THE UK Independence Party (Ukip) opened its first Oxfordshire office in Abingdon this morning.

The party's prospective parliamentary candidates for the county were joined by UKIP South East MEP Diane James at the East Saint Helen Street building for its official opening.

Ms James said: "We are parking our tanks on all the party lawns across the country. 

"We are not frightened of campaigning in places like Oxfordshire, even though they are seen as Conservative strongholds."

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The Abingdon office will be used as a base by the party while it campaigns around the county.

It will be open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, staffed by party volunteers.

Oxfordshire constituency organiser Dickie Bird said the party’s membership in Oxfordshire had increased “massively” in the last two years.

The party now has between 500 and 600 members in Oxfordshire.