UKIP has stepped in at the last minute to help save the historic HMS Plymouth.

Campaigners had fallen short of the £5000 target desperately needed to fund legal action to prevent the frigate being towed away from Merseyside at the end of this month.

On hearing this news UKIP, whose Wirral branch has long supported the campaigners, came up with the missing cash and the protest group now plans to apply to have the ship “arrested.”

Peel Ports intend an ignominious end for the Type 12 frigate – the last in her class – by having her towed away from Birkenhead Docks to be recycled at a Turkish scrapyard.

Phil Griffiths, chairman of Wirral UKIP and North West president, said, “As soon as we heard the fund was so near but so far from its target we immediately leapt in to help.

“This ship is part of our maritime history and was the star attraction in the historic warship exhibition in the East Float Dock. I appreciate it obviously does not have the technology of modern warships but it could still be used for cadet training and as a tourist attraction.

“It should be preserved as a memorial for future generations, to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. This country does not seem to care about its heritage and appears to want to forget about it, unlike the USA which looks after its heritage. Our government wastes millions on failed IT systems but will not invest in an integral part of our history.

“The fight is far from over but UKIP will continue to closely monitor the situation and do all we can to assist,” said Mr Griffiths.

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