The proposal in the Ukip manifesto to abolish the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has been branded as 'beyond barmy' by Unite, the country's largest union.

Unite national officer for energy and utilities, Kevin Coyne said: "At a time when the planning of the future energy needs of the UK is critical, the Ukip proposal to axe the energy department is beyond barmy and would create chaos.

"We need a central department at the heart of government to co-ordinate and balance all the elements of a coherent and strategic energy policy - nuclear, coal, oil, wind, solar and fracking.” 

Mr Coyne argued that the DECC has been crucial in co-ordinating nuclear policy, which has led to much-needed new nuclear build in the UK.

“It has done a similar excellent job in promoting wind power which has created many good jobs and boosted economic growth,” he continued.

"These are complex issues, balancing competing interests from the energy companies, industry and the consumer. They can't be left to the DIY policies of Nigel Farage.

"There is also the climate change agenda, which affects everyone on the planet, and this also needs a strong voice at the cabinet table. It is ridiculous in a sector, which has been privatised, that the ministry pulling all the strands together at the centre should be abolished.

"I suppose when the lights start to go out because of the Ukip's non-policies, Farage and his motley crew will be blaming immigrants for the darkened streets and closed-down factories," he concluded.