The Spring Conference of a rejuvenated UK Independence Party will take place in the Great Hall this Saturday.
The event, which is likely to attract interest from the national media, will be followed by a reception and Gala dinner in the evening, before a training day takes place on Sunday.
After their surprise second place finish in the Eastleigh by-election, UKIP are now seen by some as a rising force in British politics and a threat to the Conservative party. The announcement of a possible referendum on EU membership and pressure on David Cameron to move his party to the right have indicated to many UKIP’s increasing influence.
With the party now sitting in third place in many polls, Saturday’s conference will likely focus on the party’s successes this year.
Criticism of Wednesday’s budget can also be expected, with party leader Nigel Farage suggesting earlier this week that “we need to cut spending far more radically than we have done.”
UKIP, who have increasingly gained membership from disillusioned Conservatives over the EU and gay marriage, propose dramatic spending cuts on foreign aid, quangos and the EU.
Farage, the father of a former Exeter student, will be returning to the city for the second time in recent years, having attended a question and answer talk organised by the politics society in 2011.
His leader’s address will take place at midday on Saturday, whilst party members host a number of training events around campus throughout the day, including public speaking training in the Peter Chalk Centre.
Concerns have been raised by some about the University being seen to host, and even endorse, any political party. First year politics student and UKIP sympathiser Alicia Mosley was more perturbed by the party’s choice of location for electoral gain and also hoped “that the University could reallocate funds for students’ benefit.”
Tickets for the conference, dinner and training day are available here until Friday, costing £20, £35 and £10 respectively.
Harrison Jones, Online News Editorbookmark me