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The UKIP North East campaign was launched today in the Marriott Hotel at the Metro Centre. All the UKIP parliamentary candidates for the region were invited and the region’s MEP, Jonathan Arnott and parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool, Phillip Broughton, gave rousing speeches on UKIP policy.

The event was covered by ITV and reports have appeared in the Northern Echo and the Newcastle Chronicle.

Here are some photos we took of the occasion.

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Believing in Britain, Believing in Britain's Women

UKIP Home Affairs Spokesman Diane James and Deputy Party Chairman Suzanne Evans today launched a raft of policies to demonstrate that UKIP have a range of women and child friendly policies.

These include:

Health:

  • 3,000 more midwives and 20,000 more Nurses for the NHS
  • £130 million per year more to research Dementia, the leading cause of death among women (5th for men)
  • No to the tampon tax (cost £15m)
  • Ensuring all pregnant women and mothers of all children under the age of 12 months have direct access to specialist mental health treatment (Postnatal depression is suffered by 1 in 10 women).

Childcare

  • Plans to reduce childcare  cost and improve wrap around childcare for all school-age children.

Workplace

  • Full support for current maternity and paternity rights, as well as adoption leave.
  • Taking the lowest-paid (often women choosing to work part-time) out of tax altogether
  • A points-based immigration system ending excessive competition for minimum wage jobs, again mostly taken by women

Family​

  • Increase the transferrable tax allowance for married couples and civil partners to £1500 to benefit spouses who do not use all of their personal allowance either because they are at home looking after children, or work part-time and earn less than the threshold for income tax.
  • More support for 6.5 million carers in UK, most of whom (58%) are women. They will get:
    • An additional five-day leave entitlement
    • Commitment to increasing Carers’ Allowance in line with inflation
    • Commitment to keeping Carers’ Allowance at or above Jobseekers’ Allowance rate.

Women’s Rights:

  • Require faith-based tribunals to inform attendees of their rights under UK law, including making it clear they cannot be forced to attend and that the rulings from such hearings are not legally binding, to protect women in ethnic minority communities who may not know their rights.
  • A zero tolerance approach to cultural practices that are either illegal or which conflict with British values and customs, including forced marriages, female genital mutilation and honour killings. We will enforce the law and prosecute where necessary.

FGM (Female Genital Mutilation):

  • Introduce mandatory reporting for known FGM cases for front-line professionals such as teachers, GPs, nurses and police.
  • Include awareness of FGM to the schools’ curriculum and make FGM awareness a mandatory part of safeguarding training for teachers.
  • Provide mandatory training for all midwives on FGM

Read the unabridged article here.

I was invited onto BBC Radio Tees today to talk about UKIP’s defence policy. This was the first time I have been interviewed on the radio. You can tell I was nervous to start off with, but I relaxed as the interview progressed and hopefully got over the key points of UKIP’s defence policy – that UKIP will commit to spending 2% of GDP on defence, more than what Labour or the Tories are offering, which would amount to an increase of £16 billion over the next parliament. UKIP will also look after our veterans, giving them priority on housing, help with mental health issues and employment. You can read UKIP’s defence policy here.

Here is the inteview:

David Cameron has been telling UKIP voters “it’s time to come home”.  How arrogant and out of touch he is. Here in Stockton North, UKIP has been making gains across the whole political spectrum. Certainly, a huge part of the support has come from former Labour voters, attracted by our policies on the minimum wage (those on minimum wage will pay not tax or national insurance), housing (no to the bedroom tax) and, of course, immigration. I have heard first hand stories of how some people in Billingham lost their jobs to cheap foreign labour.

If I’ve been doing a good job of getting my message across to those in the area who used to vote Conservative, they will understand that Stockton North is a two horse race between UKIP and Labour. So in this constituency, a vote for the Conservatives is in fact a vote for Labour. Rather than return to the Conservative ranks, and find themselves run by a puppet Ed Miliband with Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon pulling the strings, former Conservative voters need to stay with their new home, UKIP, the only party that Believes in Britain.

Nigel Farage has been condemned by the most of the political class – ie Lib/Lab/Con/Greens, for daring to suggest that we should not treat foreigners for free on the NHS and that we should not, like 46 other countries, admit foreigners who are HIV positive.

Let’s just have a look at the figures. The cost of treating an HIV positive patient is about £20,000 a year. Public Health England have estimated that there are over 100,000 people in the UK who are HIV positive, some 60% of whom are originally from Africa. The cost to the NHS to treat these patients with anti retroviral drugs alone is over £1 billion a year, and these numbers are continuing to rise.

In addition, 29% of people in a recent YouGov survey blamed health tourism for long waits at A&E.

The NHS has finite resources and it is a National Health Service – not an international one.

Is it not common sense to provide the very best treatments possible for those who have paid into the system and not provide foreign aid through a different means to the rest of the world?

It’s time we stop being politically correct and start saying what needs to be said to keep Britain Great.

Read this report on Guido Fawkes.

I today received this letter from a UKIP supporter:

When I went to visit my elderly mother this morning, I noticed that she had received a glossy pamphlet sent to her by name form Alex Cunningham, the sitting Labour MP for Stockton North. I believe this is the first time she has ever received anything from him.

My mam was born in 1926, the year of the General Strike. She was brought up in the 1930s in extreme poverty. After the war she married my father and worked as a cleaner in the NHS and he was a labourer at British Steel. They always voted Labour, as did all of their family and neighbours. It would have been unthinkable during the post-war decades for them to vote for anyone else.

My mother is now 88 years old, three years ago she had a stroke and only has the use of her left arm and needs 24 hour care. However, she is still very much mentally alert. This may be the last time she ever votes in a General Election. When I asked her who she was voting for she said UKIP. I asked her if she was sure and she said yes “because I like what they are trying to do”.

She understands that Labour once did a good job for working class people, but this was many years ago. Now people like my mother feel that ordinary people like her have been betrayed by Labour and recognise that UKIP offers the only alternative.

On April 1st, Labour leader Ed Miliband vowed to end zero hours contracts that ‘undermine living standards and family life’.

What Mr Miliband omitted to mention is that many Labour run councils and 68 Labour MPs, including Stockton North’s MP Alex Cunningham, use zero hours contracts.

The spread of zero hours contracts is yet another symptom of the over-supply of labour for working class jobs because of open door immigration from the EU. Large employers have been able to bid down both pay and conditions because they know that workers can be found in southern and eastern Europe who will accept inferior terms.

UKIP believes in a blanket ban on exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts together with a minimum notice period of 12 hours that must be given by a company as regards the next shift it needs a zero hours worker to do.

Also, after a year on a zero hours contract a worker should be entitled to demand a transfer to a fixed hours contract or permanent post. However, UKIP would exempt small businesses from this final point.

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Mandy Boylett

Mandy Boylett
My politics is like my dress sense. I'm all for coming out.