Ukip’s manifesto will set out plans to exclude foreign nationals from the right to buy their council houses, according to housing spokesman Andrew Charalambous
Ukip’s housing spokesman, who trousered a fortune renting houses to migrant tenants on benefits, pledged today that the party would exclude foreign nationals from the government’s Right To Buy scheme.
Multi-millionaire buy-to-let tycoon Andrew Charalambous made a chunk of his fortune renting out properties in areas of London with high migrant populations.
The party’s manifesto, due to be published at their Spring Conference at the end of February, will include a pledge to ban foreign nationals from buying council houses.
There would be an exception for those who have served in the armed forces.
Charalambous said: “Britain’s social housing stock is massively oversubscribed. It is neither sensible nor fair on British families on waiting lists for Right to Buy entitlements to apply to foreign nationals occupying council or housing association homes.
An investigation into Charalambous’ property firm Woodlands Estates Limited revealed he had received £745,315 in benefit cash through Haringey Council in 2013 – more than any other private landlord.
He admitted that many of his tenants were migrants – and that almost one in six of them had recently arrived in the UK.
Mr Charalambous’ Greek Cypriot father settled in the UK after fighting for Britain in World War II.
In a statement, he said: “We in UKIP want to create an immigration system that maximises the positive contribution migrants make to our economy and society. Allowing foreign nationals to buy scarce social housing does not accord with that principle and providing a discount when they do is even more of a nonsense.”
Charalambous defected from the Conservative Party in 2011, before making an unsuccessful bid to be the party’s first MP in the Feltham and Heston by election.
He had been a Tory activist since his early Teens, but left the party over differences on immigration, their handling of the NHS and resistance to his calls for St George’s Day to be made a national holiday.
A farmer who was set to stand as a UKIP candidate in Cornwall has been jailed for four months for animal cruelty.
David Evans, from Week St Mary, near Bude, was also banned from keeping sheep and ordered to pay costs of £714.
At Bodmin Magistrates’ Court, he admitted six charges of causing suffering and improperly storing carcasses.
Animal welfare officers described conditions at Evans’ 40-acre holding as the worst they had seen.
On 6 February, inspectors found 145 sheep in such a poor condition that they had to be put to sleep.
They also found 119 carcasses in various states of decay scattered across the farm.
The court heard Evans had ignored help and advice by both Cornwall Council and The Animal and Plant Health Agency in 2012.
After Thursday’s hearing, Jonathan McCulloch, who investigated the case, said: “In 15 years as an animal health inspector, this case is by far the worst I have ever experienced.
“Dead sheep were scattered across the farm, new born lambs had died after getting stuck in mud.
“Mr Evans had done very little to ensure the safety of his sheep.”
In October, when the case came to light, Evans was de-selected as the UKIP candidate for Camborne and Redruth, a marginal parliamentary seat held by the Conservatives.
Conservative MP George Eustice won the seat by 66 votes more than the closest Liberal Democrat rival in 2010.
UKIP views the constituency as key to the party’s electoral performance in 2015.
Evans has previously told BBC News he was “disappointed but not surprised” to be de-selected.
He said he felt he had not had a chance to tell his side of the story.
Amjad Bashir describes Ukip as “pretty amateur” as he talks about his decision to switch parties.
I love this country and everything it stands for. England is in my blood – it’s my home, it’s where I made my livelihood, it’s where I raised my family, and it’s where I want future generations to thrive.
It’s the reason why, after a long career in business, I turned to the world of politics to campaign on issues I believe are necessary for the well-being of our great nation.
I wanted a referendum on Europe – to do away with all the bureaucracy and red tape stifling small businesses in the UK – and a controlled immigration system.
I joined Ukip thinking it was a movement dedicated to securing those goals. But I was wrong.
After almost three years as a party member – and seven months as MEP for Yorkshire and Humber – I realise that Ukip is more concerned with furthering its own interests as a political party, than delivering for the British people.
I choose the Conservatives. Not because I’ve changed my mind about Europe and immigration. I haven’t. But because only the Conservative Party can achieve an in/out referendum on Europe and a fair immigration system that works for Britain.
I’ve seen Ukip both at home, and abroad, and I’m sorry to say they’re pretty amateur. In the European Parliament, some of their MEPs think it’s acceptable to shout and fool around.
They don’t want to engage, they just want to ridicule.
But the joke’s on the British taxpayers who are forking out for their MEPs’ £80,000 salaries and getting nothing in return.
Ukip MEPs refuse to acknowledge Europe, so instead they let crucial votes that are harmful to British interests go unchallenged.
This happens day in, day out. It’s not right and it’s not fair.
Ukip haven’t properly thought through the implications of Brexit. There are of course several positive reasons for coming out of Europe. But I’m a pragmatist. Whichever side of the argument you’re on, you have to weigh up all the options.
Ukip made their minds up a long time ago that they wanted out no matter what. Even if they were offered endless supplies of gold from Europe they’d refuse it.
The truth is, Ukip would sooner risk the whole world looking on us as little Englanders than have a grown up debate about Europe.
As for Ukip’s policy, I’ve yet to see it. As their communities spokesman, I recently asked the man who’d been in charge of drawing up Ukip’s general election manifesto for the last year and a half: what policies do you have for me?
He brought out a page of A4 with about three lines on it. For a man on £60,000 a year to produce that is ridiculous. And I’m not the only person in the party who felt that way.
The problem with Ukip is that they think they’re a major party, when they’re not.
They think they’ll sweep up dozens of seats in May, but that’s delusional.
What they are in very real danger of doing, however, is making a big enough dent in the Conservative vote to let Labour in. And that would deny the British people a referendum.
Ukip have become so obsessed with what’s best for them as opposed to what’s good for the country that they’re actually willing to let this happen. This is what I find so galling.
I came to Ukip for the good of this country. I believe there’s a genuine question to be asked – whether we stay in or out of Europe.
I believe we need a referendum. I think Ukip has done its job in bringing that agenda to centre-stage. It’s a terrific achievement.
But now it’s clear that the appetite for political power has swayed them off course.
Where Ukip once campaigned in the interests of the British people, they have now become the party of ruthless self-interest.
My decision to switch my allegiance to the Conservative Party is not intended to cause any embarrassment for Ukip.
This is a principled decision out of deeply held beliefs for the good of this country.
Only the Conservative Party and the leadership of David Cameron will deliver a referendum on Europe and can offer strong immigration controls.
A vote for Ukip will only deliver a Labour Government, which will deny people a say on Europe and control over our borders.
Months away from the most critical general election of our generation, I feel I must do right by my country and support the Conservatives’ plan to secure a better future for Britain.
Nigel Farage is likely finding dry January pretty tough going.
This morning Ukip has been hit by a high-profile defection and a scandal involving one of their senior officials, who reportedly said they were a party that stood up for “bigots”.
Ukip Yorkshire and the Humber MEP Amjad Bashir announced his defection to the Conservative party on Saturday after meeting with David Cameron the previous day. Bashir claimed Ukip had a “ridiculous” lack of policies and were “pretty amateur”. But they said he had been “suspended” pending investigations into “serious” financial concerns – something Bashir told the BBC were “dirty tricks to try and discredit me”.
Separately the Sunday Times reported the party’s general secretary Matthew Richardson had called Ukip supporters bigots when asked about racist outbursts from some of the party’s candidates.
“I’ve said before, people talk about Ukip being bigots. There are hundreds of thousands of bigots in the United Kingdom and they too deserve representation,” he allegedly said in a meeting last month.
The paper notes Richardson was ironically appointed to Ukip in 2013 to help “put an end to the party’s series of public- relations gaffes and to prevent ‘bad stuff’ about Ukip from making it into the media”.
Richardson told the Sunday Times he had been quoting the late Tory MP Eric Forth, who once said “all this sucking up to minorities is ridiculous; there are millions of people in this country who are white, Anglo-Saxon and bigoted and they need to be represented”.
Richardson added: “This was clearly lighthearted harmless banter in the pub and does not reflect any seriously held belief.”
