UKIP’s historic by-election result is a cause for celebration by party supporters, says UKIP Leader Nigel Farage.
“Everyone worked extremely hard for an excellent result and we congratulate our candidate Glenn Tingle, a real local guy, who has shown by the massive support he’s received in Norwich North that the British people really do identify with the UK Independence Party and what it stands for.”
Glenn’s huge popularity saw UKIP record the biggest percentage gain of the top five contenders, surging a record 9.5% this time around to poll 4,068 votes, representing nearly 12% of the total cast.
A delighted Glenn said: “This result shows that we are major league – bring on the General Election!”
But UKIP’S best-ever by-election performance in Norwich North has been soured by the BBC’s stubborn refusal to give the party’s result the recognition it deserves.
The result could have been even better had the BBC not refused to give Glenn Tingle and UKIP the airtime it deserved, preferring to allow a minor party such as the Greens on television panels and radio discussions.
Nigel Farage is furious at the snub.
He said: “There is a clear bias in the BBC against the UK Independence Party and this result shows that they are wrong in freezing us out of key political television and radio programmes.”
“We’ve shown in Norwich North that we are a major player on the UK political scene and that our performance in the European Elections, where we recorded the second highest percentage of vote among all the parties, was no fluke.
“We have arrived and the people have shown that they agree with our politics. If the BBC doesn’t like that, well tough. What it does mean is that the left-leaning programme producers who dole out the air time will be forced to give us parity with the three other major parties.
“I personally will be taking this to the highest echelons of the BBC and finding out who decided we were not to be part of the Norwich North coverage and what is to be done about it.
“This situation, where one of this country’s major political parties is simply ignored, should never happen again.
“If the BBC bosses spent less time working out their expense claims and more time listening to the people of Great Britain, they would realise that UKIP is experiencing a continuing swing in support that all the other parties would die for.
“With a General Election due at any time, we will demand that the BBC afford UKIP the same broadcast rights as the Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems.
“We’ll be looking at what needs to be done to make the BBC sit up and take notice, because so far, our complaints have fallen on deaf ears.
“Maybe they’ll listen if their funding is threatened? We’ll look at the prospect of a mass refusal to pay the licence fee if that’s what it takes. It’s already on the agenda for debate at our annual conference in September.”