Big gains for Farage on mixed night for Europe’s ‘populists’

British voters decisively rejected the political establishment at the European elections. Results announced overnight showed that Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party took 32% of the vote and 28 MEPs, while Theresa May’s Conservative Party was reduced to just three MEPs, polling just 9%.

Farage crushed his old party UKIP, whose leader Gerard Batten lost his own seat in London, where UKIP polled only 2.1% losing their deposit.

Batten wasn’t the biggest loser in these elections: that honour went to former EDL leader ‘Tommy Robinson’. Standing as an independent in North West England, ‘Robinson’ lost his deposit with only 2.2% despite a very high-profile campaign with his trademark street violence and anti-Islam rhetoric.

‘Robinson’ has been exposed as full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

By contrast Farage will now be considering how to transform the Brexit Party into a genuine political party able to contest the next general election. British politics might never be the same again.

Leading figures in ‘The Movement’, an alliance of European populists – (left to right) former Trump adviser Steve Bannon; Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini; and Brussels-based Jewish lawyer Mischael Modrikamen

Meanwhile across Europe there were mixed results for anti-immigration parties. The biggest winner so far seems to be Matteo Salvini’s Lega who topped the poll in Italy with 34%; while among the losers was the anti-Islamist Dutch Freedom Party headed by Geert Wilders – they lost all four of their MEPs after polling 3.5%, down from 13.2% in 2014.

H&D will publish a full analysis of the results for anti-immigration and pro-nationalist parties across Europe as full results become available later today.

Former Soros hedge fund manager Robert Rowland – now a Brexit Party MEP

There will be some confusion among staff at Hope not Hate and other recipients of largesse from George Soros. Last night Robert Rowland, who managed about $1bn of hedge fund assets while working for Soros Fund Management from 1996 to 2003, has just been elected alongside Nigel Farage as a Brexit Party MEP for South East England.

A small sign of UKIP’s terminal decline was in Burnley, one of the very few towns where the party has a viable branch and a group of elected councillors. Yet even here the party was evidently not represented at the count, where a blatant error seems to have been made by the Returning Officer. It seems obvious to H&D that a bundle of 500 votes was misallocated by Burnley counting staff to the tiny pro-Remain UKEUP rather than to UKIP: to anyone with political experience, the reported result in Burnley looks obviously wrong. This is the sort of error that potentially could have cost UKIP £5,000 – but no party representative was on hand to correct it!

Farage candidate quits after IRA link revealed

IRA apologist Claire Fox (above left) with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage

In response to the developing scandal over the Brexit Party’s number one candidate in North West England, a fellow candidate today resigned from the party’s slate for this month’s European Parliamentary elections.

As detailed yesterday by H&D, Claire Fox is a lifelong Marxist who was a senior activist in the Revolutionary Communist Party for many years. Together with her sister Fiona she contributed regularly to the bulletin of a pro-IRA front group called the Irish Freedom Movement: see yesterday’s article for details.

In response to these revelations, Claire Fox spoke on the telephone yesterday to Colin Parry, whose 12-year-old son Tim Parry was murdered alongside 3-year-old Johnathan Ball by the IRA in their infamous 1993 bombing of Warrington.

Yet again Claire Fox refused to dissociate herself from her previous statements supporting IRA terrorism: Mr Parry wrote – “the fact that she repeatedly refused to disavow her comments supporting the IRA bombing which took Tim’s and Johnathan’s young lives proves she hasn’t changed her original views.”

Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry, victims of the IRA bomb in Warrington, 1993

Now Ms Fox’s Brexit Party colleague Sally Bate, who was seventh on the Brexit Party’s European Parliamentary slate in the region, has resigned. She technically remains on the ballot paper as it is too late for this to be altered before polling day on May 23rd.

The Claire Fox scandal raises a serious question mark over Nigel Farage’s judgment in selecting an apologist for IRA terrorism to stand for the European Parliament representing his new party. It remains to be seen whether North West voters will desert the Brexit Party over this issue – if so the beneficiaries could be the English Democrats, UKIP, or independent candidate Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, alias Tommy Robinson.

However ‘Robinson’ is himself an apologist for terrorism, in his case supporting the US and Canadian based Zionist terrorist group Jewish Defense League – see H&D‘s exposé here.


Farage’s Brexit Party takes sensational lead in Euro-election poll

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage

Just days after its launch, Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party has taken the lead in a sensational new YouGov opinion poll, released on April 17th.

