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UKIP found itself at the centre of new storm yesterday when pictures of a “distasteful” leaflet using WWI graves to canvass more votes surfaced.
The exposure of a Ukip European election leaflet campaigning against “foreign invasion” and showing a war cemetery in France brought a strong reaction on social media.
“The millions who died between 1914 and 1918 did so to defend rival empires in a war fuelled by exactly the type of cynical chauvinism exploited by Ukip,” said No2EU’s lead candidate in Scotland John Foster.
The black-and-white flyer, urging voters to choose Ukip so WWI British soldiers “sacrifice” was not “in vain” was shared on Twitter and quickly went viral.
Hope Not Hate spokesman Simon Cressy argued that if the leaflet is indeed genuine, “it is disgraceful that (Ukip) are using the memory of the thousands of people who died during the war to further their xenophobic campaign.”
Polls have shown a mix of results for Nigel Farage’s far-right party at this May’s elections.
ICM and YouGov inquiries have predicted a 25 and 24 per cent vote for Ukip respectively.
ComRes, however, puts it in first place with 35 per cent support with the highest number of votes of all the parties.
A poll published in the Independent also places Ukip a staggering 9 points ahead of Labour, the Conservatives trailing in with a gloomy 20 per cent.
Earlier this week Ukip’s leadership felt the need to place a full-page advert in the Daily Telegraph to reiterate the claim that it is not a racist party. The paper — co-owned by a “discreet” Ukip suporter, Sir Frederick Barclay — published what was effectively an open letter from Mr Farage apologising for his comments to interviewer James O'Brien on LBC on Friday about Romanians being unwanted neighbours.
Labour MPs David Lammy and Dianne Abbott were quick to denounce the Ukip leader’s remarks as constituting outright racism. By Monday Mr Farage was backtracking: “The vast majority of Romanians who have come to the UK wish to better their lives and would make good neighbours,” he wrote in the Telegraph.
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