in 2001. Its best performance was in Boston & Skegness, where their candidate Richard Horsnell came third with 9.6% of the vote.[18]

Following the 2005 general election, Kilroy-Silk subsequently resigned from Veritas after its performance in the election, having harnessed only 40,000 votes.

2009 European ElectionsEdit

On 28 March 2009, the Conservative Party's biggest-ever donor, Stuart Wheeler, donated £100,000 to UKIP after criticising David Cameron's stance towards the Lisbon treaty and the European Union. He said, "If they kick me out I will understand. I will be very sorry about it, but it won't alter my stance."[19] The following day, 29 March, he was expelled from the Conservative Party.[20]

On 15 May 2009, a YouGov poll conducted for The Sun newspaper showed UKIP as having 15% of the vote for the impending European Elections, only 5% behind the Labour Party. The surge in support was accredited by The Sun to public despair stemming from the MPs' expenses crisis.[21]

Although the make-up of UKIP MEPs has changed because of the defection of David Campbell-Bannerman and Nikki Sinclaire's departure from the party, the regional breakdown of the vote was as follows:

ConstituencyCandidates (bold indicates elected)Votes[22]%±%
East Midlands Derek Clark, Christopher Pain, Stephen Allison, Deva Kumarasiri, Irena Marriott[23] 201,184 16.4 -9.6
East of England David Campbell Bannerman, Stuart Agnew, Andrew Smith, Stuart Gulleford, Amy O'Boyle, Mick McGough, Michael Baker, Marion Mason[23] 313,921 19.6 0.0
London Gerard Batten, Ralph Atkinson, Michael Zuckerman, Tim Worstall, Sunita Webb, Victor Webb, Strachan McDonald, Geoff Howard, Marcus Watney 188,440 10.8 -1.6
North East England Gordon Parkin, Sandra Allison, John Tennant[23] 90,700 15.4 +3.2
North West England Paul Nuttall, Michael McManus, Graham Cannon, Nigel Brown, Hilary Jones, Philip Griffiths, Fred McGlade, Terry Durrance 261,740 15.8 +3.7
South East England Nigel Farage, Marta Andreasen, Steve Harris, Phillip Van der Elst, Harry Aldridge, Victor Webb, Christopher Browne, Andrew Moncreiff, Mark Stroud, Rob Burberry, Mahzar Manzoor, Ray Finch 440,002 18.8 -0.7
South West England Trevor Colman, Earl of Dartmouth, Gawain Towler, Julia Reid, Alan Wood, Stephanie McWilliam 341,845 22.1 -0.5
West Midlands Mike Nattrass, Nikki Sinclaire, Jill Seymour, Rustie Lee, Malcolm Hurst, Jonathan Oakton 300,471 21.3 +3.8
Yorkshire and the Humber Godfrey Bloom, Jonathan Arnott, Jason Smith, Toby Horton, David Daniel, Lynette Afshar 213,750 17.4 +2.9
Wales John Bufton, David Bevan, Kevin Mahoney, David Rowlands 87,585 12.8 +2.3

The path to the 2010 general electionEdit

Main article: United Kingdom Independence Party leadership election, 2009

In September 2009, Nigel Farage announced that he would be resigning as Leader of the party in order to stand against the Speaker, John Bercow — an imperfectly observed convention states that the main parties do not normally nominate candidates against an incumbent Speaker.[24] Malcolm Pearson, Baron Pearson of Rannoch, Gerard Batten, Nikki Sinclaire, Mike Nattrass and Alan Wood stood for election, with Pearson winning.

Main article: United Kingdom Independence Party election results

UKIP fielded 572 candidates in the 2010 general election, with its main target being Buckingham, Bercow's constituency. UKIP aimed for a hung parliament in which it hoped that the Liberal Democrats would drive through proportional representation as a key demand to form a coalition government. Lord Pearson demanded that some candidates stand down in favour of Eurosceptic Conservatives and Labour MPs. However, some refused to do so. This did not stop Lord Pearson from campaigning on behalf of the Conservative candidates stating that he was "putting country before party". These decisions drew some criticism from within the party from the likes of Michael Heaver of Young Independence, among others.