Former UKIP leader Farage established the Brexit Party after quitting UKIP due to his successor Gerard Batten having aligned the party with Islam-obsessed characters such as ‘Tommy Robinson’ of the English Defence League.

The new poll surveys voting intentions for the European Parliamentary elections, now due to take place on May 23rd, almost two months after the UK was meant to have left the European Union. Delays to Brexit mean we are obliged to hold these elections, even though in theory our exit from the EU has only been postponed until October 31st.

It shows the Brexit Party on 27% with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour on 22% and Theresa May’s (theoretically) governing Conservatives on just 15%. The Greens are on 10%, followed by the Liberal Democrats on 9%, UKIP on 7%, and the newly-registered Change UK (a rebranding of the pro-EU Independent Group of MPs) on 6%.

Perhaps the only saving grace for UKIP is that (unlike the Brexit Party) it has candidates in local council elections being held across most of England on May 2nd. Batten’s party badly needs some very impressive results at those elections if it is to avoid being completely overshadowed by its rival.

April 19th update:

Two subsequent polls for the Euro-elections have shown different results – one gives Farage’s party a one-pont lead over Labour, but another gives Labour 33%, well ahead of the Tory and Brexit parties competing for second-place with 17%-18%.

These reflect different polling companies’ methods of allocating the large number of poll respondents who (probably genuinely) say they haven’t yet decided how to vote on May 23rd. But what all the polls are clear about is that Farage’s Brexit Party has already opened up a clear lead over his old party UKIP, which has registered between 5% and 7% in each of the polls published so far.

Final candidate totals for 2019 local elections

With today’s release of nominations for local authority elections in Northern Ireland, H&D can now publish our calculation of the final candidate totals for the UK’s various eurosceptic / nationalist political parties.

Not all of these parties are in any way racial nationalist, and not all racial nationalists are in any way eurosceptic, but we publish this list for our readers’ interest in showing the state of British electoral politics everywhere to the right of the Conservative Party.

Perhaps even “right” is not the correct word, but it is from somewhere within this spectrum that a new force will have to be drawn to rescue the United Kingdom from its multiracial / multicultural chaos of recent decades.

UKIP has eighteen candidates in various parts of Ulster, given them a total of 1,400 candidates across the UK for the scheduled local council elections, plus three mayoral candidates and about twenty in local by-elections that are also being held on May 2nd.

In other words UKIP will be contesting 16% of the available seats this year

Anne Marie Waters’ For Britain Movement has no candidates in Ulster, so their total remains 42.

Democrats & Veterans have three Ulster candidates, giving them 20 nationwide, plus a by-election candidate in the London Borough of Lewisham.

The new party Aontú, on which H&D recently reported, is a socially conservative and eurosceptic split from both Sinn Féin and the SDLP (north of the border) and Fianna Fáil south of the border. Aontú has sixteen candidates in various parts of Northern Ireland: an impressive total for a very new party.

Jolene Bunting, originally elected as a councillor for Traditional Unionist Voice, later became associated with the anti-Islamist group Britain First, which has failed to register as a political party but is supporting two independent candidates for English councils. Ms Bunting is standing as an Independent in the Court area of Belfast. It is not clear to H&D precisely what her present relationship is with Britain First following some internal rows last year.

TUV themselves have 32 local authority candidates this year.

So the updated candidate totals are as follows:

  • UKIP 1,400
  • For Britain 42
  • Traditional Unionist Voice 32
  • Democrats & Veterans 20
  • Aontú 16
  • English Democrats 10
  • Veterans & People’s Party 7
  • Our Nation 5
  • National Front 3
  • Populist 3
  • Britain First (standing as Independents) 3
  • British Democrats 2
  • BNP 2
  • British Resistance 1
  • Patria 1
  • Independents 3

For further details check our earlier articles on election nominations here and here.

H&D will continue to report on the local election campaign, and will include a comprehensive report on the results in our next issue, which as a consequence will appear slightly later than normal in early May.

Political Vacuum at 2019 Elections

Despite the Great Brexit Betrayal at Westminster, this year’s local elections bear witness to a vacuum where nationalist (and even eurosceptic) politics used to exist.

Nominations closed this afternoon with polling day on May 2nd, and though many councils have yet to publish their lists of candidates, it seems from H&D‘s early analysis that UKIP and its various splinters have put up smaller slates than expected, though almost everywhere UKIP remains well ahead of its rivals For Britain and Democrats & Veterans.

