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Nigel Farage tells Oldham voters, 'let's take control of our country'

Published 30/11/2015

Nigel Farage and John Bickley on the campaign trail in Oldham
Nigel Farage and John Bickley on the campaign trail in Oldham

Nigel Farage has told voters "let's get control of our country" as he continued his campaign to cause a major by-election shock.

The Ukip leader met shoppers and market stall holders in Oldham as he went on the campaign trail for the Oldham West and Royton seat.

Mr Farage and his party's candidate John Bickley spoke with shoppers in the Tommyfield Market after a torrential downpour meant that a trip to an outdoor shopping centre had to be called off.

Voters will go to the polls on Thursday after the Labour seat became vacant following the death of former minister Michael Meacher.

Although Labour has a majority of more than 14,000 in Oldham West and Royton, the odds have been tumbling on a win for Ukip, whose vote increased 17% in May's general election.

Mr Farage told onlookers there was a "base" for Ukip in the area, and that traditional Labour voters were turning their back on the party.

Ukip came second in the constituency in the last general election with 21%.

Mr Farage said voters should choose his party because "we are standing up and saying what they think".

He added: "Controlling immigration being a very big one, and I think security worries, worries about borders, worries about Isis. There is a feeling amongst old Labour voters that somehow (Jeremy) Corbyn does not represent what they want from a Labour Party.

"We have met two groups of women, they all said the same thing - they all said, 'we have always been Labour but we don't like Corbyn'. They like what Ukip stands for."

Susan McDonald, 62, from Oldham, said she would be voting for Mr Bickley because "he's got more things going for him" and Labour was no longer the party of working people.

She added: "I was brought up to vote for Labour by my parents, because they always said they work for the working classes. They don't any more, they work for themselves, and they work whatever suits them, not what suits the people."

She added that Mr Corbyn was "rubbish" and was not looking after the people.

"He hasn't got any respect for the armed forces, when he was at the Cenotaph he didn't bow his head properly. He has just got no thoughts for people in general, it's just himself. You have to look after us people who work hard.

"I hope Ukip gets in, there is a lot of like-minded people, there are a lot of us."

Mr Bickley described Mr Corbyn as "toxic" adding that the Labour leader was coming across as "anti-British and anti-patriotic".

He added: "Labour voters don't like that. He's toxic around here, that's why he hasn't come back. If he really cares about Labour voters in Oldham why is he not here supporting his candidate?"

Mr Corbyn has made one brief visit to launch the campaign for the Labour candidate, local council leader Jim McMahon.

Mr Bickley added: "Mr McMahon put out a tweet in September where he basically said that anyone who supports Ukip is a reject. So is that what he thinks of Oldham voters, Oldham voters who want to exercise their democratic rights are rejects? I notice his Twitter feed had disappeared from the end of October and I know why."

S peaking on Sunday night, Mr Farage said Ukip was "in with a real shout" of a huge political upset, adding: "I know the odds, I know the demographics, I know it still looks tough for us, but it is by no means impossible. If we do it, then the implications are huge."

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