Socialist Worker

Ukip racists hope for win in Rochester by-election

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2430

Tory defector Mark Reckless

Tory defector Mark Reckless (Pic: Wikimedia Commons)

Ukip hopes to win its second MP when a by-election takes place in Rochester and Strood, Kent, on Thursday of this week. 

The hard right party has benefited from a climate in which mainstream politicians have fallen over themselves to pander to racism.

Tory candidate Kelly Tolhurst has fought the by-election by pledging to be tough on immigration.

She wants to stop migrants living in social housing until they have lived in the constituency for five years.

“It is not just a ruse to try to out-Ukip Ukip,” she claimed.

“I’m listening to what the people of Rochester and Strood want.”

Labour candidate Naushabah Khan has criticised Ukip for using inflammatory language over immigration.

She said she doesn’t want an MP elected who “divides communities”.

Yet Labour leader Ed Miliband promised immigration would be a key focus for Labour in the by-election.

He helpfully added that Labour would bring in laws to count people going in and out of Britain.

Anti-racists in the Stand up to Ukip campaign have won support after campaigning in the area.

But it’s likely that Ukip candidate Mark Reckless will win the election.

And the blame will lie with mainstream politicians who have made Ukip’s anti-immigrant racism respectable.

Stand Up to Ukip will hold a national activists meeting on Sunday 30 November in central London. Go to for more details

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