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Ukip claim 'cock up not conspiracy' after picture showed supporters in Bolton and not Stoke

Ukip admit picture taken in Bolton and not Stoke Credit: Ukip

Ukip has claimed "cock-up rather than conspiracy" after it tweeted a photo said to show campaigners in Stoke when they were actually in Bolton.

The party's Twitter account pictured its "people's army" gathered in a car park with "Vote Ukip" placards, adding they were in the West Midlands city to aid leader Paul Nuttall's bid to become MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central.

But other Twitter users insisted the location was more than 50 miles away near the Macron Stadium, home to Bolton Wanderers and the venue for Ukip's spring conference on Friday.

Ukip said the error was caused following a mix-up with its digital team, with a spokesman stating the photo was taken before activists set off to Stoke.

The controversy comes after a week in which Paul Nuttall was forced to apologise for claiming he knew victims in the Hillsborough tragedy.

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UKIP's leader faces more questions about claims on his website

Paul Nuttall addressing UKIP's Spring conference Credit: ITV Granada

UKIP's party's leader Paul Nuttall has faced fresh questions about claims made on his website.

He's hoping to take the Stoke-on-Trent Central seat from Labour in Thursday's by-election.

But he faced further claims about inaccuracies on his website after a training charity denied an assertion on his website that he had been on its board.

His website, which has been taken down for "scheduled maintenance" after it emerged that claims he lost "close personal friends" in the Hillsborough disaster were false, suggested that he was joining the board of the North West Training Council (NWTC).

A press release from September 2009 said the North West England MEP was invited to the post after accepting an invitation to visit the NWTC.

"They are doing a first-class job and I am thrilled at the honour of being a board member," Mr Nuttall said.

But the organisation's chief executive, Paul Musa, said Mr Nuttall had never served on the board.

He told the Guardian: "Mr Nuttall was never invited to become a board member of NWTC as this would need to be a directive of the NWTC board, who he never met."

A Ukip spokesman said he was "rather surprised that this has just cropped up" and insisted the press release was put out with NWTC's knowledge.

"If it had not been accurate, don't you think it would have been complained about at the time?" the spokesman said.

UKIP's show of unity for embattled leader Paul Nuttall

Members of UKIP stood and applauded their embattled leader Paul Nuttall at the party's Spring Conference.

There was anger this week when it emerged claims on his website that he lost close friends at Hillsborough were in fact false.

But today the politician from Bootle hit out at what he called a "smear campaign" against him, after some claimed he wasn't at the disaster at all.

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