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BigTory majority 'would allow May to backslide on Brexit'.

A WHOPPING Tory majority at the General Election would allow Theresa May to backslide on Brexit, Ukip's leader has said.

Paul Nuttall claimed the Prime Minister was already rowing back on immigration promises and had refused to rule out paying a huge divorce bill from the EU.

The party leader insisted Brexit was a job "half done" and declared "we are only halfway through the war".

Mr Nuttall said the party is prepared to stand aside in dozens of constituencies in order to help sitting MPs who are real Brexiteers hold on to marginal seats.

Accusing Mrs May of "flagrant opportunism" in calling a snap election, he insisted that Ukip would fight it with "vigour".

In a speech in central London, he said: "We also believe that a whopping Conservative majority will only serve to put Brexit in peril.

"Hordes of Tory lobby fodder will allow the Prime Minister to backslide safe in the knowledge that she has the votes banked.

"We are not convinced that the Prime Minister, who campaigned to Remain in the referendum, will get the deal the British people want.

"She is already beginning to backslide on immigration, with the government now telling us that immigration will run at today's level for the next decade.

"She has said nothing to guarantee our waters and protect our fishermen and she will not rule out paying a huge divorce bill once we have left the European Union."

The launch was disrupted by protesters, who gained access to the venue by posing as reporters, according to Ukip sources.

After "shouting a lot" the demonstrators were removed from the room before the launch was due to start, the Ukip source said.

Despite widespread expectation that he will fight the strongly pro-Brexit constituency of Boston and Skegness for Ukip on June 8, Mr Nuttall declined to confirm his plans.

He has already confirmed that he will stand in the election and promised to reveal his chosen battleground today.

Stating that his party will fight to put Ukip MPs into the House of Commons, he said: "Anyone hoping that Ukip is going to fade away from the political scene is going to be bitterly disappointed over the next few weeks and, I predict, confounded over the next few years.

"We have a great opportunity in this election because it is an election on Ukip's turf. It is a Brexit election."

Setting out details of what will be in Ukip's "bold and radical" manifesto, Mr Nuttall said the party would be fighting for "the kind of Brexit people voted for", involving regaining control of borders, freedom to strike trade deals and a refusal to pay any "divorce bill" to the EU.

Ukip will promise to cut the foreign aid budget and plough the proceeds into the NHS, with a commitment to keep the health service in public hands and free at the point of delivery.

The party will campaign for an English Parliament, the abolition of the House of Lords and the scrapping of the first-past-the-post voting system in favour of proportional votes for Westminster elections.

And it will tackle the "repulsive" practice of female genital mutilation and insist that people must not cover their faces in public places - effectively a ban on Muslim women wearing the burka.

Ukip will be the only party in the election with "a clear commitment to cutting immigration", said Mr Nuttall.

Immigration rates in recent years have not only led to "a stagnation of wages, particularly in working-class communities", but have also been "bad for community cohesion", he said.


Ukip leader Paul Nuttall leaves after making a speech as the party launches its general election campaign in London yesterday
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 29, 2017
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