UKIP ditches Doncaster as venue for annual conference

UKIP has ditched Doncaster in favour of Bournemouth for its annual party conference.

Thursday, 11th August 2016, 1:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:06 pm
Nigel Farage signs the arm of fan Kerry Webb, who has a tattoo of the politician on her arm at last year's UKIP conference in Doncaster.

The party has hosted its last two annual conferences at Doncaster Racecourse, attracting thousands of delegates from across the country.

But this year the party has opted for a change of scenery and will stage its gathering on the South Coast, the event taking place at from 15-17 September at the Bournemouth International Centre.

In 2014, then leader Nigel Farage announced he was "putting the tanks on Labour's lawns" by holding the conference in Doncaster, as a direct challenge to then Labour leader Ed Miliband whose constituency is Doncaster North.

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Last year, the party returned to Doncaster with controversial and outspoken columnist Katie Hopkins among those attending to hear Mr Farage's keynote speech. A woman with a tattoo of the politician on her arm was also in attendance.

This year will be the party's first major conference without Nigel Farage after he announced his resignation as leader earlier this year.

UKIP secured more than 28,000 votes in Doncaster at the General Election, finishing second in both Doncaster Central and Ed Miliband’s Doncaster North constituency and third in Don Valley.

It has two seats on Doncaster Council - Jessie Credland in the Hatfield ward and Clive Stone who won a seat in the Rossington and Bawtry ward.

Last year, it was revealed how the party's former offices had re-opened - as an advice centre for Polish people.

The office in East Laith Gate, which was used by the party for campaigning during last year’s General Election re-opened as a help centre for Eastern Europeans.