Nigel Farage has disowned his UK Independence party’s entire 2010 manifesto, admitting his party will not put forward a new set of policies until after the European elections in May.
Speaking on BBC 2’s Daily Politics programme, the Ukip leader discarded a raft of policies, including a flat tax, compulsory uniforms for taxi drivers and repainting trains in more “traditional” colours.
Mr Farage said: “Under the last leadership and in the 2010 election we managed to present a manifesto that was 486 pages long. So you can quote me all sorts of bits of it that I will not know. That’s why I’ve said none of it stands today and we will launch it all after the European elections.”
He could not explain how his party would plug the £100bn annual hole in its 2010 offering, which offered tax cuts of about £30bn a year alongside spending increases of £90bn.
He admitted, however, that a plan to phase out employer national insurance contributions, which the party has previously said would “undoubtedly boost employment”, was “overly ambitious”.
Mr Farage defended plans to stop coalition cuts to the size of the army, but when asked about plans to repaint trains, answered: “I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.”
Ukip had hoped the interview would showcase the party’s policies beyond its key pledges of exiting the EU and curbing migration.
Polls show the party is heading for second place in May’s European elections, and could even finish above Labour in first. It also expects to achieve a strong result in the Manchester Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election next month.
Get alerts on United Kingdom Independence Party when a new story is published