General Election 2015: Daily Express owner Richard Desmond donates £1.3m to Ukip just before BBC debate

 
Guy Bentley
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Ukip lands £1m donation (Source: Getty)

Ukip has received a ringing endorsement from the owner of the Daily and Sunday Express Richard Desmond.

The media tycoon has donated £1.3m to Nigel Farage's party just hours before the Ukip leader will face-off against the other opposition leaders in a BBC debate.

The Daily Express has been a keen supporter of Ukip with its former political editor Patrick O'Flynn now serving as a Ukip MEP and now fighting the election as a prospective parliamentary candidate.

Desmond told the Express he endorsed Ukip because it was a party for ordinary people:

They (Ukip) 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

Nigel Farage welcomed the donation saying: "This money will make a big difference. We are up against the big battalions; this helps significantly."

Ukip unveiled its manifesto on Wednesday with promises to cut skilled immigration down to 50,000 per year and introduce a five-year moratorium on unskilled immigration.

Farage promised the country a low-tax revolution and said the party would slash the foreign aid budget and scrap HS2 to pay for fresh spending pledges on the NHS as well as pay down the deficit.

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