Ukip leaflet gaffe blamed on finances

A Wigan borough branch of Ukip has been accused of hypocrisy as its election leaflets were printed by a firm overseas.

Monday, 2nd May 2016, 12:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 1:37 pm
Jayson Lomax-Hargreaves

Jayson Lomax-Hargreaves, who is standing in Leigh West, has been delivering campaign material stating they have been printed in Holland.

Residents have pointed out the irony of the euro-sceptic party outsourcing the service to a company based in the European Union.

Speaking to the Evening Post, Mr Lomax-Hargreaves described it as an “unfortunate” outcome but explained his decision has been influenced by limited campaign funds.

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He said: “I went to a couple of local printers, but it was too expensive. I’m an average working class guy who is not flushed with money.

“Vistaprint was the cheapest I could find and that way I would be able to deliver a leaflet to every household rather than half.

“Unfortunately Vistaprint does not have a printers in the UK and it was done in Holland.

“I have since found a printers in the UK I can use for any future campaigns. I would have preferred to have gone local, it’s just unfortunate I didn’t have the funds.”

Ukip is not the only party in the lead up to this year’s election to have been accused of hypocrisy because of a leaflets gaffe.

Hindley councillor Jim Ellis (Wigan Independent Network) said the borough Labour Party was guilty of double standards after promoting local jobs but having their leaflets printed in South Wales.

Coun Ellis spoke out following the publication of The Hindley Labour Rose, which said the council’s ruling party was backing a £1.5m apprenticeship scheme to create jobs and training for young people in the ward.

He said: “This leaflet has an article about a jobs boost for young people yet it was printed in Cardiff. How does that fit in with finding jobs for young people?”

A Labour Party spokesman responded: “This particular mailing is part of a print run procured by the national Labour Party which offered considerable cost benefits to those local constituencies taking part.

“The Labour Party in Makerfield has given significant support to local printers over the years and we have good relationships with them and will continue to procure services from them during the forthcoming local election campaign.”

A third of Wigan Council’s seats are up for grabs in the 2016 elections this Thursday.

Full coverage of the results will feature in Friday’s edition of the Evening Post and on throughout the election count on Thursday evening.

• Coun Ellis is standing for re-election in Hindley ward alongside Paul Blay (Labour), David Ollerton (Conservative), Paul Ravenall (Green) and John Skipworth (Liberal Democrats).

Mr Lomax-Hargreaves is standing in Leigh West for Ukip alongside Susan Greensmith (Labour), Neil Hancox (Green) and Andrew Oxley (Conservative).