Ukip has no policies beyond EU and immigration, says Green party leader

The Guardian, 28 April, 2014

Green party leader Natalie Bennett has attacked EU election frontrunner Ukip, saying Nigel Farage has stamped policy out of the party’s platform.

With polling showing Ukip looking increasingly likely to take first place in the election in May, Bennett said Farage’s party was without substance and were benefiting from a general disengagement with politics.

Speaking at the Green party’s campaign launch in London today, Bennett said: “As far as I can work out, Nigel Farage has entirely written it off so that Ukip has no policies at all. It seems to stand for getting out of the EU and stopping immigration and other than that he seems to have said, right, we have no policies.”

“It’s a reflection very much of the dissatisfaction with politics. I think they will get a lot of votes in the north from poor, dissolutioned people who feel like they’ve been left behind, left out. And in many ways they’re right.”

Bennett said the looming failure of the major parties in the election made it obvious that Britain’s electoral system was inadequate to represent the choice voters desired.

“What this also represents is the fact that two (or if we are being charitable two-and-a-half) party politics has very much broken down as a system. It demonstrates the utter unfitness of the first-past-the-post system that we have in Westminster.”

The Greens are the fourth largest voting bloc on the floor of the EU parliament. The UK party currently holds two seats in London and the south-east.

Green advisers say they are quietly confident they will double this number in the European elections on 22 May. They are engaged in a battle with the Liberal Democrats, whose vote has plummeted, to take two new seats in the eastern and north-west regions. Recent polling has both parties hovering around 8-9%.

In their election manifesto, launched this morning, the Greens presented what they described as solutions to the excesses of the banking sector, Tory austerity and David Cameron’s championing of the shale gas industry.

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