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Page last updated at 14:02 GMT, Thursday, 15 April 2010 15:02 UK

Gloucester UKIP candidate criticises party's poster

UKIP poster
Mr Smith said he objected to the language of the poster

The UKIP parliamentary candidate for Gloucester has criticised his own party's election campaign poster as being "highly offensive".

The poster features images of the three main political party's leaders and the slogan: "Sod the lot".

Mike Smith said his party should be concentrating on policies and not trading insults.

He said: "I object to the language. I think we are descending to the levels of the other parties."

He added: "I would have preferred some positive message, such as 'everyone on minimum wage out of income tax', 'defend our armed forces', or slogans such as that, that highlight our exciting policies, not attacking the leaders of the old failed parties."

Labour candidate, Parmjit Dhanda, who is fighting to retain his seat in Gloucester, said: "I agree with Mike.

"At a time when politics is not held in particularly high regard, we need to do more to get across positive messages about what we can do for the future and cut out the name-calling."

Shared disdain

Jeremy Hilton, of the Liberal Democrats, said the poster "summed up the attitude of the United Kingdom Independence Party".

He said: "Abusive remarks by other party leaders does politics an injustice."

Conservative candidate Richard Graham said: "That [the poster] is not exactly raising the level of the debate."

A UKIP spokesman said: "Mike is a great local candidate, and, like all in UKIP he says it as he sees it.

"UKIP have a range of positive policies, but we also recognise that the country is fed up to the back teeth with the failed, establishment, political elite.

"The poster is directed at those who have given up on politics and who share with us a disdain for all Westminster parties."

Candidates announced so far to contest Gloucester are: Labour: Parmjit Dhanda; Liberal Democrat: Jeremy Hilton; Conservative: Richard Graham; Green Party: Brian Meloy; English Democrats: Alan Platt

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