The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) held their first public meeting in Louth last week, in the run up to the European Parliament elections later this month.
UKIP’s five candidates for the East Midlands constituency, including current MEP Roger Helmer who defected from the Conservative Party two years ago, spoke frankly on a range of issues including global warming, immigration, Scottish independence, human rights, banking regulation and democracy.
The party’s second choice candidate in the upcoming European election, Margot Parker, denounced the European Union as a “socialist superstate”, and said: “All of the other parties want to stay in the EU. We’re in last chance saloon”. Ms Parker added that, in contrast to other political parties, Ukip is a grassroots party and none of their candidates had been “bred in a political greenhouse”.
Meanwhile, in response to a question on global warming, UKIP’s fifth choice candidate Barry Mahoney said there is “no proven threat” of man-made global warming at present.
On the night, the audience consisted of around 70 people including supporters, observers and protesters. One such protester was Louth Town Councillor David Hall, who turned up to the event wearing a dress, jewellery, and a bright red wig in protest against what he perceives as UKIP’s intolerant attitudes towards various sections of society.
Councillor Hall said: “We dressed in drag because we do not feel that the UKIP candidates will ever represent all of their constituents equally regardless of gender, race, or religion.”