Nigel Farage delivers his Black Country Blast

Mobbed by supporters and the world’s media, Nigel Farage mania swept into the rain-drenched West Midlands – one of Ukip’s key target regions for European and council election seats.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage shares a laugh with market trader Alan Bennett as he makes his way through the stalls
Ukip leader Nigel Farage shares a laugh with market trader Alan Bennett as he makes his way through the stalls

The charismatic leader of the Eurosceptic political party donned his trademark trilby and a wax overcoat to take a tour of Dudley yesterday afternoon before a rousing 650-seat sell-out speech inside the town hall.

Dubbing it the ‘Black Country Blast’, Mr Farage says Dudley, as well as Wolverhampton, had seen an ‘exceptional’ rise in party membership and activism.

And he hopes it will result in a good show in next month’s local elections.

He said: “In Dudley we are doing exceptionally well. Growth has been really good. We are fielding a full slate of 24 candidates and we could win enough seats to form the official opposition on the council here.

Are Ukip a force to be reckoned with in the May elections? Vote in our poll and have your say in the comment box below.

“In Wolverhampton we are again fielding a full slate in the local elections and former Lib Dem mayor Malcolm Gwinnett is part of our team.

“Sandwell will be harder for us as we are still new to the area and are fielding fewer candidates.

“It is an important area for us in the European and local elections and the aim is to be the top party in the region for Europe and number two in the local elections.

“I’m calling it our Black Country Blast.”

He went on to say: “People are saying that the other parties do not speak for them.

“The reception in the Black Country has been superb – you can’t quite put your finger on it but there is something about this place – its sense of tradition, patriotism, both English and British, makes it such a friendly place to come to.”

His entourage, which includes a big white tour bus, pulled up outside the town hall before he and his team ate fish and chips in Sedgley and headed to Upper Gornal to sup a pint of Bathams.

Mr Farage’s first stop was at the deserted street market in Dudley where he surprised those traders who were sticking it out in the rain.

A bewildered Jules Rafferty, from Wednesfield and who was looking after her friend’s flower stall, was the first to be approached and asked about the European elections.

She said afterwards: “I was bombarded really, I don’t know what to think.”

Farage is besieged by the media as he walks through Dudley
Farage is besieged by the media as he walks through Dudley

He also met the fruiterer Alan Bennett, aged 60, from Dudley, who described the outspoken politician as ‘easy going’.

He added: “I like to meet all politicians. I’ll make my mind up nearer to the election.”

Under the shelter of the market’s roof, Mr Farage took the opportunity to do a few interviews with the international news crews, which included some from Spain and Sweden.

From there he made the short walk to take in the statue of Duncan Edwards, before heading to Roger Scott Menswear where the owner, Mr Scott, is also a Ukip candidate for Lower Gornal.

After his tour of the town, he and his entourage stopped in at The Britannia Inn on Kent Street in Upper Gornal for a swift pint.

Selecting a pint of Bathams, when asked how he was enjoying his drink he said: “The one thing this part of the world is spoilt for is beer.”

First-time voter Brandon Smith, aged 18, made a trip to the pub especially to meet Mr Farage. After grabbing his photo opportunity, Mr Smith said: “I told him he had some sense. I just like his policies.

“It’s my first time in here, but I knew he was coming and wanted to meet him.

“I just think he’s a nice bloke, really friendly and keen.”

Then, back at Ukip’s West Midlands headquarters in Sedgley, he met with families of the victims of the Birmingham Bombings before greeting MEP candidates Jill Seymour, Jim Carver and  Bill Etheridge before his speech in Dudley Town Hall.

Report by Rob Golledge

Comments for: "Nigel Farage delivers his Black Country Blast"

carolemfletcher

SO will you be sending your Wife back to germany then seeing as how she is taking a job away from a brit you hypocrite !!!

Cllr Stuart Parr

His wife has lived here for years, she's not an economic migrant coming here to compete for jobs and houses with the 2.3m people who already live here.

ariesbaggie

Daft comment. So all people who marry a foreigner should send them back? Who is the xenophobe here?

Coral30

This is a very silly comment.

Elliot5

Carole is completely right. Farage is a hypocrite because he claims people from other countries are going to take British people jobs from them. Then we find out his German wife works for him. Don't you people understand? He is saying one thing then doing the complete opposite!

Just to clarify, on their poster that says 26 million people are going to take our jobs, it is complete lunacy. Those 26 million unemployed across the EU will be trying to get a job in their home country. Some go to other countries, not just here! They go to Germany, France, Sweden, etc, etc, so don't expect 26 million new immigrants like UKKKIP claim. They are spreading lies and are deceiving the public with these kinds of statements. They are racist bigots, no doubt about it.

If you still think at at least he's not like the other parties, neither was Adolf Hitler...

Anyoldiron

Is that a REAL 'Black Country Welcome' Carolemfletcher? Nigel Farrage is the only guy that will set us free from being Governed forever by foreigners and paying them £billions of British Pounds for doing so. There will be no point in having that Common Law Constitution we fought two World WARS to keep- yes that same Constitution so many gave THEIR lives for, if we have to obey the orders of Foreigners forever more.

King Jeffs Left Boot

Here Here

That should be Hear Hear. As in in Hear him, hear him.

Elliot5

Unfortunately, it's people like you that it's easy for them to get votes from. We are not governed by foreigners, you need to look into this and discover that he is lying about practically everything.

Yes, there are some EU laws that are standardised across the EU but practically every law that is relevant to you and me is set by the House of Lords.

Woody

Anyone who is looking to pass a motorcycle test might disagree.

