UKIP believes the party is strengthening its hold in Bradford after recruiting dozens of new activists.

The party claims many have defected from Labour, with smaller numbers from the Liberal Democrats and Conservative camps.

About a dozen gathered for a meeting to announce the development, with the promise of more to follow.

Not all will be party members, but some have announced an intention to stand in elections and others will work to encourage support within communities.

Many of the new recruits are from minority backgrounds, including Eastern European, and UKIP’s Bradford chairman Jason Smith said that reflected the party’s stance of giving a voice to all communities.

He was joined by Owais Rajput, who became a UKIP supporter recently after 23 years’ service as a Labour activist. He said: “The 18- to 30-year-olds don’t vote because of mistrust. Now we are getting their membership. I think this will help make history, both nationally and locally, at the next election. People are showing their trust in UKIP.”