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Ukip wants 'Celtic coalition' to protect union

Published 06/04/2016

Paul Nuttall says Ukip wants to forge a
Paul Nuttall says Ukip wants to forge a "Celtic Coalition" of party members

Ukip has pledged to create a Celtic coalition to protect the union as it launched its Northern Ireland Assembly elections manifesto in Belfast.

The party said Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland should unite against illegal migration and for supporting British jobs and the NHS as part of its brand of "One Nation" unionism.

Ukip's Northern Ireland leader David McNarry said he was not standing for the Assembly but hoped to manage the party to success in a fashion similar to Michael O'Neill's exploits with the Northern Ireland football team.

Ukip deputy leader Paul Nuttall said: "The UK is under attack. It is under attack in Scotland by the nationalists, it is under attack in Wales, it is under attack here as well, and what we want to see is a Celtic coalition of Ukip members... to protect and preserve our union."

The party attempted to tie the May 5 Stormont poll to the Brexit referendum the following month, which it said would not have happened without Ukip.

Mr Nuttall added: "We want to see Britain great again, we want to see the people who make the laws that affect us be the people who we elect at Westminster and Stormont.

"We want to ensure that taxpayers' money is spent here in our own country."

He urged voters to support Ukip, which has candidates throughout the UK, rather than "provincial imitations".

Ukip was founded in Northern Ireland in 2009 and is represented on local councils.

Mr McNarry is an outgoing Strangford Assembly member, a seat he is not defending.

He said: "After 15 years of representative politics it is time. Everybody will reach that time to pass the baton on.

"I see myself as Ukip's Michael O'Neill. This is my team, and Michael took his team to the Euros, I am taking this team to Stormont."

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