Wales Election 2016

Welsh election: Library complains about UKIP photo

Gladstone's Library in UKIP manifesto

A Flintshire library dedicated to 19th Century Liberal Prime Minister William Gladstone has complained to UKIP after the party used a photo of it in its Welsh manifesto.

Gladstone's Library in Hawarden said it had not been asked for permission.

Warden Peter Francis said it gave the impression the library was "supportive of UKIP and its policies".

UKIP has not apologised and claimed the party was "closest ideologically" to the Liberal Party Gladstone joined.

Formerly known as St Deiniol's Library, it was founded by the former prime minister whose home and estate were nearby, being renamed in his honour in 2010.

The UKIP manifesto for May's assembly election, launched in Newport on Friday, includes a photo on the page outlining local government policy.

"The policies and principles on which UKIP is based are far from the ideals of William Gladstone," Mr Francis said.

"Gladstone was an internationalist and profoundly believed that the 'sanctity of life in the hill villages of Afghanistan among the winter snows are as inviolable in the eye of Almighty God as can be your own'.

"That is to say he felt that the unity of human beings throughout the world was vitally important and 'not limited by the shores of this island.''

Image copyright UKIP
Image caption The manifesto's front page

Mr Francis added the library "would like to reiterate that it supports no political party but upholds 'liberal values' wherever it sees them.

"To imply Gladstone's support for their cause, as this UKIP photo clearly does, is to devalue the memory and legacy of William Gladstone."

UKIP candidate Mark Reckless said the photo had been taken from the public highway by a photographer who had given the party permission to use it.

A spokesman added: "UKIP is a party founded on the principles of liberty and in particular self-governance and the protection of personal freedoms and is closest ideologically to the old Liberal Party that Gladstone joined as a Peelite.

"Gladstone was a great orator and believed strongly in holding public meetings, something that UKIP also firmly adheres to, and was a great advocate of preserving the UK's dominion.

"In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a modern day party more closely related to the principles of Gladstonian liberalism than UKIP.

"It's a shame that the people overseeing this great public library do not seem to understand anything about the politics of the great man who founded it."

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