An exception is Epping Forest, where an efficient For Britain branch directed by former BNP election guru Eddy Butler is fielding two candidates, both of them ex-BNP, compared to one for UKIP. Former BNP councillor Mrs Patricia Richardson in Waltham Abbey Honey Lane and former London mayoral candidate Julian Leppert in Waltham Abbey Paternoster have already carried out extensive leafletting and are among the very few nationalist candidates with any chance of winning this year. Elsewhere in the borough English Democrat leader Robin Tilbrook is contesting his home ward of Chipping Ongar.

Stoke-on-Trent, once a jewel in the BNP crown, now elects its full complement of councillors once every four years, so 2019 should have been an important opportunity for both UKIP and Anne Marie Waters’ For Britain Movement, who presently have their sole councillor here.

Some anti-fascist “experts” had predicted a big slate of For Britain candidates here: in fact there are only three, including incumbent councillor Richard Broughan. Similarly UKIP have just three Stoke candidates.

A more impressive showing for Ms Waters’ party is in Leeds, where they are contesting eight of the 33 vacancies – in three of these they will have no UKIP opponent. UKIP have 16 Leeds candidates, and in Bramley & Stanningley ward voters will have UKIP, For Britain and the English Democrats on their ballot paper!

Another failure is in Burnley, where UKIP is contesting only three of the 15 wards and For Britain none. While racial nationalist parties are conspicuous by their absence from most ballot papers, there is one National Front candidate in Burnley – former BNP organiser Steven Smith, who we are pleased to note will have no UKIP opposition in the Brunshaw ward.

Other NF candidates so far declared include the party’s deputy chairman Jordan Pont in East Ecclesfield ward, Sheffield (where he unfortunately has UKIP opposition); and Chris Jackson in his home ward of Todmorden, Calderdale. Like Steven Smith, Chris has no UKIP opposition. Across Sheffield, UKIP are contesting 22 of the 28 vacancies, while D&V have three candidates, only one of whom has UKIP opposition. In Calderdale there are no UKIP candidates at all, and just one For Britain candidate.

Dr Jim Lewthwaite of the British Democrats

Former councillor Dr Jim Lewthwaite is again contesting Wyke ward, Bradford, for the British Democrats. He has no UKIP or D&V opponent and can expect a creditable result. The British Democrats are also contesting Loughborough Shelthorpe ward in Charnwood, Leicestershire.

Elsewhere in Bradford there are nine UKIP candidates, one from D&V, and none from For Britain, even though the latter’s head office is in the city!

For Britain (like the National Front before them) focused much campaigning energy in Rochdale following various Asian/Muslim scandals, but this has produced nothing electorally: UKIP will contest 16 of the 20 Rochdale wards, For Britain none. Even more startling is the total absence of nationalist/eurosceptic parties in Blackpool, an area that voted 75% for Brexit and where (as in Rochdale) there has been extensive campaigning by a range of anti-Islamist groups. For Britain supporters have talked for some time about targeting Blackpool, but they have not fielded a single candidate, and this year there will be no-one from Blackpool UKIP on the ballot paper either.

A similarly rare example of UKIP progress (at least in terms of candidates) is Oldham, where there is a serious slate of 14 UKIP candidates – though not the full slate of 20 that gullible “anti-fascists” had predicted. In nearby Tameside, UKIP have five candidates, Democrats & Veterans one, and For Britain none; while in Stockport there are six UKIP candidates and none from D&V or FB.

Yet another hopelessly inaccurate prediction by lavishly funded “anti-fascist experts” was in Hartlepool, where UKIP was said to have collapsed in favour of For Britain. In fact For Britain has just one candidate in Hartlepool, compared to three for UKIP, one for Democrats & Veterans, and a profusion of independents.

Thanks to boundary changes the most racially divided borough in England – Blackburn with Darwen – has an all-out election, so as in Stoke this should have been a bonanza year for any party seeking to recover some of the votes once cast for the BNP and the England First Party. Yet UKIP have just four candidates, and For Britain none.

Across the Pennines, UKIP is contesting only five of 21 vacancies in Wakefield; and eight out of 23 in Kirklees.

The English Democrats have staged a mini-revival in Barnsley, perhaps helped by the bold action of their leader Robin Tilbrook in launching a legal action to rescue Brexit. There are six EDs here (for 21 vacancies), compared to just three for UKIP and three from the UKIP splinter group Democrats & Veterans. D&V also have two candidates in Kirklees. Another English Democrat candidate is former NF and BNP activist Mick Sharpe, contesting Ripley & Marehay ward, Amber Valley.

