Breastfeeding mums and poster-waving protestors hampered a Parliamentary launch by UKIP leader Nigel Farage in Rotherham today.
Mr Farage was expected to cut a ribbon outside a UKIP shop on Wellgate, Rotherham, to launch the campaign of the town’s candidate and current Yorkshire MEP Jane Collins.
But that did not go ahead ‘on the advice of police’ after crowds of protestors gathered outside, although he gave interviews to press inside the shop.
Breastfeeding Rotherham mums Julie Stribley and Donna Al-amrie were there - along with friend Dom Cutts, who wore cardboard pictures of nipples - after Mr Farage was involved in a controversy over breastfeeding.
Others held placards which read ‘hands off Rotherham’ and ‘justice for the victims’, referring the the child sex abuse scandal which has rocked the town again .
Protestors, some supporters of party TUSC, said UKIP was using the scandal to ‘distract’ people from its policies.
Rotherham business owner Brian Johnson said the party was ‘fear-mongering’.
He added: “Imagine being one of the child sex victims and walking past the window of this shop where there are copies of news stories about it on the windows, this horrific thing that happened to you is a political tool.”
Mr Farage said trade unions were ‘determined’ to stop UKIP from speaking.
He added: “If there are residents here who don’t like what UKIP stand for I’ve got some advice for them - don’t vote UKIP. That’s how democracy works.
“We as a party warned for a long time that state sponsored multi-culturalism division and political correctness are bad things in society and what you see in this town are some of the results of that.”
Ms Collins said there were ‘divisions’ in Rotherham as people had turned a ‘blind eye’. She added: “My vision for Rotherham is social cohesion because we have a diverse set of communities and we need everyone working together.”