Mastering Politics: UKIP

Political parties are quite difficult to get to grips with in detail. But worry not – here at b**p we’ve got your back, this time with the low-down on UKIP, also known as the United Kingdom Independence Party.

UKIP was founded in 1993 after originating as the Anti-Federalist League in 1991. The organization became UKIP in order to become more than just a single-issue group; the single issue being the UK leaving the European Union. In 1997, the leader and founder of UKIP, Alan Sked, was forced out by a plot devised by Nigel Farage, who became a prominent figure in UK politics throughout the EU referendum in 2016 and within UKIP, becoming party leader in 2006.

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Nigel Farage

In December 2013, UKIP said it had reached 13,000 members. Being a member of UKIP means paying a yearly fee to the Party, the standard payment is £35 with the lowest being for those aged under 22-years-old and veterans of the military who can pay £20 per year. In the 2017 General Election, UKIP earned 593,852 votes but do not have a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons. UKIP does have three representatives in the House of Lords, though, and has 19 members of the European Parliament.

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Beliefs and policies of the UK Independence Party

— Euroscepticism: UKIP believes strongly in the UK leaving the European Union and has consistently campaigned to leave.

— Rejection of multiculturalism: UKIP rejects a multicultural society, meaning it is against an increase and integration of different races and cultures within the UK.

— Thatcherism: Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher promoted the economic policy of what we now call ‘Thatcherism’. UKIP promotes and believes in this policy which includes a lack of government regulation on markets, free/unrestricted trade between the UK and other countries and the privatisation of businesses and some services in the UK.

— LGBT rights: Current leader Henry Bolton said that LGBT rights have gone “too far” and that society is “encouraging children in some cases to question their sexuality”.