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UKIP Is Trying To Get Journalists To Report On Screw-Ups By Other Parties

Nigel Farage's party is sick of people pointing out its embarrassing local councillors, so it's turned the tables.

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UKIP is circulating a 24-page document listing hundreds of alleged crimes, errors of judgment, and misdemeanours by local politicians from rival parties.

The party claims it is tired of being singled out by the national media whenever a UKIP councillor is accused of wrongdoing.

So it appears to be fighting back by trying to convince journalists to cover the actions of Conservative, Labour, and Lib Dem officials.

The document – which is entitled "liblabconcoucillorcriminals.pdf" and is split into snappy sections with headings such as "paedophilia", "rape", and "abuse of poor" – lists hundreds of local news stories relating to councillors representing other parties in recent years.

In short, the UKIP team are mad as hell, and they're not going to take it any more.

The document was put together by a group including Raheem Kassam, Nigel Farage's chief of staff.

"None of this stuff ever makes it to national media level," Kassam told BuzzFeed News. "It might get picked up at local media.

"As with this Conservative councillor calling Ed Miliband a Jew. If that was one of [our councillors] it would have made front page of The Times or Mail. What amazed me about that it got away with an apology. If it was one of our guys they'd have to resign and we'd make them resign."

Kassam explained how UKIP would respond when informed by a journalist that one of the party's members has been recorded making inappropriate remarks: "The head of candidates' response is to suspend him, mine is to ask for the audio, while the press office just run up and down the hall screaming.

"We see the transcript, take it to candidate, they say yes/no. If they're guilty, they often give a bullshit excuse about being hacked. If not guilty, they will provide evidence."

Kassam also insisted there is a media conspiracy at work whereby newspapers are fed anti-UKIP stories in exchange for laying off coverage of the mainstream political parties.

"[Political journalists] play this trading game with the other parties and say 'we won't get an exclusive with the prime minister if we run it'," he told BuzzFeed News. "By and large the Tory press office – and to a lesser extent Labour – are very good negotiators and they can keep things off the front pages if they want to."

Here's what a 24-page UKIP attack document looks like:

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.

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