Nigel Farage has put the issue of immigration at the centre of his argument for the UK to leave the European Union.
Speaking at UKIP's Spring conference in Llandudno, he said the 23 June referendum could be "independence day" if the UK voted to leave the union. He said he doubted official figures "told the truth" about immigration.
Mr Farage also said he was optimistic his party would "make a breakthrough" in June's Welsh assembly elections. Elections will be held in Scotland, Northern Ireland and London, as well as in Wales, on 5 May and the UKIP leader told the conference he was "pretty optimistic" the party was going to do "very well".
President Obama is doubling down on his support for the United Kingdom to remain a part of the European Union, even as some prominent British politicians have accused the U.S. leader of being "nakedly hypocritical" on the issue.
"This is a decision for the United Kingdom to make," the president told reporters Friday during a visit to London. "I'm not coming here to fix any votes. I'm not casting a vote myself. I'm offering my opinion."
But the outcome of the June 23rd "Brexit" referendum, which calls for Britain to secede from its membership with the E.U., remains "a matter of deep interest" to the United States "because it affects our prospects as well," the president said.
"The United States wants a strong United Kingdom as a partner, and the United Kingdom is at its best when it's helping to lead a strong Europe. It leverages UK power to be part of the European Union," he added. "I don't believe the EU moderates British influence in the world -- it magnifies it.
The Dalai Lama has distanced himself from a poster circulated by Brexit campaigners that suggested the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader was in favour of the UK leaving the EU.
Leave.EU, the unofficial Brexit campaign run by the Ukip donor Arron Banks, tweeted an image of a quote attributed to the Dalai Lama stating: “The goal should be that migrants return and help rebuild their countries. You have to be practical … It’s impossible for everyone to come.”
Underneath, the tweet written by Leave.EU said: “The Dalai Lama favours a more balanced approach to migration. Let’s reclaim democratic control on June 23rd!”
The party saw more than 20 new councillors elected to councils and it took six seats on the Welsh Assembly, which saw dramatic political comebacks for former Tory MPs Neil Hamilton and Mark Reckless.
Mr Farage said his people’s army was “really biting hard” into the Labour vote. Ukip was now confirmed as “the third biggest party in the United Kingdom by a country mile”, he declared.
The party leader said: “Many traditional Labour voters look at Jeremy Corbyn and look at the Labour party and see that it’s gone way to the Left – and doesn’t look very patriotic.
“Unless the Labour party changes course then Ukip will continue to go on growing at the expense of Labour.” And he insisted that the Ukip vote surge will help the campaign for an EU exit in next month’s referendum.
Pro-Brexit voters were shown outnumbering their Remain counterparts in two surveys last week, including, for the first time, one conducted over the telephone, prompting huge concern in the pro-EU camp and causing the pound to plummet.
Two recent polls – including, crucially, a telephone survey for the first time - have put the Leave campaign in front. In response, bookmakers are repricing bets on Brexit, especially as the vast majority of money being gambled is for an Out vote.
Wider polling tells a similar story. The FT notes that Remain retains a slight advantage in the poll of the most recent six polls, but at 51 per cent to 49 per cent, this is now down to merely a margin for error.