UK

Farage Decries ‘Closed Shop' Politics After Being ‘Snubbed' For Remembrance Sunday

07/11/2014 18:58 GMT | Updated 07/11/2014 22:59 GMT
Rob Stothard via Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) leader, Nigel Farage, views the 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' installation at Tower of London on November 4, 2014 in London, England. 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' by artist Paul Cummins, made up of 888,246 ceramic poppies fills the moat of the Tower of London, to commemorate the First World War. Each ceramic poppy represents an allied victim of the First World War and the display is due to be completed by Armistice Day on November 11, 2014. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Nigel Farage claimed millions of Ukip voters had been snubbed because he has not been invited to take in the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph. The Ukip leader claimed the "closed shop" of the British political system prevented him from attending the event even though his party had topped the poll in the European election this year.

He said: "I think it's actually quite a snub to all the millions of people that have voted Ukip." The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said the long-standing position was to invite a representative from parties with six or more MPs. Ukip only has a single member in the Commons, Clacton MP Douglas Carswell.

Speaking on his LBC phone-in, Mr Farage said: "We're not invited and I could say to you that personally I would like to be because this is a subject that I care very deeply about.

"But what I think is, the whole point about political representation at the Cenotaph is it's not the politician that matters, it's the voters behind the politician that matter. And in the last national election Ukip got 4.4 million votes and none of those people are being represented on Sunday despite the fact there are political parties with far smaller votes than that being represented."

He added: "Whether it's me or somebody else doesn't really matter. But I do think that we won the last election we should have had some representation on Sunday. And I think it's actually quite a snub to all the millions of people that have voted Ukip."

Mr Farage said it was for the Government to invite him "but I'm afraid with this as with everything else, British politics operates like a closed shop and they don't' want anyone new to get involved. Well they're in for a terrible shock and I'll tell you something, Ukip will be there next year."

The Ukip leader also expressed surprise that eBay had halted auctions for the Tower of London poppies - and admitted he wanted to use the website to buy one himself. All the 888,246 ceramic flowers used in the Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red installation have sold for £25 each through Historic Royal Palaces, which runs the Tower, with the proceeds going to service charities.

The internet auction site has cancelled any listings for the items following reports that one user had listed two of the poppies for sale, one at £49.99 and the other for £65. An eBay spokesman said: "We are not permitting resale of the limited edition Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red ceramic poppies on eBay."

But Mr Farage said: "I was very surprised to hear that eBay had done that, because whatever you think, you may say it's insensitive, but hang on - when people bought these poppies there was no commercial contract that said they couldn't sell them on. So I'm rather surprised by this. I have a slight confession, I didn't get in in time to buy any, nearly everyone I work with has got some, but I said to the children 'don't worry, we'll buy them on eBay in a few weeks time'."

Nigel Farage EGGED

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