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Friday, January 22, 2016

UKIP's leader remains committed to scrapping the NHS

Monday's edition of The Daily Mirror reports that Nigel Farage has admitted he still wants the health service to be scrapped and replaced with a US-style private insurance-based system.

They say that the UKIP leader was caught on video in 2012 telling supporters he would “feel more comfortable” with a privatised health system. As we've seen before, this would prove to be a very bad strategy.

When the bombshell video emerged last year, panicking UKIP spin doctors insisted Mr Farage’s views have since changed.

But in a new BBC interview to be aired this morning, Mr Farage says ditching the NHS is “a debate we’re going to have to return to”.

And he makes clear it was only abandoned as official UKIP policy due to pressure from worried pals.

Mr Farage said: “I triggered a debate within UKIP that was outright rejected by my colleagues, so I have to accept that.

“As time goes on, this is a debate that we’re all going to have to return to.”

UKIP are meeting this weekend in Wales and may confirm their candidates for the forthcoming Assembly elections at that event. However, that process has run into trouble as well.

The BBC report say that a prominent member,Kevin Mahoney has said that he will quit UKIP if ex-Tory MPs Neil Hamilton and Mark Reckless are chosen to stand. He says that he has been endorsed as lead candidate for the South Wales Central region by the party's national executive committee and criticised UKIP for cronyism.

He added that former MPs, Mark Reckless, Neil Hamilton and the party's head of media in Wales, Alexandra Phillips, "have no political association with Wales".

Whoever they choose, their leader's plan to scrap the NHS in favour of private insurance will not go down well here and may be seen as official UKIP policy.
Neil Hamilton was born in Gwent and brought up in Ammanford, of course, but the familial connection may not be entirely favourable. There used to be some resentment at professionals from Scotland being brought into Welsh mining communities - engineers, as in the case of Hamilton's father, and doctors mainly.

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