Page last updated at 09:42 GMT, Sunday, 11 April 2010 10:42 UK

UKIP warning over 'corrupt octopus' of Brussels

Lord Pearson says the United Kingdom Independence Party supports 'genuine asylum' and 'wouldn't send anyone away' but wants a freeze on permanent settlement. When asked about Henry Angest, one of the Conservative Party's biggest financial backers, the Leader of UKIP told Andrew Marr 'Henry is someone who would like the Conservative Party to be more eurosceptic' and is 'working from within' to achieve that.

The UK Independence Party leader Lord Pearson has warned against five more years of integration into the "corrupt octopus that is Brussels".

The £6bn "squandered squillions" paid to the EU each year was the "elephant in the room" on spending, he said.

And he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show any UKIP candidate elected would demand a referendum on EU membership in return for support in a hung Parliament.

He also said the party proposed a flat tax of 31% for earnings over £11,500.

He said he feared that, should the Tories secure a working majority, there would be no referendum on EU membership in the next Parliament - despite the wishes of the Conservative grassroots.

He added: "After five more years of integration into the corrupt octopus that is Brussels, we won't just be enmeshed in its tentacles, as we are now, we will be in its bowels."

Lord Pearson said UKIP would cut spending further than their mainstream rivals - by an extra £50bn per year - although he disputed claims he would cut back on welfare payments such as Jobseeker's Allowance.

The peer said the £50bn savings had been identified by the Institute of Directors and the Taxpayers' Alliance, which campaigns for improved government efficiency. He insisted they would not affect frontline services.

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