On the morning of polling day, Farage was injured when a light aircraft in which he was a passenger crashed near Brackley, Northamptonshire.[25]

In the election itself the party polled 3.1% of the vote (919,471 votes),[26] but took no seats. This made it the party with the largest percentage of the popular vote to win no seats in the election (In a fully proportional system, 3.1% of 649 seats would be just over 20 seats).[27]

In UKIP's key target of Buckingham, Farage obtained just 17.4% of the vote – despite Lord Tebbit and numerous senior Conservatives voicing support for him and a Conservative Home online survey putting Farage on 64% and Bercow on 25% – placing him third behind Bercow and the independent John Stevens (Buckinghamshire Campaign for Democracy), who had previously resigned from the Conservatives to found the Pro-Euro Conservative Party.[28] UKIP was also third in three other constituencies: North Cornwall, North Devon and Torridge and West Devon. Farage's result was the best in all constituencies contested in that election. The constituency of Boston and Skegness also achieved a large percentage of vote, the party's second best in terms of percentage.

UKIP lost five sitting councillors in the UK local elections in May 2010, though only one of them had previously been elected as a UKIP councillor (Steve Allison in Hartlepool).

Recent eventsEdit

Re-election of FarageEdit

File:Nigel Farage.jpg
Main article: United Kingdom Independence Party leadership election, 2010

Lord Pearson resigned as leader in August 2010,[29] and Farage was re-elected against Professor Tim Congdon, David Bannerman and Winston McKenzie with more than 60% of the vote. During his acceptance speech, he spoke out against the Coalition government, saying that the Conservative Party's policy on Europe can be summed up as: "Surrender, surrender, surrender."

Lord Pearson welcomed Farage's re-election, saying, "The UKIP crown returns to its rightful owner."[30]

Since the 2010 general electionEdit

Since the 2010 general election, UKIP has gained a councillor on Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council.[31] Stuart Wheeler, who once gave £5 million to the Conservatives, has also joined as the Party Treasurer.[32]

In two by-elections in early 2011, UKIP fared better than predicted, with its candidate Jane Collins coming second in Barnsley Central.[33] Farage welcomed Collins's success and said that UKIP should now aim to replace the Liberal Democrats as the third largest party, saying: "The Lib Dems are no longer the voice of opposition in British Politics – we are. Between now and the next general election our aim is to replace them as the third party in British politics."[34]

UKIP fielded 1,217 candidates for the local council elections, a major increase over its previous campaigns, but not enough to qualify for a party election broadcast on television. UKIP said that the party was well-organised in the South East, South West and Eastern regions, but there were still places across the country where there were no UKIP candidates standing at all.[35]

Across the country, many UKIP candidates came second or third. UKIP in Newcastle-under-Lyme gaining a total of five seats on Newcastle Borough Council in 2007 and 2008 and three seats on Staffordshire County Council in 2009. Although UKIP did not poll well, it made gains across many parts of England, as well as taking control of Ramsey town council with nine UKIP councillors out of 17. The Chairman of Young Independence, Harry Aldridge, was enthusiastic about the results, saying, “What we have seen in these elections is a raft of enthusiastic first time candidates from YI, from whom we have got some very encouraging results.”[36] Whilst UKIP made gains and losses, the party fell short of Farage's predictions of major gains. The UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen called for Farage's resignation as leader of the party.[37]

In the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish elections, UKIP increased its share of the vote in all areas, retaining its sole Northern Irish councillor but failing to gain Welsh Assembly members, which media speculation had suggested UKIP and the Green Party could have achievedTemplate:Citation needed. The party received 4.6% (an increase of 0.7%) of the vote on the regional list. In Northern Ireland, UKIP more than doubled its share of the vote but did not gain any seats. The same occurred in Scotland with UKIP more than doubling its share of the vote but failing to gain any seats.

On 7 July, UKIP beat the Liberal Democrats in two local government by-elections, both in wards which UKIP had never contested before. Farage used these results to reaffirm his commitment to replacing the Liberal Democrats as Britain's third political party.

