Northern Ireland

European and council elections: UKIP launches manifesto

The UK Independence Party has launched its Northern Ireland manifesto for May's European and council elections.

UKIP criticised what it called the "cosy coalition" between the DUP and Sinn Féin at Stormont claiming the major parties were letting voters down.

Policies include requiring the union flag to be flown permanently on all public buildings, stopping councillors co-opting relatives into elected positions, and giving priority for social housing to people born in the UK.

Another is to end special treatment for European migrants by leaving the European Union.

Asked whether UKIP's intervention will simply fragment the unionist vote, the party's European candidate Henry Reilly said that "the current strands of unionism and nationalism have failed the ordinary people of Northern Ireland.

"We see an assembly that's moribund and quite pathetic in many ways.

"We are not getting any action in terms of how to improve the quality of life of people here.

"So, our message is, as well as the European message, our big message is that we will grow and we will provide a viable alternative to the mess that we have now."

The UKIP manifesto launch was also attended by the party's deputy leader, Paul Nuttall MEP, and the party's only MLA, David McNarry.