'Hard hitting' or 'racist'? Opinion divided on Ukip's new poster campaign

One Labour MP labelled Ukip's new advertising campaign 'racist'. Credit: Ukip

Ukip's advertising blitz ahead of next month's European Parliament campaign has, perhaps unsurprisingly, divided opinion.

The billboards take aim at various aspects of EU policy, especially free movement of labour, which the eurosceptic party says is taking jobs away from British workers.

One poster claims 26 million unemployed Europeans are "after" British jobs, while another depicts a British construction worker reduced to begging under the tagline "British workers are hit hard by unlimited cheap labour".

Labour MP Mike Gapes labelled the posters "racist", while the leader of the UK's Catholic church, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, *made a general appeal *to avoid language that would "dismay or distress at all these people coming to this country".

This poster takes aims at European politicians' expenses. Credit: UKIP

Ukip leader Nigel Farage gave a typically forthright response on Daybreak this morning, claiming the political establishment were using a "classic trick" to shut down debate about immigration.

The man putting his money behind the campaign, multimillionaire businessman Paul Sykes, is equally unapologetic about the posters' message. He has written in today's Daily Telegraph defending the campaign.

Only once May's election results are in will it be clear whether Mr Sykes' cash and Ukip's tough stance have been effective.