An MEP and UKIP leadership candidate has slammed the party’s 2015 general election manifesto, promising to abandon the central ground, reform the BBC and take a “radical” new direction.
“If you stand in the middle of the road you get run over” blasted the straight-talking Bill Etheridge, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the West Midlands, in a recent speech.
“The people are ready for something different. In 2015 we went forward with a manifesto that was ‘safe’ and ‘careful’. I say to you that was one of the biggest, wasted opportunities in British political history.
“Now we go forward with radical ideas, new ideas, change. The people are ready, the establishment is rocked to its foundations”, he urged.
Suzanne Evans, the party’s former interim leader, has claimed she was primarily responsible for writing the UKIP 2015 manifesto. She has since been suspended from the party and works as an assistant to former Tory MP Douglas Carswell.
Why UKIP Is Different“UKIP is at its best when it’s fighting for a cause – and we have a cause to fight for.” That was the rallying cry from UKIP leadership contender, Bill Etheridge as he put forward his vision for the party to members in the South West of England. Watch Bill’s barnstorming speech and please share.
Posted by Bill 4 Leader on Saturday, 20 August 2016
“Between us we have achieved the greatest achievement for democratic freedom seen in Europe since 1945”, Mr. Eldridge also said in reference to the Brexit vote.
“We’ve got to force the establishment to make our will”, he continued, asking: “So what next?”
“Exciting times lie ahead, the opportunity is legendary… this is the time when we challenge – we challenge the orthodoxy”, he said, insisting the party should be “radical” and not bow to those who say: “‘You can’t be radical. You’ve got to be the same as everyone else otherwise you’ll offend them’”.
He made several specific policy commitments in the speech, promising to restore social mobility, “abolish the [BBC] licence fee” and “privatise” the BBC. The money made from selling left-leaning national broadcaster would go into the NHS and reducing the national debt, he said.
“This party needs someone at the helm with a proven track record in campaigning. I turned my seat in Dudley North into a target seat for UKIP. Some of my higher profile opponents did not even stand”, Mr. Etheridge added in a Facebook status.