UK politician blames EU for Ukraine crisis

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Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage believes that actions by the British government and European Union member states provoked the current political crisis in Ukraine.

By offering Ukraine EU membership, they stirred mass discontent in the country, which was further fueled by attempts to drag Ukraine into NATO, Farage told the RIA Novosti news agency on Saturday.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague played a key role in stoking confrontation in Ukraine and then shifted the blame on Russia, Farage said.

Those poking a bear with a stick should be aware of the consequences, the UKIP leader said, commenting on the situation around Ukraine.

He expressed deep regret at the escalation of the crisis.

UKIP advocates Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. The party has 13 seats in the European Parliament and 228 seats in local legislations across the UK.

British voters to stick with anti-EU party at 2015 election – study

The recent surge of support for UK Independence Party will last beyond this month’s European elections and carry over into next year’s general election, research published on Wednesday suggests.

Nigel Farage’s anti-immigration and anti-EU party is riding high in opinion polls ahead of the European elections on May 22.

Britain’s mainstream parties have in the past been able to take comfort from the fact that while UKIP scores well in European elections, it traditionally fades in general elections.

The British Election Study, which has traced electoral trends for five decades, shows that 17 percent of people intend to vote for UKIP in the elections for the European parliament.

Although that figure drops to 11 percent for the general election — due on May 7, 2015, the decrease is far smaller than the comparable drop after the last European elections in 2009.

In those elections, UKIP secured 16.5 percent of the vote but just 3.1 percent in the general election in 2010, failing to secure a single seat in the British parliament.

The study says UKIP will take votes from all three of the mainstream British parties — Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives, their Liberal Democrat coalition partners and the main opposition Labour Party.

Due to Britain’s first-past-the-post electoral system, a vote share of 11 percent will not translate into an MP for UKIP unless its support can be concentrated in one or more parliamentary constituencies, the study notes.

“But it would reveal much stronger support for UKIP in the country and it will have important political consequences in the months and years ahead,” it says, AFP reports.

Britain’s anti-EU party to top Europe vote – polls

Britain’s anti-European union UK Independence Party (UKIP) was forecast on Sunday to win the most British votes in European parliamentary elections later this month, despite a poll showing the party is seen as racist by 27 percent of voters.

The survey results are not the first to show UKIP winning what is expected to be a closely fought election battle with Labour on May 22, reflecting the party’s growing support despite controversy over some of its campaign tactics, Reuters reports.

A poll of voting intentions at the European elections in the Sunday Times put UKIP on 29 percent, 1 percentage point ahead of Labour, while a second survey in the Sun on Sunday gave UKIP a 3 point lead over Labour.

Both polls showed Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives in third place, with 22 and 23 percent of the vote respectively.

UKIP’s campaign for an immediate exit from the EU and tougher rules on immigration has drawn support primarily away from Cameron’s Conservatives in the southeast of England, but is also targeting voters in traditionally Labour-held areas in the north.

Party leader Nigel Farage says he hopes success in the European elections will help the party win seats at a national election in 2015.

The polls also showed that UKIP’s support had not been damaged by accusations of racism, after a controversial poster campaign last month and scandals involving junior party members.

More than a quarter of respondents in the Sun on Sunday’s poll said the party had racist views and racist members and supporters.

Thirty-five percent said the party itself was not racist, but that it attracted members with “racist, extreme or odd” views, while 26 percent said they were not racist at all.

Farage said on Sunday the party was non-racist and non-sectarian, but he conceded mistakes had been made in the past when accepting new members.

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