UKIP’s Save the Pub crusaders knock down two boozers to build on land

‘Hypocrite’ UKIP man ignores party’s own campaign to save the pub and knocks  down The Fawn and the Bricklayer’s Arms

No longer standing: The Bricklayers Arms in  Windsor

A Rising UKIP star has knocked down two pubs to expand his property empire  while his party campaigns to save Britain’s boozers.

Tom Bursnall demolished the bars – both going concerns – to build homes  despite objections from residents in the borough where he is a councillor.

Now the party director has been branded a hypocrite because UKIP is running a  high-profile Save the Pub crusade.

It claims on its website to be “the political party of the pub”, adding:  “Hundreds of once great British boozers are closing down resulting in  unemployment and broken communities.” Party leader Nigel Farage is regularly  pictured with a pint in his hand.

Bitter taste: Nigel Farage

But he will now struggle to get one at The Bricklayers Arms and The Fawn in  Windsor, Berks, thanks to one of his own.

Both have been flattened to boost the burgeoning property empire of Mr  Bursnall and his wife Cat. He plans to build four homes where The Fawn once  stood and three on the Bricklayers site.

Mr Bursnall won planning permission despite objections by residents and the  Campaign for Real Ale. A spokesman said: “Service to the community rather than  the destruction of its assets should be the duty of an elected member.”

UKIP deputy Paul Nuttall spearheads the party’s pub campaign and writes on  its website: “The pub is under attack and could possibly disappear if something  is not done to arrest the decline.” But Mr Bursnall and his wife – who both quit  the Tory Party for UKIP two years ago – want to expand their property portfolio,  thought to be worth millions. Mr Bursnall has properly registered his business  links with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead where he and his wife are  councillors.

Down the hatch: Cllr Tom Bursnall

Roy Reeves, of Windsor Labour Party, blasted Mr Bursnall’s  “absolute hyprocrisy”. He said: “If UKIP are campaigning to save pubs and he’s  knocking them down to make a profit there’s something wrong.”

And campaigner Dave Mountford, from the GMB union, said: “This smacks of rank  hypocrisy.”

But Mr Bursnall said he was “not in the slightest” hypocritical, adding:  “Some people have a nostalgic view of pubs. UKIP’s policy is about cutting duty  and business rates… what it’s not about is keeping unsustainable, unprofitable  pubs in business.”

Meanwhile UKIP has been accused of spending cash it receives from the EU on  campaign activity in Britain. A whistleblower claimed he was paid via Brussels  “even though I worked exclusively for UKIP in the UK”.

A UKIP spokesman said: “UKIP MEPs are careful to observe European  parliamentary rules.”

From The Daily Mirror . 09.03.14. Report by Ben Glaze

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