Ukip leadership candidate pledges to fight to scrap HS2 'white elephant'

Philip Broughton has pledged to fight the Government HS2 plans.

Philip Broughton has pledged to fight the Government HS2 plans.

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A Ukip leadership candidate has pledged to fight to scrap the Government's HS2 high-speed rail project, describing it as a "complete and utter white elephant".

Phillip Broughton, one of five people fighting to replace Nigel Farage at the top of the party, outlined a series of cuts he would support in order to spend more money on "frontline services" like the NHS and the police.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Ukip under his leadership would campaign to protect the NHS, introduce controlled immigration and lower taxes.

"Government is about making choices and choosing priorities and what I would say is we need to concentrate the resources on the frontline services: our NHS, our armed forces and the police," he said.

"What we need to cut, very, very clearly: foreign aid, we are spending £16billion, we are spending about £40billion on quangos, we have got a £60billion HS2 project which is going ahead which is a complete and utter white elephant, and we have got the Barnett formula at £4billion, which is actually giving Scotland £733 more per head than my region, which is the poorest region in the country, the North East. That can't be right."

Mr Broughton, a former semi-professional wrestler, who stood for the Hartlepool seat in last year's general election, said the Barnett formula, which is used to calculate how much public funding is given to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, should be reformed to ensure all nations, including England, are treated fairly.

He is joined in the Ukip leadership race by Bill Etheridge, Elizabeth Jones, Lisa Duffy and the favourite, Diane James.

Ballot papers were issued to Ukip members earlier this week, with the winner of the contest due to be announced at the party's annual conference in Bournemouth on September 15.