United Kingdom Independence Party

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The United Kingdom Independence Party was formed on 3rd September 1993 at the London School of Economics by several members of the Anti-Federalist League (AFL). Paul Nuttall was elected as party leader on November 28 2016.[1] Previously, Nigel Farage (MEP) was the leader, and Paul Nuttall was the deputy leader of the party. David Campbell Bannerman who has since rejoined the UK Conservative Party was previously deputy leader.

Romano Prodi allegations

UKIP MEP Gerard Batten was implicated in an attempt to smear Romano Prodi as a former Soviet agent which involved Mario Scaramella and Alexander Litvinenko. According to the Guardian:

Litvinenko had no compunction in recalling a piece of gossip he had been told by a former KGB deputy director as he fled Russia. In 2000, General Anatoly Trofimov had warned Litvinenko not to go to Rome since "Prodi is our man in Italy". He was referring to Romano Prodi, the former Italian prime minister who went on to become president of the European Commission. Now Litvinenko regurgitated the unfounded claim to Scaramella who persuaded him to write it down.[2]

On 29 March 2006, Litvinenko met UKIP MEP Gerard Batten at the Itsu restaurant in London. Four days later, with an Italian general election imminent, Batten called for an Inquiry into Prodi in the European Parliament.

In his one-minute speech during Strasbourg plenary, Gerard Batten (UK, IN/DEM) told how Alexander Litvinenko, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the FSB, the successor to the KGB, and currently living under political asylum in the UK, was informed by FSB deputy chief, General Anatole Trofimov of the high amount of communist activity operating in Italy. With reference to the KGB, Litvinenko was told, “Romano Prodi is our man there”.[3]

Prodi responded by threatening to sue Litvinenko and Scaramella. In the resulting controversy, Silvio Berlusconi was forced to wind up the Mitrokhin Commission, and Prodi won the election.[4]

Leadership contest

As Nigel Farage stepped down from leadership shortly after the Brexit referendum, a leadership contest and in-fighting between two factions of the party erupted. Diane James was elected as leader on September 16 2016, however Farage also decided to stay on as leader of the party’s group in the European parliament, creating a separate power base in Brussels and wielding some influence over funding. [5]

Diane James quit as UKIP leader after just 18 days in the job, saying she had enjoyed the support of members but not party colleagues. In a sign of the turmoil that UKIP stands in since her predecessor resigned, she said: 'It has become clear I do not have sufficient authority, nor the full support of MEP colleagues and party officers to implement the changes I believe are necessary and upon which I based my campaign.' [6]

On October 4th, New Statesman wrote that, while it is unlikely that Nigel Farage will step back into leadership, 'one thing that is certain is that Farage will resist any attempt to take control of the party by the Douglas Carswell faction, which includes Suzanne Evans and Lisa Duffy, a defeated candidate in the last UKIP leadership race.' [7]

On October 5th, Farage told the BBC that he was stepping in again as interim leader: 'I will continue as the interim leader of UKIP and we will go through the electoral process.' But speaking to the BBC's Daily Politics programme, Neil Hamilton disputed the idea that Mr Farage was interim leader, saying it was for UKIP's ruling body to appoint an interim leader and that he would like MEP Paul Nuttall to take on that role. [8]

Islamophobia

Links with Islamophobic organisations

  • In February 2009, UKIP's Lord Pearson and cross-bencher Baroness Cox invited the Dutch Freedom Party leader, Geert Wilders, to show the anti-Islam film Fitna before the House of Lords.The Home Secretary subsequently excluded Wilders from entry to the UK. [14] In response, Pearson and Cox accused the then Government of "appeasing" militant Islam. [15] Geert Wilders appealed successfully against his exclusion, and the film was eventually shown in the Lords in 2010. [12]
  • Bradley Monk, who stood for the party in south-east Cornwall in the 2015 general election, declared never having been a member of the EDL. The Morning Star however, reported that he 'was alleged to been active in the anti-Muslim group by two independent sources'. [16]
  • Lord Pearson was invited to speak at the ‘Defeat Jihad’ summit on 10th February 2015, organised by Frank Gaffney’s CSP. Speakers at the summit also included Ted Cruz, several Republican Congressman, IFPS chair Lars Hedegaard, and de facto representatives of far-right European parties in the European Parliament such as the PVV’s Geert Wilders. The summit gathered together many of the same figures it had hosted in 2009. Of the summit, Nafeez Ahmed wrote:
'The consolidation of trans-Atlantic ties between US self-styled counterjihadists, European neo-Nazis and Kremlin neo-fascists is thus part of a mutual effort to leverage the reigns of government across the US and Europe.' [12]
  • Leader of Pegida UK Paul Weston is a former UKIP candidate in 2010, before leaving for the now-defunct British Freedom Party, and then founding Liberty GB. [17] When Anne Marie Waters announced she would be campaigning with Pegida UK in January 2016, she was banned from standing as a candidate for elections for the party. It appears, however, that UKIP's party chairman has 'come to an agreement with Ms Waters to remain a loyal UKIP member'. [18]

Links with European far-right parties

UKIP is part of the group Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD), that includes representatives of the Danish People’s Party, the True Finns Party, the Dutch SGP and the Italian Lega Nord. Nigel Farage is co-President, the other being Lega Nord’s Francesco Speroni, who described murderer Anders Breivik as someone whose 'ideas are in defence of western civilisation.'

