UKIP launch Eastleigh campaign

Nigel Farage_Diana James

Photo: ©Andrew Gordon

UKIP launched their by-election campaign in Eastleigh this morning, having officially announced Diane James as their candidate yesterday.

The press conference was filmed in the old Julian Graves Store in Market Street, which has been transformed into the UKIP campaign HQ for the duration of the next couple of weeks.

At that conference, UKIP party leader Nigel Farage explained how Eastleigh is special to UKIP and to him personally, as it is where he and the party first stood  in a Parliamentary Campaign, beating Lord Sutch by 169 votes. Mr Farage added that he had considered standing in Eastleigh again and had found the idea an attractive  proposition, but had decided to “grow up” and concentrate on his job as party leader.

Diane James, the UKIP candidate for Eastleigh, explained how the selection process was a tough challenge, not just because of the tight timescale that had been forced upon them but because of the quality of the candidates that she had been in competition with, during the selection process, adding that it was an honour to be selected to represent Eastleigh.

The press conference revealed that UKIP plan to make immigration a campaign issue, with Nigel Farage at pains to explain very carefully how Romanians and Bulgarians becoming eligible to enter the UK on 1st January next year was a threat to the UK. He chose his words very carefully and his comments drew a round of applause from the UKIP members/supporters that were present.

Speaking to Diane James after the press conference, Eastleigh News asked whether specifically highlighting the problem with Romanians and Bulgarians was a risk to the UKIP campaign. Would being so explicit, focusing on people from certain countries only, turn-off voters..? Its a more general problem with uncontrolled immigration from the EU isn’t it…?

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Diane James busy with one of many interviews

Diane James hesitated for a split second, then openly responded;

We have absolutely nothing whatsoever against any particular group from any country, but the rules are changing next year and that will allow an fresh influx of people from Romania and Bulgaria to enter the UK, to seek work and claim benefits. There’s plenty of evidence in countries such as Germany to show the problems that such immigration can cause with employment, crime etc. The issue is relevant to the UK and it is appropriate to raise it as an issue in this by-election campaign.

When asked about why she is documented as being an Independent on the Waverley Borough Council website, Diane James explained;

I feel that at that local level it is inappropriate to take the party line, but I’ll have to review that in the next Borough election.

Then asked if she had any connection to the Conservatives or been a member of the Conservatives, Diane James replied;

I have never been a member of the Conservatives. Other members of my family have been and some still are. The Conservatives have also made overtures to me, but I have declined.

Finally, when asked how well she knows Eastleigh, Diane James explained that she knows the area well. She is a regular visitor here on business and also passes through the Airport from time to time.

Interestingly, there was a Big Issue seller working directly opposite this mornings events in Market Street, clearly bemused by the unusual goings-on around him and not really understanding what  UKIP are about, or their policies towards immigration.

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The big issue is immigration for UKIP, but not for this Big Issue Seller…

Although happy to talk to the BBC and Eastleigh News, the UKIP members, suporters, candidate and party leader that were milling around all seemed to ignore this EU citizen, nobody from UKIP seemed inclined to enquire of or listen to his side of the story…

Other notable goings-on at the launch event this morning included a mobile hoarding travelling through Market Street, to remind everybody that tommorrow (13th Feb) is the last to day to register to vote in the election. It disrupted some of the procedings, though it was not entirely clear who had hijacked who…

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Who’s hijacked who…?

And the fast-food shop that is situated next to the UKIP campaign offices in Eastleigh, besides being handy for the inevitable late nights at UKIP campaign HQ, provided some great photo opportunities…

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 Story pics by Ray

Ray Turner

Formerly a Civil-Servant and IT Specialist at ONS, Ray is now semi-retired and spare-time self-employed. He contributes to Eastleigh News on a voluntary basis and is also an administrator for the site. 

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  8 comments for “UKIP launch Eastleigh campaign

  1. February 12, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Poor Big Issue guy

  2. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    February 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Christian is a good chap – he is always out there whatever the weather and whatever is going on punch ups, car shunts,Maria getting the Michael Crick treatment its all the same to him

  3. Pete Stewart
    February 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Ray,

    I must challenge one of your paragraphs where you say:

    “Although happy to talk to the BBC and Eastleigh News, the UKIP members, suporters, candidate and party leader that were milling around all seemed to ignore this EU citizen, nobody from UKIP seemed inclined to enquire of or listen to his side of the story…”

    I estimate there were 75 people spread across both sides of the road and even in the road itself. It was to say the least…hectic!

    Anyone who knows UKIP’s readiness to preach to potential converts, would realize that UKIP people were most certainly NOT ignoring any opportunity to preach today either.

    Had the gentleman selling the Big Issue approached ANY of the UKIP people, believe me, he would NOT have been ignored, but instead, he would have been eagerly (and sincerely) engaged in conversation and invited to meet Nigel Farage.

    That aside, I get a feeling UKIP is going to achieve an incredible result in this by-election. Keep your eyes on Eastleigh News for the latest!

  4. February 13, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Somebody should tell UKIP that if they put a long line of their posters up with no gaps it looks like PUKIPUKIPUKI

  5. Fedupwithliblabcons
    February 14, 2013 at 7:12 am

    I.m voting UKIP, fed up with the LibLabCons, UKIP have the common sense policies that we need in Britain

  6. February 14, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Yes Keith. I saw exactly the same thing, and laughed at it. It was very Barkeresque…

    I also wondered if the banner was perhaps a little cleverer than we thought, designed to be like that (with no gaps) for a reason…?

    These PR people never miss a trick…

    As you’ve demonstrated, when presented with a string of characters like this, the human eye/brian more often than not will interpret the P as the start of the word.

    From there, it only needs the human eye/brian combination to misread one letter, in its desperate search to construct a recognisable word (i.e. a word tht we already know). We do it all the time with Txt spk…

    As it happens, I found myself ignoring the “I” and thinking of Personal Unblocking Keys, for the mobile phones that I’ve been fiddling with recently…

    How many of the TV audience, had the same, or a similar sort of experience, seeing a very different word…?

    I’m sure I’ve seen this commented on before, somewhere, was it on the C4 news website…?

    UKIP really ought to drop this banner. Its a bit too subliminal. It does them no favours…

    Having met Diane James, I found her to be a strong enough and decent enough candidate to (hopefully) acknowledge this point and to make sure that it is rectified.

    It is she after all, who has to sit underneath that banner…

    …and I’m quite prepared to believe that the subliminal message went over her head…!

  7. February 15, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Google title to read more: Daughter of Labour Chairman joins UKIP

    “34 year old mother of one, Angharad Yeo, is one of the latest in a growing number of defections to UKIP from the three parties in Westminster. Her mother Harriet Yeo is Chair of Labour NEC.

    Angharad Yeo, a long term Labour supporter and campaigner who helped the party in elections since the age of 17, came to the conclusion after the recent Police Commissioner vote that UKIP better represented her views.”

  8. Dave N
    February 19, 2013 at 9:47 am

    How can anyone vote Labour when their candidate admits he wanted Argentina to defeat Britain in the Falklands War?

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