The UK Independence Party has today launched a major new document which sets out Ukip North East’s proposals for a vibrant region post-Brexit.
A Vision For The North East is the party’s response to false claims that Ukip is no longer relevant and while the national Labour Party splits apart, Ukip is working on consolidating its role as the main challengers in the North East.
From rebuilding our fisheries to upgrading our roads, from business rates to proposing new Veterans’ Centres in our cities to look after ex-forces personnel, the document covers ideas for how the North East can be turned around.
With the economic gap between the North East and the rest of the country having grown dramatically in recent years, the region has the highest unemployment rate in the country – and the difference between the North East and the UK average is now more than five times greater than it was a decade ago.
North East MEP Jonathan Arnott said: “For far too long, the North East has been abandoned and ignored by our governments. It’s time for us to fight for a fair deal in terms of funding, but also for our national government to understand the needs of local business and manufacturers.
“We’re a region that builds things, that makes things, that sells things. Our government and councils should be doing everything they can to make that easier.”
Ukip’s North East regional chairman, Coun Steve Turner, added: “Ukip is all about bringing power back to the people and that’s what the party stands for in local government. We oppose the council cabinet system, support local referendums and are the only party to operate a no-whipping system because councillors should represent local people not party bosses.”
The timing of the new document – just 10 days before voting closes in the Ukip leadership election – demonstrates that the regional party is determined that the North East is not forgotten by the candidates at this critical time.
It is laying down the gauntlet to the leadership candidates to remember that the North East is crucial to the future of Ukip. The party’s share of the vote at the last General Election was higher in the North East than in any other area of the country.