New UK Independence Party leader Henry Bolton has said that he will be “reverting” back to the party’s 2015 General Election manifesto, in which they gained approximately four million votes.
Bolton, speaking on BBC’s Daily Politics, said that he disagrees with the 2017 manifesto policy of a blanket ban on full length burkas, as well as former leader Paul Nuttall’s assessment that Islam was “a cancer”, commenting: “He’s using language that I wouldn’t.” Bolton also said that the topic of Islam “is not the core of UKIP by any means. Managed immigration certainly is.” Bolton criticised the 2017 manifesto further, commenting that the anti-Islam stance “certainly didn’t help,” and that it was “a badly-presented, badly-thought-through policy.” Bolton made clear his ambition to stamp his own brand of leadership, saying that the party must “have a broad suite of solutions. There’s no one issue we will hang our hat on.”
When asked about Anne-Marie Waters, who has formed her own party – For Britain – as well as her supporters, whom Bolton criticised during the leadership campaign, the new leader stated that: “the party’s constitution is quite clear – we will not be a party of prejudice against any group or individual based on religion, ethnicity or anything else.”
Bolton conceded that the party’s current membership number of “around 27,000” is “low”, but said “there is work to be done,” adding: “This enables a more defined identity for those people who are remaining within the party.”
Bolton also stated that he would stand as an MP in the next General Election.