Ukip caught printing election leaflets… in GERMANY because they are cheaper than British alternatives
- Nigel Farage dragged into fresh hypocrisy row over EU flyers gaffe
- Comes after Latvians were used to hand out anti-immigration leaflets
- Ukip leader was also criticised for employing German wife as secretary
- Lib Dems say they are happy to see party using European single market
Ukip was dragged into a fresh hypocrisy row today after it emerged it has been printing anti-EU election leaflets – in Germany.
Nigel Farage’s party has campaigned to protect British jobs, slash immigration and pull out of the European Union.
But instead of using a British firm to help the party’s campaign it took ‘full advantage of the European single market’ to place its order abroad.
Mr Farage, pulling a pint of ‘Proper Job’ during a visit to the North-east last month, has faced increasing levels of scrutiny following his party’s rise to the top of the polls ahead of next week’s European elections
The revelation comes after it emerged the party had hired Eastern Europeans to hand out its anti-immigration flyers ahead of next week’s European elections.
Latvians were employed by a company called Fast Leaflet in Croydon, south London, to hand out flyers for Mr Farage’s party. At the time, Tory MP Gavin Barwell said: ‘Ukip’s hypocrisy knows no bounds.’
He added: ‘They say they are against Europeans taking our jobs and then, when they have a chance to offer some British people work delivering their leaflets because they can’t find volunteers to do it, they employ European workers.’
It also comes after it emerged that one of the stars of a Ukip poster campaign, who appeared to be a British builder ‘hit hard by unlimited cheap labour’, was actually an Irish actor, Dave O’Rourke.
Mr Farage has also faced personal accusations of double-standards after employing his German wife as his secretary – claiming no Brits would want to work for him.
The Ukip leader said ordinary Brits would not want to put in the same hours as his partner, Kirsten, who is paid £25,000 as his secretary by the European Parliament.
He was challenged over the appointment after he launched a £1.5million poster campaign for the European elections that warned 26 million unemployed Europeans were ‘after’ British jobs, driving down wages and leaving British workers begging on the streets.
Asked whether there is no British person able to do the job, Mr Farage said: ‘No, because I don’t think anybody else would want to be in my house at midnight, going through emails, getting me briefed for the next day.
‘Nobody else could do that job. I don’t know anybody who would work those kinds of hours.’
He added: ‘That is a very different situation to the mass of hundreds of thousands of people coming in and flooding the lower ends of the labour market.’
Ukip claimed its poster campaign was a ‘hard-hitting reflection of reality’ – but it later emerged that it had used an Irish actor to represent a British builder put out of work because of immigration
Ukip has insisted its latest gaffe, using a foreign firm to print its flyers, was a mistake – blaming the internet for making it hard to know where products are made.
The leaflets were distributed in west London to support Paul Motion, the Ukip council candidate for Hounslow in west London.
They were printed by Saxoprint, a European firm that employs 400 in Britain and have an office in Chiswick.
But according to trade magazine PrintWeek, all of the company’s printing takes place in Germany.
A Liberal Democrat source it was ‘good to see Ukip taking full advantage of the European single market’.
But Ukip’s Colin Botterill, who placed the order for the leaflets, said: ‘I wasn’t aware of it when we ordered the printing. I saw the Chiswick address and thought “fantastic we’re supporting a local business”.
‘I only found out the company was German when I phoned to chase delivery and asked whether I could pick the leaflets up, and was told they were on a plane from Germany.
‘I was a bit disappointed. This is the problem with the internet, you don’t necessarily know where things are coming from.’
He added: ‘We try and support local businesses and in future we want to use local printers. We will be getting a CV off them first.’
The Labour party has also used Saxoprint for materials that have been delivered to households in Reading, promoting its candidate David Absolom.
A spokesman said: ‘The Labour Party uses a range of firms and most of our print is done in the UK.’
Mr Farage has called for an Australian-style points-based system that would only allow skilled people with no criminal records into the country, cutting immigration to 30,000-50,000 people a year.
That could see higher numbers of Indian and New Zealanders coming to Britain but fewer eastern Europeans, he said.
Mike Gapes, the MP for Ilford South, said Ukip’s plans to curb immigration would leave Britain resembling Albania, which shut itself off from the rest of the world during the communist era.