Ukip election posters: Nigel Farage defends 'racist' campaign anti-immigration campaign ahead of Europe elections

The posters have been compared to a previous BNP campaign

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage has defended his party's controversial election campaign ahead of the May European elections, after its posters were called "racist".

The party's economic spokesman, Steven Woolfe, announced the campaign on Twitter on Sunday, and said the giant posters would be "coming to you soon".

One billboard depicts a man dressed as a builder begging for spare change next to the words: "EU policy at work. British workers are hit hard by unlimited cheap labour."

Another poster reads: "26 million people in Europe are looking for work. And whose jobs are they after?" alongside a giant hand pointing at the viewer.

Others complain that 75 per cent of British laws are made in Brussels, and that UK taxpayers fund the "celebrity lifestyle" of EU bureaucrats.

Figures across the political spectrum soon posted tweets opposing the campaign, and accused the party of scaremongering.

There were also comparisons to posters released by the far-right British National Party which carried the slogan: "British Jobs for British Workers" next to men dressed in high-vis jackets.

Labour MP Mike Gapes said they were "racist" and appealed to "all decent British Commonwealth and EU citizens" to register to vote in May's polls.

Former Conservative minister Lord Debden writing: "UKIP stands for the worst in human beings: our prejudice, selfishness, and fear."

Read more: Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
Ukip support surges following Maria Miller expenses scandal
Nigel Farage: 'Ukip is not 'anti-immigration''

  A Ukip poster ahead of the May EU elections. A Ukip poster ahead of the May EU elections.
"Like a toddler kicking off in a public place #ukip gets what they want - a reaction ( and so everyone sharing their posters)..." wrote Labour MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy.

Lord Deben, a Tory peer who served in John Major's cabinet, also responded, saying that Ukip "stands for the worst in human beings: our prejudice, selfishness, and fear".

Meanwhile a spokesman for the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, who recently appeared in a televised debate with Ukip's leader, Nigel Farage, added that they were "just a crass way of campaigning that we have come to expect from Ukip".

The party is using £1.5 million of funding donated by millionaire ex-Tory donor Paul Sykes to launch its biggest ever publicity drive. The posters put up in two waves over the next four weeks, and be accompanied by adverts in digital media.

Leader Nigel Farage has defended the posters, and said he was not bothered by "ruffl[ing] a few feathers among the chattering classes."

"Are we bothered about that? Not in the slightest," he said.

He described the posters as "a hard-hitting reflection of reality as it is experienced by millions of British people struggling to earn a living outside the Westminster bubble."

A poster part of Ukip's EU election campaign A poster part of Ukip's EU election campaign
"Ukip is hugely grateful to Paul Sykes for his magnificent contribution to the great cause of restoring Britain's ability to be a self-governing nation. The political earthquake I have spoken of is on its way," he added.

Mr Sykes said the posters would be the biggest advertising campaign in Ukip's history. "The European elections are the most important for many years," he said.

"We have the chance to support a party that represents a complete break with the past. The other parties, whatever their merits, are content to work within the existing Brussels straitjacket.

"An overwhelming victory for Ukip will break the political mould in the UK, forcing Labour and the Lib Dems to back a full-scale referendum."

The posters will be displayed in two waves over the next four weeks and be accompanied by adverts in digital media.

The row came as Mr Clegg dismissed Ukip's claim to be a party of political outsiders, describing it instead as an arm of the " longstanding Eurosceptic establishment".

The Liberal Democrat leader said Mr Farage's assertion that he was leading an army of "insurgents" was implausible in view of the strong current of Euroscepticism that existed in the Conservative Party and in the media.

Instead, Mr Clegg implied that it was the Liberal Democrats who were the insurgent underdogs, because they were confronting the " Eurosceptic establishment" directly in the European election campaign by fighting on an unashamedly pro-European platform.

The push for votes follows a ComRes poll for The Independent, which revealed that more than half the electorate is immune to the appeal of Ukip and has no intention of supporting it. 

Ukip support edged up by one point to 12 per cent following Nigel Farage's two televised clashes with Nick Clegg, which snap polls of viewers concluded had been easily "won" by the Ukip leader.

Additional reporting by PA

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
News
i100
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
News
Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
Arts and Entertainment
A shared vision: Cerys Matthews has been familiarising herself with Dylan Thomas’s material, for a revealing radio programme
arts + entsA singer, her uncle and a special relationship with Dylan Thomas
News
In other news ... Jon Snow performed at last year's Newsroom's Got Talent charity event
people
News
i100
Life and Style
Text messaging changes as a relationship evolves
life
News
The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
peopleComedian's quip about Reeva Steenkamp was less than well received at music magazine awards
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SSRS Report Developer - Urgent Contract - London - £300pd

£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...

KS1 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

HR Business Partner - Essex - £39,000 plus benefits

£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?