Despite the UK having the safest roads in Europe, the EU imposed a new directive that has made it more difficult to get a licence, although it hasn't made the test more stringent or had any real effect on riders' safety. It has simply tied the whole process up in red tape and made it more expensive. Our government voted against it for being too complex and not achieving the objectives it set out to achieve, but the directive was still made law.

Still think we're not governed by foreigners?

markie

The other member states of the EU would like to close down the British stock exchange, the major foreign currency earner for this country. We need to return to the common market that we voted for in the 1970's. The political union that it has developed into was not what we voted for. By giving UKIP our support in the European elections we will force the other parties to change their policies on Europe. (apart from Nick Clegg and the Liberals, of course- but they don't count anyway!

Even more important is that we cease to have any involvement with the European Court of Human Rights- a hideous leftie group.

ariesbaggie

oldrocker

Most sensible comment you've made so far.

Coral30

UKIP want controlled immigration NOT uncontrolled immigration. They want us to have a sensible points based immigration like Australia and Canada do. This is just common sense for everyone who currently lives in the UK. This Country cannot afford to pay for more housing,schools, hospitals and benefits etc that uncontrolled immigration will require.

Membership of the EU means that we are handing our democracy and sovereignty to the faceless bureaucrats in Brussels. Britain should be governed by the British people. I will be voting UKIP.

Elliot5

Do you believe everything that any politician comes out with?

Remember the claims that we'd be flooded with Romanians and Bulgarians this year? Have you noticed it's not mentioned at all by anyone now? Do you know why that is? Because it never happened. It was a scaremongering lie and you UKIP followers fell for it and still believe it even though there is no noticeable difference in the UK's population since December.

Think about that. Not just for a minute, for a long time until you realise you are being lied to by Farage and his racist friends.

Boinggobaggies

I have to say your views seem very strong against Nigel and his party and this is a free country and your completely entitled to that, but I can't agree with you that we are not being flooded with mainly eastern europeans as I visited West Bromwich town centre this Saturday and sadly felt in the minority to these people as majority of the people I overheard spoke in a language different to mine and one which sounded of esstern european origin. Now I'm not racist I don't wish these people harm but I would like the first language in my home town to be the language of the land not one of foreign shores which I'm afraid it seems to be fast becoming at the moment, and UKIP seem to be the only party willing to face the thing head on. If David Cameron really intended to have a referendum he would do it before the next election because it would gurantee him a win not try and buy votes on thr promise of doing it he's hsd plenty of time to arrange as this debste has been rumbling on for a good couple of years now.

Boinggobaggies

Consider this :-

Many our roads are in a state of disrepair.

Councils are cutting jobs left right and centre.

Public services such as libaries youth clubs, swimming pools and OAP services are being cut or closed.

Centro are considering cutting the ring and ride or stopping transport on trains for concessionary pass holders.

All because there is not enough money to go round.

Now admittedly we are coming out of a recession but the unwanted and unparalleled strain that is being put on our system by the mainly eastern European migrants who are coming here and being housed and paid benefit.

Surely more control over the number of people who seem at the moment to just freely walk into the country and demand such luxuries as a house and weekly payments would benefit the UK as a whole. In addition the number of jobs that would be freed up would also assist in economic recovery.

We cannot sustain an open door policy to the rest of Europe no matter how we got ourselves in this situation i.e. previous labour government and council spending we cannot let it continue, it must come down to self preservation.

Plus does anyone else find it a little strange that international camera crews are following this man to towns such as Dudley . London, Manchester, Birmingham yes but Dudley ?

Maybe our European Union friends are getting a little jittery as well over the following this man and his party are building up !

Becuase if we do pull out what sort of tidal wave will it start across the rest of Europe with countries such as Spain and Greece who are already in economic melt down and others such as France and Italy who are on the brink ?

JohnWishbear

No policies and no sense! Clearly just heading for the lowest denominator that the majority of other clueless voters will lap up. A vote for these will ruin the country end of!

Margaret Hamilton

Listen. UKIP are funded by big business so don't expect anything to change, ever.

If we come out of the EU, don't expect any "saved" money to be spent on services or for the common good.

I too

Everything farage says is bandwagon politics. If someone has a concern with HS2 he will spout the opponents view to try to get someone's support.

He takes a little issue and makes it big by commenting on it. All unimportant.

How utterly pathetic because in power he would not be able to do any different. 'Yes Mr Hunt of course you should not of shut Stafford' Anyone can say that but is he right and does he understand the arguments for and against the closure. I doubt it. Headline spouting air head. to grab headlines.

See through him and his followers - they are not a political party but a bunch of hoorah henry's/farmers/ nare do wells with nothing between their ears. Policies?

Be careful of what you ask for. Better the devil you know than those you do not. Funding sources? Ummm - no one has mentioned that have they? Dubious sources, I hear you say.

Some people say that Hitler was a very nice man. Trouble is they were fascists

Some person says that Putin is a very nice man. Trouble is that UKIP are today ...........

(Fill in the ............ space yourself with rearranged letters scitsafs.)

Boinggobaggies

I think you will find that your words have just described every politician in this country they all spend their time jumping on band wagons and say the opposite of one of the opposition and no doubt if someone did turn round and say "ok sunshine off you go you sort it out if you know better" they too would not have a clue either.

As a voter you have to go with what you feel is right for you at the time and this man and his party are saying all the right things at all the right times and not only is he turning heads with some of the regular voters but he seems to be getting in amongst the ones who don't usually bother.

There are a lot of fat cats thst are worried for sure. They sense the eu cash cow could be cut off but equally as you state there will be new cats ready to get fat off the back of UKIP.