May ‘must bear responsibility’ for Arena attack, claims Ukip

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Theresa May “must bear some responsibility” over the Manchester terror attack, a senior Ukip figure has claimed as the party cut short a campaign truce to launch its general election manifesto.

Suzanne Evans MEP accused the Prime Minister of failing to stop radical hate preachers from entering the UK and not doing enough to control immigration while Home Secretary.

Theresa May arrives for the NATO summit in Brussels. Picture: AP

Theresa May arrives for the NATO summit in Brussels. Picture: AP

Ms Evans later tried to walk back her comments, but continued to insist that “politicians should have taken action on that long ago”.

Party leader Paul Nuttall said Ukip would take “a far more muscular approach” to social integration in order to stop young British muslims from being radicalised.

Journalists were the target of angry heckles after asking Mr Nuttall if he was disrespecting the victims in Manchester by saying “it is not good enough to light candles and proclaim that extremists will not beat us”.

• READ MORE: Theresa May: public must be ‘vigilant’, terror threat remains critical

The BBC political editor was shouted at to “get back down your hole” by Ukip supporters at the event.

Ukip said it was sending a message that terrorists “will not win” by launching its manifesto a day before other major parties had agreed to restart national campaigning after the attack at the Manchester Arena, which killed 22 and injured dozens more.

Mr Nuttall said Islamic fundamentalism “one of the major issues” facing politicians and backed seizing the passports of Britons who leave to fight for the Islamic State.

“I am proud Ukip is setting out its patriotic agenda for defending our country and our way of life,” he said.

“Be in no doubt, the problem will not be solved if politicians are too cowardly to confront or even identify where the problem lies.

“Moreover, without the political will to take difficult decisions, challenge communities and most importantly secure our borders, things are only going to get worse.”

Mr Nuttall said he made no apologies for calling radical Islam “a cancer in our society”.

“I will repeat it - it is a cancer that needs to be cut out,” he added.

Ms Evans made a blistering attack on the Prime Minister, saying: “Theresa May might like to portray herself as a strong and stable leader who can tackle extremism, but her record suggests otherwise.”

She added: “Theresa May has allowed jihadists who fought alongside Islamic State back into our country.

“She has failed to prevent extremists spreading hatred in our universities and our mosques.

“Under her watch, even non-EU migration spiralled out of control and net migration reached record highs.

“A growing backlog of failed asylum seekers and a failure to deport illegal immigrants or foreign criminals were further hallmarks of her time as home secretary.”

• READ MORE: Manchester attack: Armed police to patrol on board trains

Mr Nuttall attacked Theresa May’s record as home secretary, saying: “The Prime Minister has, during her time in high office, presided over cuts to our police service and reductions in our Armed Forces too.

“She has put pressure on the police to lower the numbers of stops and searches they carry out.

“And no progress whatever was made reducing the level of immigration in order to give social cohesion a chance to advance.

“This, despite Mrs May’s pledge to bring net migration down to the tens of thousands.”

Ukip says it would introduce a net migration target of zero through a ‘one in one out’ policy, increase defence spending by £1bn annually, and add 4,000 officers to the border force

The party would also slash the foreign aid budget from 0.7% of GDP to 0.2%.

The Ukip manifesto includes a pledge to ban full face coverings in public and ban the practice of Sharia law in the UK.

There would be no tax rises at all under a Ukip government, and low and middle earners would see their tax bill cut by raising the personal allowance to £13,500 and the 40p threshold to £55,000.

Ukip says it would keep the pensions triple lock, introduce flexible pensions to allow early retirees to claim a lower state pension, and protect benefits for the disabled and carers.

Ukip would refuse to pay any Brexit ‘divorce’ bill, name June 23 an annual ‘Independence Day’ bank holiday, restore the blue British passport and ban the EU flag from being flown from public buildings once the UK leaves the bloc.

Ukip would also scrap the HS2 rail project and the Barnett formula.