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Ukip mocked for using Bolton photo in Stoke campaign tweet

Paul Nuttall is hoping to be elected in Stoke on Trent Central Credit: PA

Ukip has been mocked online after boasting about its "people's army" campaigning in Stoke for the upcoming by-election - only for the location to be identified by others as Bolton.

The party's Twitter account showed supporters in a car park with "Vote Ukip" placards, adding in the tweet that they were in the city to aid Paul Nuttall's bid to become MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central.

But eagle-eyed Twitter users insisted that the real location of the photo was more than 50 miles away, near the Macron Stadium in Bolton, which was the venue for Ukip's spring conference.

Ukip later acknowledged the mistake, putting it down to "cock-up rather than conspiracy".

Google Streetview images confirm that Bolton is the location of the photo, as the red buildings in the background match.

Twitter user Ian Moss wrote: "I'm from Stoke, but by genetic inheritance support Bolton. Which is why I know that photo is not in Stoke, but outside Bolton's home ground."

The car park in Bolton. Credit: Google Streetview

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.

A Ukip spokesman said: "Fakery be damned. Photo sent to our digital team, they thought it was when the activists got to Stoke, it was in fact when they were about to set off to Stoke.

"Definitely cock-up rather than conspiracy territory. You can rest assured that the guilty party has already been sent to Devil's Island where they will be force-fed gruel and made to chant 'I must check before tweeting' whilst hammering tin tacks into their fingertips."

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

Candidates in Stoke-on-Trent by-election:

  • Mohammad Akram, independent
  • Zulfiqar Ali, Liberal Democrats
  • Jack Brereton, Conservative
  • The Incredible Flying Brick, Monster Raving Loony
  • Adam Colclough, Green
  • Godfrey Davies, Christian Peoples
  • Barbara Fielding, independent
  • David Furness, BNP
  • Paul Nuttall, UKIP
  • Gareth Snell, Labour