Farage: ban isn't our policy


Ukip leader Nigel Farage has again attempted to distance himself from his party officials' plans to ban shechita.

Speaking on the BBC's Daily Politics show on Tuesday, Mr Farage said he had never wavered in his support for religious slaughter.

Last month Ukip's national executive committee (NEC) adopted a policy which would ban non-stun slaughter.

Mr Farage said: "I never U-turned. This is somebody on the NEC pushing a campaign for animal welfare… and overstepping the mark."

He said banning shechita was not official party policy and "never has been".

Ukip's Bury South parliamentary candidate, Séamus Martin, this week pledged to vote against any attempts to ban shechita or brit milah if elected in May. "I specifically pledge to speak up against antisemitic hate crimes, champion the Community Security Trust and promote krav maga [an Israeli self-defence technique]," he said.

The candidate said he was sympathetic to Jewish causes because a krav maga instructor had helped his son defend himself against school bullies.

Mr Martin, who runs a Friends of Chabad group, added: "It was an Orthodox Jewish food bank in Prestwich which put food on my own table at a time in the recent past of severe financial distress. I feel I owe the Jewish community a personal debt of honour."

Rising support for Ukip would make him the most likely candidate to defeat Labour's incumbent, Bury South MP, Ivan Lewis, he said.

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