Ukip Leader Nigel Farage Wants Handguns To Be Legalised

Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage

A new Ukip policy has emerged - making guns legal again.

After disowning previous party commitments to introduce a dress code in theatres and repainting trains, Nigel Farage added a new one on Friday morning.

In a tetchy radio appearance on LBC, he said the ban on handguns imposed after the Dunblane massacre was "ludicrous" and branded Ukip's 2010 manifesto "drivel".

Ownership of most handguns was made illegal by John Major's government following the 1996 shooting, when Thomas Hamilton killed 16 schoolchildren and a teacher before shooting himself.

Tony Blair's Labour government then extended the restrictions in 1997 to cover all handguns, including the .22 pistols used for sport at the Olympics.

Asked whether he thought the controls were right, Farage said: "I think proper gun licencing is something we've done in this country responsibly and well for a long time, and I think the knee-jerk legislation that Blair brought in that meant that the British Olympic pistol team have to go to France to even practice, was just crackers.

"If you criminalise handguns then only the criminals carry the guns.

"It's really interesting that since Blair brought that piece of law in, gun crime doubled in the next five years in this country."

He added: "I think that we need a proper gun licencing system, which to a large extent I think we already have, and I think the ban on handguns is ludicrous."

Farage was mocked earlier in the week after floundering when asked about Ukip's 2010 manifesto, which included limit on foreign footballers and restoring London's Circle Line to a circle. He had not been the leader at the time.

Asked about this appearance, he said an “idiot” had written the manifesto.

Farage also sought to explain a floundering appearance in a BBC interview yesterday, when he seemed unaware of previous party policies such as repainting trains in traditional colours and setting uniforms for taxi drivers.

The MEP - who had briefly stood down as leader at the time to focus on an unsuccessful run for a Commons seat - told LBC he had not even read the document.

"I didn't read it, it was drivel, 486 pages of drivel, I didn't read it, nor did the Party leader, it was a nonsense, and we've put that behind us and moved onto a professional footing," he said.

"We had a manifesto, and I'm going to put some inverted commas around it that was produced in 2010, it was basically a series of policy discussion papers that was put up on the website as a manifesto.

"It was 486 pages long, I'm pleased to say that the idiot that wrote it has now left us and joined the Conservatives, so there is some traffic going back the other way, and they're very welcome to him."

David Campbell Bannerman MEP was the main author of the manifesto, and is now a Tory.