Page last updated at 12:44 GMT, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 13:44 UK

Manifesto Watch: UKIP's launch

By Brian Wheeler
At The Atrium restaurant, Westminster

VENUE: The Atrium restaurant - scene of many a Westminster drama, including Cherie Blair's "I'm not Superwoman" speech and Joanna Lumley's humbling of immigration minister Phil Woolas.

One of the UKIP campaign posters
UKIP unveiled one of its campaign posters at its manifesto launch

It is in the same building as the offices of the BBC, ITV, Sky and many other broadcasters. UKIP hired a tiny side room for some reason, which rapidly became very hot and sweaty indeed.

VISUAL STYLE: Basic. Pre-Cameron Tory with a hint of punk rebellion. Their latest poster reads "Sod The Lot. Vote UKIP". Journalists all went home with "hilarious" T-shirts printed with slogans such as "Withdraw! Before it's too late!" and "I love it when you talk straight to me" printed on them.

ATMOSPHERE: Golf club AGM.

MUSIC: None. No films either - but at least we got coffee and croissants, unlike at Monday's Labour launch.

STAR TURN: Ex-leader Nigel Farage took over - as he tends to - but there was also the briefest of cameos from Caroline, Lady Pearson of Rannoch.

UKIP leader Lord Pearson on why they are backing some candidates from other parties

The wife of the party leader Lord Pearson, she is standing in Kensington and Chelsea in West London. She is not a political creature, her husband confesses. She even bans him from talking about Europe at dinner parties, he told me last week.

DO SAY: This lot are really going to shake up the old Lib-Lab-Con gang.

DON'T SAY:

MANIFESTO WATCH
Labour, Tory, Lib Dem manifestos

With their new "sod-them-all" poster and Farage's lively contributions in the European Parliament, are UKIP in danger of becoming the yob's party of choice?

KEY SOUNDBITE: "UKIP wants to be out of the EU but into the world."

TELLING MOMENT: Nigel Farage comes to the rescue when Lord Pearson starts to get into a knot as he answers a typically complex question from the Guardian's Michael White.



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