THURROCK'S prospective Labour MP has stressed the importance of not dismissing residents who vote Ukip as “racist”.

Polly Billington, the Labour candidate for Thurrock, has for the first time spoken of the threats Ukip pose to other parties in an article written for Labourlist last week.

Ms Billington highlighted the significance of understanding why people support the right-wing party.

Ms Billington wrote: “The people who are most likely to vote UKIP in my community have had a rough old time of it.

“They have seen secure jobs being replaced by agency work; decent pay and conditions disappear as relentless “restructuring” and “flexibility” eat into their ambitions for themselves and their families.”

However, Ms Billington added Ukip does not provide the best solutions for their problems.

She said: “UKIP’s politics of despair is based on a zero-sum games of jobs, public services and homes – where the country doesn’t just freeze but turns the clock back.”

Tim Aker, prospective Ukip MP for Thurrock, responded: “It is just desperate from Labour they have no argument left.

“In the article she did not mention anything about issues that worry residents such as immigration. All it was bothered about was spreading more lies about Ukip.”

During the May elections, Ukip gained five seats in Thurrock and won 39 per cent of the overall vote taking the balance of power from Labour to a council run on no overall control.