UKIP stirs up EU pot

LIKE Britain's delayed entry into the EEC 32 years ago, the party now wanting to withdraw the country from Europe left it late as it entered the election campaign.

LIKE Britain's delayed entry into the EEC 32 years ago, the party now wanting to withdraw the country from Europe left it late as it entered the election campaign.

Almost three weeks after Prime Minister Tony Blair called the General Election for May 5, the UK Independence Party finally and officially entered the fray in East Anglia yesterday.

Jeffrey Titford, the UKIP MEP for the Eastern Region, had been waiting for a "conspicuous time" to launch the party's campaign and yesterday the moment arrived.

With 52 candidates standing in the eastern counties, only a handful are truly hopeful of pushing for an outright victory.


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One of those is Mr Titford, who led yesterday's launch and unveiled the party's manifesto in the marginal Labour constituency of Harwich, where he is hoping to topple Ivan Henderson.

Mr Titford and other candidates will be trying to persuade East Anglian voters, handing out posters highlighting other parties' "conspiracy of silence" on European issues.

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He said: "Our manifesto contains bold and creative thinking and deals with all the key issues. Unlike the other parties we are not participating in the conspiracy of silence on European issues.

"We tackle it head on. With 70% of our laws now made in Brussels and with the most important referendum in our country's history due next year – on the EU constitution – it would be dishonest not to.

"Our manifesto shows how we would spend the money currently wasted on our membership of the EU on our pensioners, on reducing council tax and revitalising the many aspects of the infrastructure of our country, which have been starved of funding, because so much money is sent to Brussels."

OTHER candidates standing in Harwich are Douglas Carswell (Con), Ivan Henderson (Lab), Christopher Humphrey (Ind), John Tipple (Respect) and Keith Tully (Lib Dem).

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