Paul Sykes pledges “whatever it takes” to help UKIP win
In a move reminiscent of Sir Jimmy Goldsmith founding the Referendum Party, one of Britain’s richest men, Paul Sykes, has pledged to do “whatever it takes” to ensure that UKIP top May’s Euro elections.
Mr Sykes, who is said to be worth at least £650 million, has previously given an estimated £1.5 million to the party. This morning, the scrap metal turn property tycoon told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:
“Nigel Farage and UKIP are the last best hope for Britain. I am prepared to do whatever it takes to propel them to victory next year… I think it’s time to step up and bring the referendum [on the UK’s membership of the EU] forward to 2015”.
Sykes’ resources will pay for UKIP’s advertising and help fund its election campaign. It comes soon after The Independent on Sunday revealed that fourteen major Conservative donors switched to UKIP in the three years since the 2010 election. Amongst them were Stuart Wheeler, the former Conservative treasurer, Lord Hesketh, James Hanson, Sir John Craven, Robin Birley and Lord Dartmouth.
Given their success in 2009 – when UKIP won 13 seats and pushed Labour into third place – and this largescale backing we’ll now see if, like the Referendum Party, this organisation is a flash in a pan or if, instead, it is a party that will truly change the political landscape.
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