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In The News

UKIP on verge of split as Islam-obsessed faction attempts takeover

Anne Marie Waters (left) with EDL founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (alias Tommy Robinson) and Liberty GB’s Paul Weston, launching a British version of the German anti-Islam movement PEGIDA

 

The dying United Kingdom Independence Party faces an imminent split as hundred of Islam-obsessed EDL supporters have joined the party in recent weeks, supporting the leadership campaign of former Labour Party activist Anne-Marie Waters, who is an ally of EDL founder ‘Tommy Robinson’. Her campaign is reportedly organised by former BNP activist Jack Buckby, who contested last year’s Batley & Spen by-election as candidate of Liberty GB, seen as a political arm of the EDL.

Most prominent figures in UKIP, including former leader Nigel Farage and almost all of the party’s MEPs, have indicated they will resign from the party if Ms Waters becomes leader.  One problem for the UKIP establishment is that the candidate most likely to defeat Ms Waters – former London mayoral candidate Peter Whittle – is almost equally obsessed by a militantly anti-Islam agenda.

There are suggestions that if Mr Whittle wins he will appoint Ms Waters as his deputy, a scenario which would again lead to a serious split.

 

Jack Buckby (left), now running the Anne Marie Waters campaign for UKIP leader, seen here in his earlier political life with fellow Young BNP official Jack Renshaw. Mr Renshaw has taken a different path: he is due to appear at Preston Magistrates Court on July 28th charged with ‘inciting racial hatred’.

 

Earlier this year a breakaway from UKIP was already being planned by Nigel Farage and his main financial backer Arron Banks.  This was to be called the Patriotic Alliance, and would have taken a clearer hard line on immigration than UKIP has previously espoused, though not a narrow and aggressive focus on Islam as advocated by Waters and Whittle: also it would have avoided the complications of UKIP’s democratic constitution, with power very much in the hands of Banks and Farage rather than an elected committee.

However the Banks-Farage plan has been delayed by June’s general election, rapid electoral collapse of UKIP, and growth of the EDL-style faction.

It now looks likely that UKIP could split into at least three segments.  The Waters-Whittle faction obsessed by opposing Islam; a libertarian faction inspired mainly by reducing state intervention and regulation post-Brexit, in pursuit of an extreme American-style version of Thatcherism; and the Banks-Farage group focused mainly on immigration and perhaps open to allowing members with past affiliation to nationalist parties and groups.

Peter Whittle (right) current favourite in the UKIP leadership race, seen here with outgoing leader Paul Nuttall

Nominations for the UKIP leadership election close on July 28th and the winner will be announced at the party’s national conference in Torquay on September 29th, but by then multiple splits will already be unavoidable.

Nigel Farage has already made clear that he will not stand: ‘Farageistes’ are likely to support either Welsh businessman John Rees-Evans, who finished third in the last UKIP contest won by Paul Nuttall last November, or David Coburn the leader of UKIP in Scotland. (Like rival candidates Peter Whittle and Anne-Marie Waters, Mr Coburn is openly homosexual.)

The libertarian faction (some of whom remind H&D of the ‘loony lib’ factions who operated inside the Federation of Conservative Students during the 1980s) are likely to support West Midlands businessman and MEP Bill Etheridge, a former Tory who also serves on Dudley Borough Council.

Bill Etheridge, leader of UKIP’s libertarian faction, with former fiancée Lorraine Chew

Some of the party mainstream who have personal objections to Mr Etheridge are likely to support Ben Walker, a councillor from the Bristol suburb of Bradley Stoke and another ex-Tory; or they might be tempted to burnish the party’s ‘non-racist’ credentials by electing UKIP’s first mixed race leader, London Assembly member David Kurten.

And as mentioned earlier, the increasing numbers of Islam-obsessed members will back one of the two current favourites, Peter Whittle or Anne Marie Waters.

Whoever wins, UKIP seems set on an irreversible course to make the BNP look credible!

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