Ukip’s European elections win worrying says Tony Blair
Former PM says it would be foolish not to be worried by Ukip success, and pro-Europeans have to heed message from voters.
It would be foolish if Britain’s main parties did not worry about Ukip topping a national election in Britain, Tony Blair has said.
The former prime minister made no mention of Labour’s performance or the response of Ed Miliband to the results, in remarks to Swedish television reported by his office.
But he said: “Of course we should be worried when a party like Ukip comes first in the European election, it would be foolish not to be. But on the other hand we also have to stand for what is correct and right for the future of Britain in the 21st century.
“When the world is changing so fast, to end up having the debate dominated by anti-immigrant feeling and a desire to get Britain out of Europe, these are not solutions for the 21st century. They might be expressions of anger about what is happening in the world but they are not answers to what is happening in the world.
“Of course we have to respond in Europe as a whole on these issues but we have also got to have the courage and the leadership to stand up and take these people on. And in the end it’s an ideology and philosophy that has nothing to offer people.”
Blair said there was a “major issue” about the way Europe worked and said pro-Europeans had to take on board the message sent by voters.