In Sunderland UKIP have managed a full slate of 26 candidates, while For Britain and D&V each have just one. Elsewhere in the North-East the eurosceptic cause is less vigorous: Gateshead has seven UKIP candidates for 22 vacancies. Darlington is one of the very few councils anywhere in England where UKIP (with two candidates) has been overtaken by For Britain (with three). In Cheshire East the former UKIP councillor Brian Silvester (who has been re-elected unopposed as a parish councillor) is the sole For Britain candidate, and there is no-one from UKIP.

Another former nationalist heartland where none of the existing parties is reaping electoral potential is the West Midlands borough of Sandwell. UKIP and For Britain each have just four candidates here for 24 vacancies: the only good news is that only one ward has the parties fighting each other. Next door in Dudley there are fourteen UKIP candidates and none from For Britain.

Among the many former UKIP strongholds where the party has collapsed is Thurrock, where almost the entire former UKIP branch has regrouped as ‘Thurrock Independents’. They will have a full slate of seventeen candidates, while UKIP have only two. Similarly there are only three UKIP candidates this year in Thanet, where they once controlled the council and Nigel Farage once hoped to become an MP. The bulk of Thanet’s UKIP activists now call themselves ‘Thanet Independents’. Like their Thurrock counterparts, they will probably end up in Farage’s new Brexit Party, but this is gearing up to fight European (and perhaps General) elections, not local councils. For Britain has one Thanet candidate – ex-BNP parliamentary candidate Michael Barnbrook.

Veteran nationalist Joe Owens is contesting the Kensington & Fairfield ward of his native Liverpool, without a party description, but can be expected to run a professional campaign. Other nationalist independents include Paul Rudge, a Britain First activist standing in Rowley ward, Sandwell, with the party’s backing but without its name on the ballot paper; and former BNP activist Pete Molloy, standing in the Spennymoor ward of Durham.

During the next two days as councils continue to publish their lists of candidates, H&D will carry out a complete analysis of the nationalist/eurosceptic electoral picture, and of course our next edition will report on the election results and our movement’s prospects for recovery.

So far this year’s local election picture can be summarised as follows: UKIP has collapsed in many former strongholds, rather as the BNP did before its eventual death, while retaining pockets of strength. While his embrace of radical anti-Islamism has contributed to UKIP’s implosion, party leader Gerard Batten has the consolation that this same strategy has probably helped to stifle the For Britain Movement, whose founder Anne Marie Waters had hoped that anti-Islamism would be her party’s unique selling point.

Though failing to make a breakthrough in terms of defections from UKIP and overall candidate numbers, For Britain can reasonably hope to elect one or two councillors – perhaps in Stoke, perhaps in Epping Forest, perhaps in Thanet.

Overall however – while in past years we would have been looking at dozens of racial nationalist councillors, and hundreds of UKIP councillors – this year’s elections are likely merely to confirm the continuing crisis of both nationalism and euroscepticism, despite an obvious public appetite for alternatives to the Westminster charade.


Farage party leader quits over ‘racism’ – despite being married to a Jamaican!

Catherine Blaiklock, who resigned today as nominal leader of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party

The latest weird development in post-UKIP politics involves Catherine Blaiklock, a former UKIP economic spokesman who is the official registered leader of the ‘Brexit Party’.

It has been widely assumed that this party was created as a vehicle for Nigel Farage’s return to frontline politics, following Mr Farage’s resignation from UKIP and on the assumption that he might need a party of his own to contest European Parliamentary elections in the event of Brexit being postponed or cancelled.

In common with UKIP and its various splinter groups, Farage has always insisted that former BNP activists and other ‘racists’ would always be excluded from his movement.

Assisting this ‘anti-racist’ agenda, it was helpful that Ms Blaiklock was herself married to a black Jamaican, and had previously been married to a Nepalese Sherpa!

Mark Collett speaking at the 2017 John Tyndall Memorial Meeting in Preston

Yet today Ms Blaiklock has been forced to resign for ‘racism’. Her crime seems to have been to retweet messages by former BNP activist Mark Collett, who was a speaker at H&D‘s John Tyndall Memorial Meeting in 2017.

What will be the next fake outrage? Have we really reached the stage where it is unacceptable for anyone in mainstream politics to address racial issues? If so then mainstream politicians are in for a few surprises.

