The UK Independence Party’s membership across Derbyshire has soared, with almost three-times as many paid-up members in 18 months.
Alan Graves, chairman of the East Midlands branch of UKIP, said that people are turning to the party because of their ‘common sense’ policies and their stance on the EU and immigration.
He said: “We are saying what people want instead of the policies telling people what we need.
“We are a party of ordinary people who have come together. We have had enough of what the other parties tell us we have to endure.
“UKIP want to get out of the EU, we want an end to mass immigration. We want to be able to have our own public services back, that are overstretched in every area.”
Mr Graves, who was elected as a Labour party councillor for Alvaston in 1995, before leaving in 2009 – wouldn’t reveal the exact figures, but said the membership is now at almost 1,000.
Toby Perkins, Labour MP for Chesterfield, said: “The Labour Party has 420 members in Chesterfield alone, approximately five times larger than UKIP, and on a national basis bigger than the Conservatives, Lib Dems and UKIP combined. I am out speaking to voters every week and I know that UKIP’s values – cuts to the NHS, the removal of paternity rights and a flat tax so bankers pay as much as their cleaners – are not the values of Chesterfield.
“Nigel Farage describes himself as the last Thatcherite in British politics, and there aren’t many people in our town who long for Thatcherism to come back.”