On 5 September, a few days before UKIP's annual conference, the party chose Lawrence Webb as its mayoral candidate for the 2012 London mayoral election with a 42% share of the vote. The other nominees were David Coburn, Paul Oakly, Winston McKenzie (who had previously stood for the leadership of UKIP), Michael McGough and Michael Corby.[38]

On the day before UKIP's annual conference, the party came second in an Essex County Council by-election, beating the Labour and Liberal Democrat share of the vote put together, and reducing the Conservative's majority substantially.[39]

Relationship with Conservative PartyEdit

A day after UKIP's September 2011 conference in Eastbourne, Farage (on Twitter) reported that two Conservative councillors from Rushmoor Borough Council who had attended the conference had defected to UKIP over the government's actions on the Armed Forces and the refusal for a referendum on the European Union. On 10 October, Lord Hesketh defected from the Conservatives to UKIP, something that Farage and the UKIP leadership welcomed with open arms and called the most high-profile Conservative defection to date. In an article in the Daily Mail, he said that he believed that the EU had "betrayed the country's working people" and that he would be an active member of UKIP.[40]

At the UKIP Spring Conference 2012, Roger Helmer left the Conservative Party and joined UKIP, increasing the number of sitting UKIP MEPs to 12 and making UKIP the largest party in the East Midlands constituency.[41] This was shortly followed by the defection of Lord Stevens of Ludgate, who defected from the Conservatives to UKIP on 17 September and also by MLA David McNarry, who defected on 4 October, having sat as an independent following his suspension from the Ulster Unionist Party.[9][42]

Party leadersEdit

Leader Tenure Related note(s)
Alan Sked 1993–1997
Craig Mackinlay 1997 Acting leader
Michael Holmes MEP 1997–2000 MEP from 1999–2004
Jeffrey Titford MEP 2000–2002 MEP from 1999–2009
Roger Knapman MEP 2002–2006 MEP from 2004–2009
Nigel Farage MEP 2006–2009 MEP from 1999
Lord Pearson of Rannoch 2009–2010
Jeffrey Titford 2010 Acting leader
Nigel Farage MEP 2010–present

PoliciesEdit

Template:Third-party Although UKIP's original raison d'être was withdrawal from the European Union it was felt that the public perception of the party as a single-issue party – despite issuing a full manifesto – was damaging electoral progress. Farage, on becoming leader, started a wide-ranging policy review, his stated aim being "the development of the party into broadly standing for traditional conservative and libertarian values".[43] Malcolm Pearson, on becoming leader, built upon Farage's policy review, his fundamental propositions being the introduction of Swiss style referendums and direct democracy at local and national levels,[44] and opposition to Islamic fundamentalism.[45]

UKIP has subsequently produced detailed policy documents on taxation[46] and education.[47]

Economic policiesEdit

UKIP's economic stance is based on what it claims to be the need for much lower taxation in order to compete internationally. It proposes combining income tax and national insurance into a single flat tax at 31 per cent on all income earned in excess of a tax-free threshold of £11,500, which it claims would take 4.5 million lower-paid workers out of the income tax system completely.[48] UKIP opposes the takeover of major British companies, such as the takeover of Cadbury's by Kraft Foods in 2010, and would create a new parliamentary committee that would be given powers to block the sale or merger of companies and to attach conditions, including requiring a UK Government “Golden Share”.[49] UKIP also proposes cuts in corporation taxes and the abolition of inheritance taxes.[50] On the subject of business and enterprise, UKIP proposes to establish 'Production Enterprise Centres' to assist companies in research, design, prototyping and marketing. This would mean that small and medium-sized enterprises would be provided with the skills to enter into markets without being shunned, and thus businesses failing to survive.

