UKIP leader Nigel Farage due in North East to battle Labour

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage is to visit the region this week to speak at a party event being held at the Sage Gateshead

Yui Mok/PA Wire UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage
UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage is due in Tyneside this week as Labour prepares for a battle for its heartland.

The UK Independence Party leader is speaking at a party event at the Sage in Gateshead as polls continue to suggest Mr Farage will see a North East MEP elected in this May’s Euro poll.

UKIP are threatening to take working class votes off Labour across the North amid speculation the party has maximised the amount of support it can take off the Conservatives.

Mr Farage, in the region on Wednesday, has seen his party rise to second in many polls looking at voting intentions for the European elections.

With him will be North East Euro candidate Jonathan Arnott, who pointed to one YouGov poll which had UKIP on 33% compared to Labour’s on 37% across the North.

He said: “Polls have been confirming what we’re seeing on the doorstep across the region, that UKIP are within touching distance of winning here in the North East. If these polls are to be believed, we’re not far from beating Labour and actually taking two of the three North East seats.

“Our message of being good trading neighbours with Europe and the rest of the world is going down well, and as the Farage-Clegg debate showed, Labour and Lib Dem scaremongering about threats to jobs is hollow.

“We are the party of rebuilding our trade links with the Commonwealth and developing links with emerging global markets – something which would boost the economy and create jobs.”

UKIP yesterday had to defend a new immigration-centred election poster campaign as “a hard-hitting reflection of reality” after it was attacked as “racist” by political opponents.

The anti-European Union (EU) party is using £1.5m of funding from millionaire ex-Tory donor Paul Sykes to launch its biggest-ever publicity drive ahead of European Parliament elections on May 22.

To be displayed at hundreds of billboard sites across the country, they carry stark warnings that “British workers are hit hard by unlimited foreign labour” and that 26 million unemployed people across Europe are “after” UK jobs.

Others complain that 75% of British laws are made in Brussels and that UK taxpayers fund the “celebrity lifestyle” of EU bureaucrats.

Mr Farage said: “These posters are a hard-hitting reflection of reality as it is experienced by millions of British people struggling to earn a living outside the Westminster bubble. Are we going to ruffle a few feathers among the chattering classes? Yes. Are we bothered about that? Not in the slightest.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer