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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 February 2007, 01:01 GMT
UKIP to push 'independence' theme
Nigel Farage
Party leader Nigel Farage is backing an independence theme
The UK Independence Party will campaign in May's English local elections as The Independence Party, its leader Nigel Farage has told the BBC.

He likened it to the Labour Party campaigning as New Labour in 1997.

Mr Farage said the party still wanted independence from Europe but wanted to stress its call for more independence for things like hospitals and schools.

He said research had been commissioned into whether to permanently change the party's name, colours and pound logo.

In a statement on the UKIP website Mr Farage said: "We must open our eyes to possible changes.

"When we adopted the pound sign as our logo, it was superb, as it said what we stood for. That logo now marks an historical victory rather than an aspiration for the future: we must look at alternatives.

"No decision will be made, however, without full consultation of the membership."

Mr Farage said the party wanted independence from the EU, independence for public services from Whitehall and independence for individuals from government attempts to interfere in social lives in a way "that we find unacceptable".

Mr Farage, who became leader of UKIP last September, has been keen to try and broaden the appeal of the party, which has often been seen as focused on the single issue of Europe.

"We've developed a detailed domestic manifesto and we have to reflect that in our campaigning," he told the BBC's The World Tonight programme.

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