On the issue of the national debt, UKIP believes that there should be cuts in government services but front line services should be improved. UKIP believes that things such as administration and politicians' salaries should be at the top of the list for government cuts instead of services. The party also believes that there is substantial waste and inefficiency that can be eliminated while vital front line services remain fully protected. UKIP also aims to reduce the size of the public sector to what it was in 1997, making cuts into unnecessary and taxpayer-costly jobs and to also create one million skilled jobs in manufacturing in exchange for public sector jobs. Finally, the party believes profligate government spending is killing off the productive activity that provides tax funds, and that easing the burden will be the route to revitalising the economy.[51]

The party also advocates closer economic ties with the Commonwealth of Nations.[52]

Education policyEdit

UKIP's policy paper on education says it regards the aim of education as being to bring out the talents and abilities of every child. The party wants to give schools more freedom to determine their own direction so parents can have a more meaningful choice. It supports education vouchers for parents, would reform the national curriculum to give schools a greater say over the subjects taught, and would abolish the nationwide testing of children before the age of 11. UKIP supports grammar schools equally with the other kinds of state-funded schools.[53] Lord Pearson, on becoming leader, went on to propose the introduction of a school voucher system.[44] UKIP plans to re-introduce the "three Rs" into schools and to introduce simple reading tests to students at the age of 7. UKIP aims to allow teachers to do their jobs with minimal government interference. It plans to abolish Ofsted with its powers to be transferred to school governing bodies with a new independent Educational Inspectorate made up of experienced teachers. Another education policy is to allow schools a greater say over what they can teach, although key subjects will be retained.[51]

UKIP has condemned the Badman Review, which recommends greater regulation of home educators in England, and it supports home education as a parental choice.[54]

DefenceEdit

UKIP claims that the Armed Forces are 'starved' of money, have insufficient resources and equipment and are engaged in expensive, wasteful military operations. On the War in Afghanistan, UKIP aims to create a single, clear objective or seek to negotiate a withdrawal from the area. The party is committed to NATO and is fully against the creation of a European Army: Eurocorps. UKIP agrees that defence spending should be increased; the party believes that the structure of the Ministry of Defence is bureaucratic and wasteful. UKIP plans to cut bureaucracy and waste but to increase spending in the Armed Forces and to improve equipment. UKIP pledges to:[55]

  • Spend an extra 40% on defence annually, another 1% of GDP.
  • Expand the Army by 25% to 125,000 personnel and to double the size of the Territorial Army.
  • Restore the Royal Navy to its 2001 strength with three new aircraft carriers and nearly 70 other ships, at the same time guaranteeing the future of the Plymouth, Portsmouth and Rosyth naval bases.
  • Increase the Royal Air Force's capability by buying more essential helicopters, transport aircraft and 50 extra Joint Strike Fighter Lightning aircraft.
  • Cut the bureaucracy of the Ministry of Defence, which has one civil servant for every two military personnel.
  • Introduce better pay, conditions and medical care for the British Armed Forces personnel and their families.

British nationalityEdit

Template:Third-party UKIP states that Britain and Britishness have been "betrayed by misguided politically correct ideology, extremist Islam and errant nationalism from within", that "Britain is a proud nation state, which does not wish its identity to be diluted or trivialised... and feel it is time to assert our independence, identity and traditions."[49]

UKIP asserts that it believes in civic nationalism. UKIP "opposes multiculturalism and political correctness but rejects "blood and soil" ethnic nationalism. UKIP promotes uni-culturalism, a single British culture embracing all races, religions and colours".[49] It states that Britishness can be defined in terms of belief in democracy, fair play and freedom.[49]

UKIP would replace the May Day bank holiday in England with a St George's Day bank holiday.[56]

It would allow only English MPs to vote on English business with England only days in the House of Commons and end the Barnett formula.[57]

UKIP would retain devolved legislatures however replace Assembly Members of the Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Assembly and member of the Scottish Parliament with the Westminster MPs who would debate business relating to their areas as a Grand Committee in the devolved buildings. Westminster MPs would spend one week per month on devolved business.

UKIP has stated that it will "enthusiastically support teaching Gaelic languages and histories in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and Cornwall, and support local and area heritage across the UK."[49]

All media, businesses, schools and colleges would be required to use imperial measurements alongside metric measurements.[49]

Immigration and asylumEdit

Template:Third-party UKIP states that some 2.5 million immigrants have arrived since 1997 and up to one million economic migrants live in the UK illegally. UKIP asserts that "former New Labour staff maintain that this policy has been a deliberate attempt to water down the British identity and buy votes. EU and human rights legislation means we cannot even expel foreign criminals if they come from another EU country. This is why immigration control is so essential and overdue." UKIP's 2011 manifesto pledges the party will:[58]