As well as his “bigot” comments, Sunday Mirror carries a video of Richardson’s 2010 speech to the Young America’s Foundation Conservative Student Conference in Washington where he called the NHS the heart of the “Reichstag bunker of socialism” that was Britain. At a separate speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in the same year he was recording saying it was the “biggest waste of money in the United Kingdom”.
A Ukip spokesperson said of Richardson: “He is a very talented barrister and does his job extremely well. He is not involved with the party’s press operation.” Referring to his NHS comments, they said he was “specifically talking about the growth of middle management which had not reflected a growth in health outcomes”.
Ukip is facing embarrassment after a senior official claimed the party should stand up for “bigots” and claimed that the NHS was the “biggest waste of money in the UK”. The remarks were made by Matthew Richardson, the party’s secretary and a member of its national executive council.
According to the Sunday Times, Richardson told a meeting last month: “I’ve said before, people talk about Ukip being bigots. There are hundreds of thousands of bigots in the United Kingdom and they deserve representation.”
He also joked about party leader Nigel Farage, saying: “He’s a Kent man. Well, sounds like Kent, anyway.” Richardson added that the Ukip leader would “have to be a moron” to put the party’s plan for a turnover tax for businesses in its manifesto.
He later insisted the comments were “clearly light-hearted harmless banter in the pub” and did “not reflect any seriously held belief”. He added: “I don’t recall the conversation taking place, but some of the words attributed to me are actually a quote from the late [Tory MP] Eric Forth, which, if they were spoken at all, would have been on a discussion about him.
“None of this is reflective of my own views or those of the party, and I am sure any reader would recognise the difference between a formal party position and the sort of jag lots of people have with their mates while having a drink.”
Meanwhile, footage from 2010 of Richardson attacking the health service at events in the US were released by Labour. Speaking at the Young America’s Foundation conference in Washington, he said: “When I was younger, a trillion was an astronomic number. Now when I look at our national deficits, and your national deficits, actually it is an economic number.
“A number I couldn’t possible imagine when I was younger is now the amount of money that is owed by my country, and soon more than that by your country, to other countries, paying for wasteful socialist programmes. And of course at the heart of this, the Reichstag bunker of socialism, is the National Health Service.”
At the Conservative political action conference in the same year he said: “This socialist government wastes money like you can’t imagine. They have started doing every wasteful scheme under the sun … The biggest waste of money of course in the United Kingdom is the NHS, the National Health Service.”
The release of the footage signals a more aggressive approach towards Ukip from Labour, which faces losing ground to Farage’s party in some of its northern heartlands – as shown in the Heywood and Middleton by-election in October, where Ed Miliband’s party managed only a narrow victory.
Richardson was reportedly appointed last year to help prevent “bad stuff” about the party making it into the media, but Ukip insisted that he was not involved with the press operation.
Labour’s Jon Trickett, shadow minister without portfolio, said: “Either Nigel Farage supports this, or Mr Richardson cannot stay in post. Nigel Farage cannot simultaneously defend these comments and claim that his party stands for the NHS free at the point of use.
“The man chosen by Nigel Farage to control Ukip’s image has compared the NHS to Hitler’s Nazi bunker. This is Ukip’s real agenda on the NHS. Today Labour is shining a light on Nigel Farage and his party’s true views on the future of the NHS. They claim to defend the service we cherish, but they want to dismantle its foundations.
“Ukip can no longer attempt to fool people. They are a party of Tory people, Tory money and they want to extend the worst Tory policies, which would have horrific effects on working people.”
A Ukip spokeswoman played down the significance of Richardson’s comments, pointing out that he was not an elected representative or party spokesman. “He is a very talented barrister and does his job extremely well. He is not involved with the party’s press operation.”
The jury in the trial of a former Ukip parliamentary candidate for Great Yarmouth accused of West Flegg has retired to consider its verdict.
Matthew Smith, the Norfolk County Council member for Gorleston St Andrews who had been selected to stand for parliament in the key target seat of Great Yarmouth at the next general election, is one of three men standing trial at Norwich Crown Court over the alleged forgery scam.
