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Speaking on Sky News the Tory Chairman denied that there was a simple solution to UKIP's growth. He defended Britain's membership of the EU and said Europe was not UKIP voters' main concern (something recently verified by Lord Ashcroft's polling).

Asked to comment on this unfortunate choice of photo that accompanied an article on benefits uprating that IDS has written for today's Sun, Mr Shapps said that vast majority of people on benefits were victims of a system that penalised a graduation from welfare to work and the Coalition was correcting that with its Universal Credit.

> In an earlier Sky interview, Nigel Farage claimed it was not "odd" to believe in control of immigration or leaving Europe. He urged Cameron to stop being "rude" about UKIP members.

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