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Election 2017: South Suffolk UKIP hopeful aims for interstellar travel

PUBLISHED: 15:55 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:55 19 May 2017

UKIP's Aidan Powlesland. Picture: PAUL GEATER

UKIP's Aidan Powlesland. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Archant

Election candidates often make ambitious policy claims – but South Suffolk UKIP candidate Aidan Powlesland is hoping to kick-start inter-stellar travel and mining in the asteroid belt if he is elected on June 8.

The General Election took place on June 8 The General Election took place on June 8

Mr Powlesland, from Long Melford, includes eye-catching proposals to support the eye-catching projects in his list of more typical policies.

He says he would like the government to: “Offer £1.2 billion worth of prizes, in the form of share capital, to the companies that win competitions to:

a) Design an interstellar colony ship.

b) Profitably mine the asteroid belt for water and/or platinum, so long as they do so by 2026.

c) That convert the ML86X design into a flying aircraft carrier. This is a giant airship being designed by an American company as a cargo-carrier.

In more down to earth policies, he wants the government offer British citizenship to all EU citizens living in the UK, to increase the army by 16,000, take £157bn less a year from taxpayers, and cut the price of housing by 70% over the next 50 years.

Mr Powlesland said technology was rapidly advancing and research was already being undertaken into designing a tiny spaceship that could travel fast enough to reach the nearest start system.

He said: “The entrepreneur Yuri Milner has offered $100m to create a photon-powered spaceship.”

Working with Professor Stephen Hawking, Mr Milner’s company believes it could create a “nano starshot” that could travel to the Alpha Centuri star system after a 20-year journey.

Current technology suggests a full-sized spaceship would take 2,000 years to make the journey.

Mr Powlesland said he did not want to create a “British NASA” for the work.

He said: “I do not want to see a UK space agency developing this, but I would like to offer an incentive to scientists and entrepreneurs to look at this great leap forward.”

Humans had always looked to expand their horizons – such as when people had colonised America and other parts of the world.

He said: “People left to set up new colonies in America because they did not want to be governed by the constraints in their homelands. I think the same thing could happen in space in the future.”

Meet Ally – a devoted guide dog who is being forced to retire early after she was attacked six times in Suffolk.

A man has been bailed after a jogger was allegedly attacked in an area of woodland near Foxhall Stadium in Ipswich.

Mum fell over, breaking her shoulder, on October 3, 2013. I remember the date because that day’s newspaper remained by the phone for almost six months, until she moved back into the house.

World-leading social science research at the University of Essex has been recognised with the presentation of a prestigious award at Buckingham Palace.

East Anglia’s rail services are facing serious disruption this week because of the heavy snowfall predicted over the next few days.

Emergency services were called to the Orwell Bridge area on Sunday afternoon after two motorists reported seeing a man leaning over the bridge parapet.

Bitterly cold weather and plunging temperatures are set to hit Suffolk and Essex overnight – and people living on the eastern side of the region could wake up to a covering of snow this morning.

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