UKIP's interim leader says she has not found a single member who is 'seriously racist'

PUBLISHED: 14:22 02 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:30 02 December 2019

UKIP's interim leader Patricia Mountain on Sky News. Photograph: Sky.

UKIP's interim leader Patricia Mountain on Sky News. Photograph: Sky.

Archant

Following a disastrous performance on Sky News, UKIP's interim leader has used a manifesto launch to insist that they are not 'seriously racist'.

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She told a press conference in Westminster: "Please give a good impression to the public that we're not nasty racists. We are good, honest, caring people, all of us are.

"I've never met a racist in UKIP. Well, maybe a few people on the edge, but not seriously racist, you know, only people who have concerns about this country."

Mountain admitted that the party is unlikely to make significant inroads in this general election but "will send a message".

She said: "Unlike the other parties, UKIP people are realists. We know that we're not going to be in Number 10 Downing Street any time soon.

"But we will send a message, be it loud, it may be quiet. But a message that there is still a party in this country that can't be bought, that can't be pressurised into silence.

"We are here for all those that have been let down and betrayed by our politicians in Westminster."

She accused prime minister Boris Johnson and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage of "pinching our policies".

Mountain said: "UKIP is the party of free-thinking people, and we come up with the best policies. The trouble is, they are not always implemented by us."

She added: "Our focus is to achieve a complete and total exit from the European Union, with nothing to lose and everything to win."

On Brexit, she said: "We want to make direct trade deals with other nations; we can't do this until we leave the EU.

"And if we don't leave, we will never control our borders or manage immigration.

"We will never be able to prevent foreign trawlers plundering our seas of precious fish.

MORE: UKIP interim leader cannot name a seat her party is contesting in shambolic interview

"If the EU's plans for tax harmonisation come to fruition, soon we may not even be able to set our own taxes."

In its manifesto, the party calls for a "clean exit" from the EU, reducing net migration to less than 10,000 a year, scrapping "LGBT-inclusive relationship education" in primary schools, and ending foreign aid.

The 43-page document also insists there is "no climate emergency" and calls for an end to laws banning hate speech. which the party said is driven by "the political doctrine of cultural Marxism".

UKIP has suffered a decline in support since its heyday when it came first in the 2014 European Parliament elections with 27.5% of the vote, and the 2015 general election, where it garnered 12.6% of the vote.

Opening the event, party chairwoman Kirstan Herriot highlighted "internal divisions" within the party, which has seen two leaders ousted this year.

She said: "Unfortunately our previous two leaders of the party appeared to be preoccupied with internal disputes and goings-on."

Later on, a disgruntled UKIP member stood up and accused Herriot of having "no legitimacy" in her role.

Herriot replied: "The role of chairman is one that is appointed by the leader with the approval of the NEC."

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