Farage set to back new party

Nigel Farage (right) with UKIP’s former Scottish leader David Coburn who joined him in resigning over new leader Gerard Batten’s shift to an anti-Islam agenda

Feb 1st update: The Brexit Party’s official founder Catherine Blaiklock (interviewed by the Daily Telegraph’s Christopher Hope) claims that the party already has more than 200 potential candidates lined up – including Nigel Farage – in the event of a delayed Brexit causing either UK involvement in European elections or a snap general election this year. We should bear in mind that it is easier to talk about election plans than to deliver them.

Following his long-expected resignation from UKIP – the party he led for nine years including its greatest successes at the 2009 and 2014 European elections and the 2015 General Election – Nigel Farage gave the first indication yesterday that he is planning to endorse a new breakaway party.

During an interview with the Sun on Sunday, Farage said:
“There is huge demand for a party that’s got real clarity on this issue. You can see and hear the frustration welling up out there. It’s clear the political elite want to stop Brexit in its tracks and the prime minister doesn’t have the strength or inclination to see this through.
“…If the government goes back on its word and betrays the millions of people who voted for Brexit then we need a party prepared to stand up and fight for it. I’m fully prepared for article 50 to be extended or revoked and if that happens, I will re-enter the fray.”

Rather than backing any of the existing post-UKIP parties, Farage said he is likely to support one that is presently being registered by UKIP’s former economics spokesman Catherine Blaiklock, who wrote for the Salisbury Review before Christmas explaining her conclusion that “UKIP is dead”.

Catherine Blaiklock, former UKIP spokesman, is launching The Brexit Party

Ms Blaiklock began the process of registering this party with the Electoral Commission on January 11th, which leaves very little time to complete the process if we were to face a snap general election, or if delays to Brexit entail our involvement in the European Parliamentary elections on May 23rd.

It had been assumed that UK MEPs, including Farage himself, would have left by then and their seats would be redistributed among the EU’s remaining member states. But as with so much about the Brexit process, even this is now uncertain.

Farage has indicated he would be prepared to stand again in May, and might also be tempted to stand in a likely parliamentary by-election in Peterborough, which will occur if Labour MP Fiona Onasanya fails to overturn her conviction for lying about a traffic offence.

Anne Marie Waters on the by-election campaign trail with former BNP election guru Eddy Butler: her party For Britain has now become an affiliate of the largest European alliance of anti-immigration parties, alongside Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini.

UKIP’s activists and donors would then be left with a dilemma: should they follow their old leader; stick with their new leader; or opt for one of the three other main alternatives offered by leading figures who have quit UKIP during the past year or two – Anne Marie Waters’ anti-Islamic For Britain Movement; the Democrats and Veterans Party led by John Rees-Evans; or the Social Democratic Party endorsed by MEP and former Express journalist Patrick O’Flynn.

For Britain was recently accepted as an affiliate of the Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom, which includes Marine Le Pen’s ‘National Rally’ (RN), formerly the National Front; the Austrian Freedom Party; the Flemish Vlaams Belang; and the Italian anti-immigration party Lega headed by Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini.


Farage quits UKIP

UKIP leader Gerard Batten (left) with EDL founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (alias ‘Tommy Robinson’) whose increasingly close relationship with the party has now prompted Nigel Farage to resign.

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage quit the party this week, after another row with the current chairman Gerard Batten. Farage was a founder member of UKIP, formed by homosexual libertarian Dr. Alan Sked in 1993. Before UKIP they had been in the Anti-Federalist League, and previously the Conservative Party, which they quit in 1992.

Farage was firmly against Batten’s plan’s to bring former BNP member and EDL founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (alias ‘Tommy Robinson’) into UKIP, and to focus more on being anti-Islam than anti-EU.

Former National Front official Martyn Heale (right) – a UKIP councillor from 2013 to 2017 – with Nigel Farage

However, when Farage was UKIP leader he let a number of former NF officials join the party without any problem – including Martyn Heale, the then UKIP chairman of the Thanet South constituency where Nigel Farage was the party’s candidate at the 2016 general election. Heale was a leading member of the National Front in London in the 1970s, and its Hammersmith branch organiser in 1978.

Subsequently Heale spent over twenty years in the Conservative Party, including three years as Chairman of Ramsgate Conservative Association, before joining UKIP about fourteen years ago. He was a UKIP county councillor for the Ramsgate division in Kent from 2013 to 2017. In August this year Heale applied to rejoin the Conservative Party, but his application was rejected as being liable to bring the party into disrepute, despite his earlier two decades as a Tory.

Nigel Farage has always denied claims that his father Guy Farage had himself been a member of the NF in the 1970s.