The charges relate to county council elections in the Yarmouth area in May 2013, when Smith stood for election and acted as Ukip’s electoral agent.
Prosecutors say that he submitted nomination forms for eight candidates that contained forged signatures in a bid to “cut corners”.
The 27-year-old – who had previously worked as a full-time administrator for the Conservatives – denies the charges, saying that he was the victim of a conspiracy.
Smith, who also stood as Ukip’s candidate in the elections for Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner, claimed that the genuine paperwork was replaced with forms containing forgeries after he fell out with his former Tory allies.
Judge Anthony Bate completed his summing up of the case and sent the jury out to deliberate shortly before midday.
Two other men – Ukip member Michael Monk and Daniel Thistlethwaite, who stood as a candidate in the West Flegg ward at the same election – are also on trial.
Monk, 60, of Freeman Close, Hopton, and Thistlethwaite, 19, of Station Road South, Belton, each deny one charge of making a false statement in nomination papers.
Smith, of High Street, Gorleston, has denied six counts of making a false statement in nomination papers knowing that they contained false signatures and three of making false nomination papers.
Scots UKIP MEP David Coburn: Alex Salmond would now be hanging from lamppost if Scotland had voted YesPosted: January 25, 2015
IN an incendiary interview, Coburn said the plummeting price of oil meant the former First Minister would have paid the penalty had Scotland voted to go it alone.
SCOTLAND’S only UKIP politician has sparked fury by claiming Alex Salmond would be “hanging from a lamppost” if there had been a vote for independence.
MEP David Coburn said the falling oil price would have crashed a go-it-alone Scotland’s economy and predicted the public would have taken violent reprisals against Salmond and his successor as First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
In an incendiary interview he also branded the SNP a “racist party”, revealed UKIP would drop the Smith Commission plans for more Holyrood powers and repeatedly referred to Sturgeon as “Helmet Hairdo”.
The controversial MEP was a shock Scottish winner in the European Parliament elections last May and now represents Nigel Farage’s anti-immigration party in Brussels.
And Coburn’s stark comments on the SNP are set to spark a fresh headache for the UKIP leader.
The SNP today branded them “unbefitting of any elected representative”.
Salmond’s economic case for independence was based on a barrel of oil being worth around $110. Since the referendum the price has plummeted to under $50.
Economists have warned the tumbling tax revenues from the North Sea would have left a blackhole of up to £7 billion in an independent Scotland’s budget.
“If we had all voted Yes, Scotland would have its begging bowl out to England,” said Coburn.
“I am a proud Scot and the last thing I want to see is my country with a begging bowl out to anybody because of a bunch of economic numpties who don’t know anything about finance.
“Nobody can base an economy on a commodity price, it is insanity.
“And if it had happened – if Scotland had voted Yes – they’d be hanging Salmond and Helmet Hairdo and all her silly friends.
“They’d be stringing them up from lampposts in Charlotte Square by now.”
Coburn also denied allegations UKIP are racist and claimed that description was more accurate about the SNP.
“They just hate the English,” he said. “They loathe the English, they are racist and anti-English.”
And he also attacked the recommendations of the cross party Smith Commission on a new devolution settlement for Scotland.
“It forms the same purpose that I use Alex Salmond’s Neverendum manifesto, the White Paper,” he said.
“Shred it. Stick it on a nail on the back of the privy door, that’s all it’s fit for.”
A spokeswoman for the SNP condemned Coburn’s remarks.
“These comments are offensive and totally unbefitting of any elected representative – but they are unfortunately the kind of remarks we have come to expect from UKIP’s David Coburn,” she said.
“Mr Coburn and his UKIP party are Euro-hostile and have distasteful views on many subjects – it is no wonder they are going nowhere in Scotland.”
Scottish Labour deputy leader Kezia Dugdale added: “There is no place for this kind of outrageous language in modern Scottish politics.
“UKIP’s language of division and grievance should be a thing of the past. All of Scotland must come together to take our country forward.”