Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Tristram Hunt calls UKIP “politics of anger”

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Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Tristram Hunt blasted rivals UKIP, days after they secured their second seat in Parliament.

Shadow Education Secretary Mr Hunt hit out after their victory in the Rochester & Strood by-election.

And Mr Hunt told StaffsLive that voting for UKIP was the politics of “anger and frustration”.

He said: “First of all the UKIP are more Tory than the Tories.

“Look at their policies on NHS, their policies on regeneration, their policies on education.

“They don’t have the answers. It’s politics of anger and frustration.”

But he acknowledges the growing popularity of Nigel Farage’s party in North Staffordshire in particular.

He said: “UKIP did do well in the European elections and in some of the local elections in Newcastle.

“But the way we counter the politics of UKIP is to be on the doorstep, to have the conversations.”

And Mr Hunt, widely tipped by many as a future Prime Minister, blames the Conservatives for UKIP’s triumph, despite his own party finishing third place.

He said: “By elections always provide their own dynamic, but for the Prime Minister to lose two Conservative MPs to UKIP is a real shock to the system.

“It points to what I think is a cultural war, civil war within the Conservatives over Europe.”

With his own Labour party finishing third in the by election, Mr Hunt is aware significant work will have to be done.

But Mr Hunt, who was speaking during a visit to Staffordshire University’s Stoke-on-Trent campus, remains confident Labour will win the 2015 General Election.

He added: “I think we’re going to win.

“The fundamental question in next year’s election is whose going to produce an economy working for you.

“What we have seen in our economy recently is this worrying divide between economic growth on the one hand and falling standards of living on the other.

“We are not seeing the rewards flowing to working people.

“Whether it’s Labour policies on the minimum wage, on tackling zero hour contracts, stopping agency working, all of those interventions will help working people.”

(Additional reporting by Tom Parry, Ciara Lawn and Grainne Mullen)

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