  • Call for an immediate five-year freeze on immigration for permanent settlement and will insure that any future immigration does not exceed 50,000 people per year.
  • Ensure that after the five-year freeze, any future immigration for permanent settlement will be on a strictly controlled, points-based system similar to that in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
  • Regain control of the UK's borders. Entry for work will be on a time-limited work permit only while entry for non-work related purposes (e.g., holiday or study) will be on a temporary visa. Overstaying a visa will be treated as a criminal offence.
  • Triple the number of UK Borders Agency staff engaged in controlling immigration to 30,000.
  • Return people found to be living illegally in the UK to their country of origin. No amnesty for illegal immigrants as it encourages illegal immigration.
  • Require those living in the UK under ‘Permanent Leave to Remain’ to abide by a legally binding ‘Undertaking of Residence’ ensuring they respect our laws or face deportation. Such residents will not be eligible for benefits. People applying for British citizenship will have to have completed a period of not less than five years as a resident on ‘Permanent Leave to Remain’. New citizens should pass a citizenship test and sign a ‘Declaration of British Citizenship’ promising to uphold Britain’s democratic and tolerant way of life.
  • Enforce the existing terms of the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees until Britain replaces it with an Asylum Act. To avoid disappearances, asylum seekers will be held in secure and humane centres until applications are processed, with a limited right to appeal. Those seeking asylum must do so in the first ‘designated safe country’ they enter. Existing asylum seekers who have had their application refused will be required to leave the country, along with any dependants.
  • Require that certain visas, such as student visas, will necessitate face-to-face interviews, and UKIP will crack down on bogus educational establishments
  • Repeal the 1998 Human Rights Act and withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. In future the British courts will not be allowed to appeal to any international treaty or convention that overrides or sets aside the provisions of any statute passed by the UK Parliament.
  • Reintroduce the ‘Primary Purpose Rule’ (abolished by the Labour Government), whereby those marrying or seeking to marry a British citizen will have to convince the admitting officer that marriage, not residence, is their primary purpose in seeking to enter the UK.
  • End the active promotion of the doctrine of multiculturalism by local and national government and all publicly funded bodies.

In 2011, the British academics Matthew Goodwin, Robert Ford and David Cutts published a study suggesting that xenophobia and dissatisfaction with mainstream parties are important drivers of support for UKIP, along with Euroscepticism. They concluded that "UKIP is well positioned to recruit a broader and more enduring base of support than the BNP and become a significant vehicle of xenophobia and, more specifically, Islamophobia in modern Britain.[59]

Direct democracy and referendaEdit

UKIP would introduce direct democracy whereby if a fixed proportion of the electorate in each constituency (normally 5 per cent) signs a petition demanding a referendum on any major issue which is of concern to them, it would be granted within three months for local petitions and six months for national petitions.[60]

Energy and environmental policiesEdit

UKIP favours an expansion of nuclear power for reasons of energy security. UKIP is sceptical of anthropogenic global warming, and suggests instead that the current warming is similar to that of previous geological cycles, and calls for further evidence provided by a Royal Commission before it will accept that it is manmade. It does not believe large-scale cuts in carbon emissions are necessary, arguing that technological innovation is already moving towards decarbonisation, and also argues that plans to invest in wind power are uneconomic.[61]

Animal welfareEdit

UKIP would introduce labelling schemes to imports indicating the methods of production, e.g. battery cages, sow tethers, veal crates, whilst maintaining current levels of British animal welfare. It would use advertising campaigns to educate consumers about the labelling schemes.[62]

UKIP would look at the present system of import control to find out how it can be strengthened using expert opinion. UKIP states that it would rely on British veterinary and scientific advice in the event of any disease outbreaks, including Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Bovine TB.[62]

GM foodsEdit

UKIP is opposed to the production of GM crops in Britain, yet openTemplate:Clarify to scientific research, advice and consumer demand. UKIP would also require that all imported GM produce be labelled as 'genetically modified'.[63]

Identity cards and civil libertiesEdit

UKIP is against the Identity Cards Act 2006. In December 2004, UKIP affiliated to the anti-ID card campaign, No2ID. Concern for civil liberties also led UKIP to oppose the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, which gives additional powers to the UK Home Secretary in broadly defined "emergency situations". UKIP's Jeffrey Titford MEP condemned the bill as "totalitarian".[64]

Local governmentEdit

UKIP seeks to give more powers to local authorities.

It would restore the county as a key government with unitaries only where local people prefer them.[65]

UKIP would use city-wide authorities to provide continuity and strategic direction, with counties cooperating on area-wide strategies, where necessary.[65] However, area-wide co-operation across large scale planning, transport and development will be encouraged.[65]

Same-sex marriageEdit

In March 2012, the National Executive for UKIP stated that the party opposes same-sex marriage, but supports the existing concept of civil partnerships for same-sex couples.[66]

RepresentativesEdit

House of CommonsEdit

Whilst UKIP has not won a seat in the House of Commons, the party has had representation (albeit for only a relatively short time)when Dr Bob Spink, MP for Castle Point, resigned from the Conservative Party and joined UKIP on 21 April 2008. (In the UK MPs are not required to resign as MPs if they change their party allegiance.) However, by November 2008, Spink had left UKIP having found himself at odds with party colleagues on various issues. UKIP has no representation in the House of Commons now.

House of LordsEdit

On 24 June 1995, UKIP gained its first member of the House of Lords in the form of Richard Norton, 8th Baron Grantley, who had joined the party in 1993 from the Conservatives and had recently succeeded to his father's titles. However, with the coming House of Lords Act 1999, he decided not to stand for election as a continuing member, and so left the House in November 1999. Lords Pearson of Rannoch and Willoughby de Broke both defected to UKIP on 7 January 2007, giving the party its first representation in the House of Lords since Lord Grantley's departure.[67] Lord Pearson went on to serve as party leader from November 2009 to September 2010. On 18 September 2012, David Stevens, Baron Stevens of Ludgate joined UKIP, having sat as an Independent Conservative since his expulsion from the Conservatives in 2004.[68]

Northern Ireland AssemblyEdit

On 4 October 2012 UKIP gained its first representation in the Northern Ireland Assembly following the defection of David McNarry MLA for Strangford, who had been sitting as an independent, following his suspension from the Ulster Unionist Party.[9][10][69]

Grouping in the European ParliamentEdit

In 1999, three UKIP members were elected to the European Parliament. Together with Eurosceptics from other countries, they formed a grouping called Europe of Democracies and Diversities (EDD).

In 2004, 37 MEPs from the UK, Poland, Denmark and Sweden founded a new European Parliamentary group called Independence and Democracy (ID) from the old EDD group. However, following the European Parliament election, 2009, where Eurosceptic parties from Denmark, Sweden and elsewhere lost all representation, the ID group was dissolved.

UKIP has since formed a new right-wing grouping called Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) comprising nationalist, Eurosceptic, conservative and other political factions. This group is more right wing than the older Independence and Democracy grouping.[70]

In June 2012, the Centre for European Politics, based at the Royal Holloway University in London, published an attack on UKIP's far right links in the European Parliament.[71]

Current representativesEdit

UKIP now has 12 MEPs in European Parliament. Mike Nattrass and Trevor Colman have left the EFD grouping but still stand for UKIP Template:Citation needed. Roger Helmer was elected as a Conservative MEP but defected to UKIP in March 2012.

Constituency MEP(s)
East Midlands Derek Clark, Roger Helmer
East of England Stuart Agnew
London Gerard Batten
North West England Paul Nuttall
South East England Nigel Farage, Marta Andreasen
South West England Trevor Colman, Earl of Dartmouth
Wales John Bufton
Yorkshire and the Humber Godfrey Bloom
West Midlands Mike Nattrass

Ramsey Town CouncilEdit

On 6 May 2011, the party won nine out of the seventeen seats for Ramsey Town Council in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Before the election, the party had only one seat in the town council. On 12 May, UKIP councillor Lisa Duffy was elected as Mayor. The UKIP group leader for Huntingdonshire District Council said that the town council under UKIP would "be standing up for volunteers and the third sector and will be making grants to them to help the big society develop." The Daily Mail has claimed that UKIP "has made political history after taking control of its first council in the UK".[72]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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