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Watch live: Ukip launches 'serious, fully-costed' manifesto

Ukip launches its general election campaign manifesto today, setting out what it claims are "serious, fully-costed policies" for people who "believe in Britain".

Among the expected pledges are a £12 billion boost for the NHS, a five-year ban on unskilled migrants, and a referendum on EU membership "as soon as possible".

Watch the announcement live here from 11.15am:

Ukip leader Nigel Farage comes to Lincolnshire

The Nigel Farage election bandwagon rolled into Lincolnshire today to be greeted by protestors, supporters and at least one reality TV star in the shape of Joey Essex.

The Ukip leader is targeting a number of seats in the region and today he promised trawlermen in Grimsby that if they voted for the party, and its policy of quitting the EU, it would put the Great back into Grimsby's fishing industry.

Michael Billington reports:


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Nigel Farage fishes for votes in Grimsby

Nigel Farage took his election campaign to Lincolnshire fishing town Grimsby today, telling voters that leaving the EU would create jobs in the region.

"If we take back our territorial waters we'll produce thousands of jobs up and down the country," he said.

Ukip believes voters on the east of the country will be most receptive to its message about immigration and fisheries - but the party was also met with protests in the town.

ITV News UK editor Rohit Kacharoo reports from Grimsby:

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Joey Essex tells Nigel Farage 'I love your coat'

Joey Essex tells Nigel Farage 'I love your coat'

Joey Essex praised Nigel Farage's dress sense as they met in Grimsby this morning.

The reality star told the Ukip leader: "I love your jacket...we're matching."

The Only Way Is Essex star is meeting the four top political leaders as part of an ITV2 programme.

He said today: "I don't really understand much about the political life...I'm just trying to show the youth that it's a good thing to vote."


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NUT to hold strike ballot after the election over cuts

Schoolchildren could face disruption before the end of the year after teachers voted for a post-election ballot on national strikes over education funding cuts. Delegates at the National Union of Teachers annual conference in Harrogate backed a resolution effectively giving the next government a six-month deadline to come up with a fresh plan to protect school spending, or face industrial action, including walkouts.

NUT to hold strike ballot after the election over cuts Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

They warned that the looming funding cuts currently faced by schools and colleges will damage pupils' education, lead to job losses and hit teachers' pay, pensions and workload.

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Ukip 'defector' claims sacking was 'pre-emptive strike'

Former Conservative parliamentary candidate Mike Whitehead has claimed he was fired in a "pre-emptive strike" as the Tories knew he was about to join Ukip.

Whitehead, who announced his defection to Nigel Farage's party today, admitted he had already been removed as candidate for Hull West and Hessle but questioned the Tories' reasons for doing so.

Mike Whitehead has defected from the Conservatives to Ukip. Credit: Conservative Party/PA Wire

He claimed the party already knew he was outside the Conservative group on the local East Riding Council when he was selected as the parliamentary candidate.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: "It's a bit odd, but I believe the reason they did that is because they knew I was standing up against the Tory group that was off side with the Conservative Party itself."

Of the email notifying him of his sacking last week, he said: "I got an email on Wednesday evening to say that if I did not stand aside from my intentions to stand in the local elections, they would remove my candidacy in West Hull and Hessle."

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Tories release extracts of email to 'sacked' candidate

Ukip "defector" Mike Whitehead was told last week that he would not be selected as a Conservative candidate at the General Election, according to correspondence seen by ITV News.

The Conservatives say the email extracts - which they say were sent on 1 April - counter the claim that Whitehead was due to stand for the party in Hull West and Hessle, a Labour-held seat in East Yorkshire.

According to the Conservatives, Whitehead was told he would not be selected after refusing to support a local Conservative council candidate.

As you are not on the approved list of candidates of Haltemprice and Howden Conservative Association you will not be selected by the Conservative Party to stand for any ward covered by the Association at the local elections.

As you have stated that you intend to stand in the local, election despite not having been selected for the Party, and despite Mrs Clarke asking you to agree to support whoever is properly selected by the Association to fight the Willerby and Kirkella ward, I am forced to act to protect the Party by refusing to agree to you being nominated to represent the Conservative Party at the 2015 General Election as candidate for Hull West and Hessle.

It is not feasible for me to allow someone to stand for the Party at a General Election who has announced an intention to stand against the Party at another election on the same day.

I am disappointed that this email has become necessary.

– Extract from Conservative Party email to Mike Whitehead
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