UKIP yesterday became the first party to launch its manifesto ahead of May’s European and local council elections.
The anti-EU party, whose European candidate is Kilkeel councillor Henry Reilly, said that it planned to stand between 45 and 50 candidates in the “super councils” poll.
UKIP MLA David McNarry said that Stormont was now “dire” and claimed that the party’s leader, Nigel Farage, was “going to do over the liberals and he’s going to give Cameron a doing”.
Turning on his former UUP colleague Jim Nicholson, Mr McNarry said he had “got involved with a bunch of fruitcakes in Europe”.
And, with unusual candour for a politician, Mr Reilly said of his relationship with Mr McNarry: “We have had rows but the difference between David and I and other politicians is that we really do passionately believe in our cause.” He said that the party was for both traditional unionists and “the new economic unionists”.
UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall said the party would “send fear through the corridors of Stormont and Brussels” with its message that the EU is an “out of control” organisation whose accounts have not been signed off by auditors for 19 years. He said that the party would take Britain out of the EU but expand the Commonwealth’s role.
The manifesto pledges to:
• withdraw all renewable energy subsidies;
• promote “responsible” and regulated fracking for gas;
• ban councillors from co-opting relatives onto councils;
• use local referendums to resolve contentious issues;
• fly the Union Flag from all public buildings every day;
• cut rates by 20 per cent through efficiency savings;
• maintain farm subsidies at current levels if the UK left the EU;
• oppose gay marriage and state interference in matters of conscience.