UKIP Local Election Launch: 'We Are the People From the Pub!'
WESTMINSTER, London – UKIP today launched its local election campaign at a press conference at the Intercontinental Hotel in Westminster, London.
Speakers included Merton councillor Suzanne Evans, Deputy Party Leader Paul Nuttall, and UKIP leader Nigel Farage MEP, who announced that he no longer felt like a "one man party" as critics suggest, but rather just one part of a diverse and broadening team of UKIP leaders.
The event focused on UKIP's local successes around the United Kingdom, where its elected representatives have "brought democracy back" to local government.
Peter Reeve told the audience that UKIP was "making politics interesting again”. He stressed that the party is standing 2235 candidates for the local elections across the entire country, "on par with what the Lib Dems are fielding", and mentioned that there are now five times as many UKIP candidates in London as ever before, with a UKIP choice in every ward.
Talking about the Conservative-Labour status quo in most councils across the country, Reeve joked about how when UKIP councillors were first elected, the incumbents were surprised and offended that "ordinary people" could have found their way into positions of power.
"We are the people from the pub who have come to tell the other parties how to do it," he said.
UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall reflected on the party's chances in the North of England: "What we hope to do this year is to replicate [success in the South] in the north... we have to take seats in the big urban areas... We are taking the fight to labour in working class areas... we believe in putting the will of he people first, people above party.
"We intend to take seats in [the north] and create bridgeheads for next years general election. We are changing British politics, something is happening out there on doorsteps. The media and the Westminster bubble are just beginning to understand, but its too late, it has happened."
"Labour has lost 5 million votes since 1997, the 'left behind' they’re called. What they’re looking for, and what they’re going to get, is UKIP.”
Suzanne Evans, who first entered politics as a Conservative campaigner, said British politicians were too quick to cut frontline services when trying to save money, rather than cutting internal bureaucracy and their own salaries.
"£220,000 per year, the Chief Executive of Merton Council earns" she said.
“There is a cosy clique between Labour and Conservative... not only are we going to get an earthquake in local politics, we need an earthquake in local politics… its a sham… everything has been stitched up behind the scenes. What the people don’t get is democracy and thats what UKIP is bringing to local government."
Nigel Farage closed the event by stressing that while his focus was the European elections, that the local election results matter too. "They say only fools make predictions... well here you go, I predict that we will win hundreds of local council seats... so I will either look very silly, or very bright".
Farage, hot off the heels of last night's huge London rally emphasised that UKIP was not a one-man party as critics have suggested, but that now he is part of a team of UKIP leaders.