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Ukip takes aim at Brexit Party with Lowestoft visit from leader

PUBLISHED: 09:49 13 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:58 13 May 2019

Stuart Agnew, UKIP MEP, right, with Gerard Batten, UKIP leader, left, at Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Stuart Agnew, UKIP MEP, right, with Gerard Batten, UKIP leader, left, at Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

Ukip leader Gerard Batten said the fishing industry meant Lowestoft was one of the areas which understood the impact of the European Union when he visited the town on Tuesday.

Gerard Batten, UKIP leader, speaks to resident Alex Owens in Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodGerard Batten, UKIP leader, speaks to resident Alex Owens in Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Mr Batten was joined by local party members, and East of England MEP Stuart Agnew, as the party looked to distinguish itself from Nigel Farage's Brexit Party.

On the threat of the Brexit Party taking votes from Ukip Mr Batten said: "I think that the mainstream media are bigging up the Brexit Party because they want it to succeed and Ukip to fail."

While some drivers honked their horns in support of the party, who set up in Station Square, one Lowestoft resident took issue with Mr Batten.

Alex Owens challenged Mr Batten over comments made by MEP candidate Carl Benjamin, a vlogger who goes by the name Sargon of Akkad online.

UKIP battle bus at Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodUKIP battle bus at Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Mr Benjamin is being investigated by police after repeatedly making comments about raping Labour MP Jess Phillips.

Mr Owens said: "I think it's wrong."

But Bertie Poole, who has represented the party at a district level, said support for the party locally was high.

And he said the Brexit Party was going to be finished after the European elections. He said: "We are not - although we are Ukip - just for Brexit. Farage's party, they've got no members, they've got no branches, no constitution. So what happens at the general election? And they've got to have policies on health, transport, defence. We've always had very strong manifestos."

UKIP leader, Gerard Batten's visit to Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodUKIP leader, Gerard Batten's visit to Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Ukip deputy leader and MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire Mike Hookem added: "We've got a strong support base but I take exception that they call themselves a party."

Mr Agnew added: "This is different, this is the sixth campaign I've been involved in, there seems to be much more interest in it."

UKIP leader, Gerard Batten's visit to Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodUKIP leader, Gerard Batten's visit to Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Gerard Batten, UKIP leader, at Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodGerard Batten, UKIP leader, at Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

UKIP leader, Gerard Batten's visit to Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodUKIP leader, Gerard Batten's visit to Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

UKIP leader, Gerard Batten's visit to Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodUKIP leader, Gerard Batten's visit to Lowestoft. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

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