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As reported yesterday, and the Express have now confirmed, Richard Desmond has donated a million pounds to UKIP. He is quoted as saying:
“I firmly believe in Ukip. It’s a party for good, ordinary British people. It is not run by elitists. They are struggling to have a voice.
They do not have a massive party machine or highly paid public relations people. They are human; they are not perfect and they do not pretend to be. But what they believe in is the best for the British people. They are the sort of people who will stand up for people who are struggling.
I don’t believe Cameron has delivered on his promises. I don’t want to be a member of a club. As Groucho Marx said, I don’t want to join any club that would have me as a member. I always have challenged the establishment and I want to continue to challenge it. I’m giving this money because I believe….as Emerson, Lake and Palmer might put it… Ukip’s political outlook is a ‘fanfare for the common man’. I want to back our customers, Daily Express readers, who believe in many of Ukip’s common-sense policies on the EU and immigration and taxation. That is why I am putting my hand in my pocket; it is for my customers, my readers. I hope by doing this, it will encourage more people to do the same.
I want them to stand up like me and be counted. I believe there are still people out there who are frightened to stand up for something new and I hope they will follow my example.”
The generous donation came as a surprise to UKIP senior staff, as well as press officers who did not know it was coming. They were quoted saying ‘no way’ .
Nigel Farage said that it would make a significant difference to the campaign.