UKIP is not a racist or sectarian party, its vice-chairman Neil Hamilton has claimed on a visit to the Fountain in Londonderry.
The colourful former Conservative MP said that his new party were going to win the forthcoming European elections and was on course to have its first MPs elected to Westminster in next year’s General Election.
Mr Hamilton, who lost his seat in 1997 after the ‘Cash for questions’ scandal, was in Londonderry in support of the local UKIP candidate for the European election on May 22, Henry Reilly.
“I think we can offer Northern Ireland a way out of the problems created by history. UKIP is a new party and it doesn’t come with any historical baggage. We are a non-sectarian party, a non-racist party, we are a unifying force,” he said.
“We are revolutionising the whole political system in Great Britain and I hope that some of that can be translated here into Northern Ireland as well.
“We are bringing back into the political system people who have given up and in Northern Ireland has had its share of political problems over the years. We can offer a way out because we don’t come from the kind of history that turns people off. We are looking forward to the future rather than looking back to the past.”
“We are going to win the European elections on May 22 and I think that is going to be a great platform for us to fight the general election in 2015 and get our first MPs at Westminster.
“From there I think all bets are off on the future.”