Martyn Heale as a London NF activist

Rather more serious than this row over alleged ‘extremism’ is UKIP’s continuing identity crisis. The party will surely struggle now to fight a serious campaign, if Theresa May’s Brexit troubles lead to a general election next year. Realistically there isn’t much time for Farage and his financial backer Arron Banks to start a new party, and none of the splinter groups that broke away from UKIP during the past year or two, such as the For Britain Movement or Democrats & Veterans, have really built up momentum.

Are we heading back to a period of two-party politics? And if so, will this be an interlude before the emergence of a radical anti-immigration party?

‘Golliwog’ row MEP quits UKIP

Bill Etheridge, seen as leader of UKIP’s libertarian faction, with ex-partner Lorraine Chew

The latest leading figure to quit UKIP is West Midlands MEP and former leadership candidate Bill Etheridge. This follows last week’s resignation of the Earl of Dartmouth, MEP for SW England.

Mr Etheridge is perhaps best known for the incident in 2011 when he and his then wife Star Etheridge (who were both Conservative council candidates) were forced to quit the Tories after they posted images of golliwogs (seen as a ‘racist’ symbol) on Facebook.

A remarkable number of UKIP’s MEPs have quit since the party’s finest hour in 2014 when it elected 24 members to the Brussels / Strasbourg parliament.

Roger Helmer (East Midlands) quit the Parliament entirely in July 2017, but the rest of the defectors have continued to sit as independents or for other parties. Janice Atkinson (SE England) was expelled in March 2015; former leadership candidate Steven Woolfe (NW England) left UKIP in October 2016 and has recently applied to join the Tories; former leader Diane James (SE England) left in November 2016; Jim Carver (West Midlands) walked away from UKIP in May 2018.

And within the last ten days Dartmouth and Etheridge have been the latest departures.

Bill Etheridge was forced to quit the Tories in 2011 after he and his then wife posted golliwog pictures on Facebook.

Bill Etheridge has long been seen as leader of the ‘libertarian’ faction in UKIP, which until recently was seen as especially strong among the party’s younger members. These are people whose main interest in politics is what they see as extending the Thatcher revolution – shrinking the state, cutting taxes and reducing the ‘burden’ of regulation on business.

The likes of Etheridge are far less concerned about issues such as immigration.

In his resignation letter to UKIP chairman Gerard Batten, Etheridge wrote:

“The changes you have made since becoming leader have changed the party beyond all recognition.

“You have allowed your personal obsessions free rein. The party is now seen by large swathes of the British public as a vehicle for hate towards Muslims and the gay community.

“While there is a place for extreme nationalist and reactionary views in politics and I defend the right of you and others to hold and express your opinions, I do not believe these were the opinions and policies that Ukip MEPs were elected to represent.”

UKIP leaders past and present clash over whether party should accept EDL founder ‘Robinson’

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has clashed bitterly with present leader Gerard Batten over whether the party should allow EDL founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – aka ‘Tommy Robinson’ – to become a member. Anyone who has been in the EDL, or certain other proscribed ‘extremist’ groups such as the National Front or British National Party, is banned by UKIP’s constitution from joining the party.

Batten and some of UKIP’s Islam-obsessed faction – notably Lord Pearson of Rannoch – were keen to recruit ‘Robinson’, but Farage and his allies are concerned by the EDL founder’s criminal record and yobbish style.

Caroline Jones – former UKIP leader in the Welsh Assembly – has already quit the party and returned to the Conservatives because of Batten’s anti-Islam stance, but UKIP has managed to win back some former officials who had defected to Anne Marie Waters’ For Britain Movement – including her former deputy Jeff Wyatt.

Former BNP council candidate Robert Baggs at the For Britain Movement’s conference in Liverpool last weekend with (left) half-Pakistani anti-Muslim activist Shazia Hobbs and (right) controversial journalist Katie Hopkins.

While losing some of her original supporters, Ms Waters has won over several ex-BNP activists including former council candidate Robert Baggs, election guru Eddy Butler, 2004 London Mayoral candidate Julian Leppert, former Tower Hamlets organiser Jeff Marshall, and former West Midlands regional organiser Keith Axon.

Last Saturday Farage upstaged his old party by speaking at a rally in Bolton alongside former Brexit minister David Davis and Labour MP Kate Hoey, launching a cross-party effort to prevent ‘betrayal of Brexit’. Farage will speak at a series of further rallies for the ‘Leave Means Leave’ campaign across the country. Joining him on these platforms will be a range of speakers including Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg and Tim Martin, owner of the Wetherspoons chain of pubs.

 

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