Why Ukip leadership hopeful Diane James is not proposing any policies

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A Ukip MEP bidding to succeed Nigel Farage has insisted she is putting forward no policies as part of her leadership campaign.

Diane James said she wants to "refresh and review" the party's 2015 general election manifesto in her first 100 days should she become leader.

This would ensure Ukip is "fully prepared" if Prime Minister Theresa May calls an early general election, she added.

Ms James has organised her own events rather than attend the Ukip leadership hustings involving the other four candidates.  

Asked what policies she has put forward at her events, Ms James told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "I have not put forward any policies. What I have put forward is what I've called my first 100 days programme.

"I've made the point that any candidate developing policy on the hoof, putting forward ideas about policies at this stage without checking if they're realistic, whether the current Government system we have - either still in the EU or finally out of the European Union control - whether they're costed or not, you can't make up policy like that."

Pressed on her first 100-day programme including no policies, Ms James replied: "It entails a refresh and review of our very successful - and acknowledged as such - general election manifesto to ensure that if Theresa May bounces in with a very early general election - I think she will do that - that we are fully prepared.

"That means going back to that very successful general election manifesto, updating it, refreshing it, reviewing it, taking out stuff that's no longer relevant because, for instance, our opposition has already stolen it, and making sure that it's absolutely fresh and appeals to the political environment out there when the next general election occurs."

Presenter Mishal Husain noted: "So there is nothing fresh that you have put forward now as part of your offering?" 

Ms James replied: "No, I have not. What I have highlighted is that the focus I believe has got to be on the National Health Service, has got to be on defence and homeland security, and it's got to be on delivering housing supply."

Ukip's justice and home affairs spokeswoman also said there is no need for a dress code for British beaches.

Asked if she would like to see the UK emulate some French authorities in banning burkinis, Ms James replied: "There's no reason to do that, is there?

"But if there was a UK Bill of Rights, if there was a proper - and I emphasise proper - citizens' charter that said if individuals are coming here, this is what we expect of you to integrate into the UK society, I don't think some of the problems the French have come up with would even begin to manifest themselves here."

Pressed on whether she would like to see a "burkini ban" on British beaches, Ms James said she would not criticise the French after noting it was a decision taken by local government in some areas of France.

Ms James added: "I don't see any reason to ban or invoke or introduce a dress code for beaches."