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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 8The 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.”

British Transport Police (BTP) from Colchester were sent to reports of a rave close to a railway station in east Suffolk last night.

Veteran television presenter Sir Bruce Forsyth has died at the age of 89, his manager has said.

A former employee of an Essex business who sold stolen bottles of perfume and other toiletry items on eBay for more than £4,000 has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send her straight to prison.

The chairman of the 18th Ipswich Scout Group says he is “appalled” after discovering the club’s minibus was stolen yesterday.

Highways officials predict severe congestion from even modest increases in traffic from developments surrounding a pinch point junction.

Engineers from Network Rail are expected to work around the clock this weekend to ensure the rail line between East Anglia and the rest of the country is open again by Monday morning.

One of the most popular folk festivals in the country got under way yesterday as people started to pour in for three days of relaxed fun and excellent music.

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