POLITICS

Nigel Farage 'Doesn't Believe In Policies For Ukip'... Says Ukip's Ex-Policy Chief

21/08/2014 14:55 BST | Updated 21/08/2014 23:59 BST

Nigel Farage has been attacked by Ukip's former deputy leader for failing to "create a serious political party" by neglecting to implement policies and instead seeking to come up with them "on the back of fag packet".

David Campbell-Bannerman, an MEP who oversaw Ukip's 2010 manifesto before defecting to the Tories, told The Huffington Post UK his former boss doesn't believe in having policies and prefers to work them out on the fly.

Farage famously labelled that manifesto "drivel", though he admitted having not read it.

He has committed to coming up with an entirely new platform for next year's general election when the party aims to win its first seat in Westminster.

But Mr Campbell-Bannerman said Farage's dismissal without having read the manifesto was "typical Nigel", adding: "He's never believed in having policies."

nigel farage

Nigel Farage 'has never believed in having policies', his ex-policy chief told HuffPost UK

He said: "Nigel's not interested in policies. He wants to come up with them on the back of a fag packet."

He said he was particularly confounded by Farage's "drivel" remarks as Tim Aker, the current head of the party's policy unit who has hinted at which policies will be in the 2015 manifesto, worked with him on the 2010 platform. Farage was believed to be "very happy" with Mr Aker's work, particularly on the financial side.

Mr Aker has said the party will build a "blue collar platform" in its next manifesto by pledging to abolish income tax for the lowest earners.

SEE ALSO: Ukip's Tax Plans Would Actually Help The Rich Most, Experts Warn

When asked whether he thought it was "drivel", Mr Campbell-Bannerman made a further dig at Farage, saying: "It helps if you read it."

"What we produced was a respectable, conservative-leaning manifesto that sets out traditional, conservative policies," he said.

"Ukip still claims to believe in a lot of them, such as bringing back grammar schools and cutting taxation.

"The question is whether Ukip takes policy seriously at last or is it just still giving it token representation without actually believing it."

UKIP:

When asked if Farage was now convinced of the need for policies as Ukip's popularity had grown, Mr Campbell-Bannerman said: 'I don't think he does believe in them, deep down.

"He may have been convinced it's necessary to some extent. I tried to convince him years ago about the need for policy but he never really believed in it."

Mr Campbell-Bannerman said, in his time as party chairman in 2005-06, he sensed a tension within the party over polices that came down to whether it wanted to be "a pressure group or a political party".

He said: "It's a battle I had (when I was in Ukip). There are still people in Ukip who don't think they should have any policies at all. That's not how you create a serious political party."

"One of the reasons I left Ukip was the lack of belief in policies. You are never going to get any MPs without policies," he added.

"If you don't have policies then you can't get MPs and you need MPs, not MEPs, to leave the European Union."

He added Ukip "can't get very far" if their focus is exclusively on immigration and the EU.

He said even policy on leaving the European Union, the most important cause to Ukip, was unclear and the party lacked a plan on how this should happen.

The party ran without a manifesto in the 2009 European Parliament elections. Mr Campbell-Bannerman said the party's 2014 European Election manifesto was "superficial" but added: "It was nice to have one."

HuffPost UK approached Ukip for comment but had received no reply as this story went live.

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