  • Mario Borghezio, a member of the EFD, declared in an interview that Breivik had some 'excellent' ideas. In reaction, Farage wrote a strongly-worded letter to him, asking him to withdraw his comments or UKIP would pull out of the EFD. Borghezio did not apologise, and instead gave a speech in which he said: 'Long live the Whites of Europe, long live our identity, our ethnicity, our race… our blue sky, like the eyes of our women. Blue, in a people who want to stay white'.

Nigel Farage did not withdraw from the group. He continues to co-preside over the new version of the group, Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD), along with Five Star Movement's David Borelli [19] </ref> [20]

  • MEP Nikki Sinclaire was expelled from UKIP in 2010 for refusing to take part in the EFD because of their 'extreme views'. [21]
  • In 2014, UKIP invited Polish MEP Robert Iwaszkiewicz (Congress of the New Right), whose far-right party leader frequently uses racial slurs and questions the Holocaust, into the EFDD, following fears that the grouping would lose millions of pounds of funds for lack of members. [22]

Farage comments after Paris attacks

Following the January 2015 attacks in Paris including the murder of 12 people at the offices of magazine Charlie Hebdo, UKIP leader Nigel Farage, commented:

We do have, I'm afraid, I'm sad to say, a fifth column that is living within our own countries, that is utterly opposed to our values.
We're going to have to be a lot braver and a lot more courageous in standing up for our Judeo-Christian culture.

Farage's comments, which seemed to imply generalised Muslim responsibility and to paint Muslims as external to European society and cultural heritage, were criticised by other politicians. Liberal Democrat Tim Farron said 'Nigel Farage's politics of blame has no place in modern, diverse and tolerant Britain'.[23]

People

Advisers

Donors

  • UKIP treasure Stuart Wheeler revealed that in 2012-3 the lyricist Sir Tim Rice had donated £7500. Rice declined to confirm or deny the claim.[26]

Notes

  1. Paul Nuttall: The new leader of UKIP, BBC, 28 November 2016, accessed 28 November 2016.
  2. Why a spy was killed, by Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy, The Guardian, 26 January 2008.
  3. Prodi accused of being former Soviet agent, EU Reporter, 3 April 2006.
  4. Why a spy was killed, by Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy, The Guardian, 26 January 2008.
  5. UK: Diane James Elected First Female Leader of Ukip, Independent, September 16, 2016. Accessed 06 October 2016.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Rowena Mason and Peter Walker, Diane James resigns as Ukip leader after only 18 days in role, The Guardian, 5 October 2016. Accessed 5 October 2016.
  7. Stephen Bush, Diane James quits as Ukip leader, New Statesman, 4 October 2016. Accessed 6 October 2016.
  8. Nigel Farage steps back in at UKIP as Diane James quits, BBC News, 5 October 2016. Accessed 6 October 2016.
  9. Scores arrested in anti-Islam protest in Belgium, Agence France Presse, 11 September 2007.
  10. CounterJihad Brussels 2007 Conference, accessed 18 February 2007.
  11. Rowena Mason and Rajeev Syal, Ukip MEP who supported Muslim code of conduct urged halal slaughter ban, The Guardian, 5 February 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Nafeez Ahmed, A Fourth Reich is rising across Europe — with ties to Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, Medium, June 22 2016. Accessed 05 October 2016.
  13. Rowena Mason, Ukip MEP says British Muslims should sign charter rejecting violence, The Guardian, 4 February 2015
  14. Dutch MP banned from entering UK, BBC News, 12 February 2009.Accessed 05 October 2016.
  15. Christopher Hope, John Bingham and Bruno Waterfield,Dutch MP Geert Wilders deported after flying to Britain to show anti-Islamic film, The Telegraph, 12 February 2009.Accessed 05 October 2016.
  16. Conrad Landin, Ukip Candidate ‘Outed’ As Former EDL Member, Morning Start, 6 May 2015. Accessed 05 October 2016.
  17. Lizzie Dearden, Former Ukip candidate and Pegida UK leader says 'Muslims should not hold political power' and claims Syrian refugees do not exist, The Independent, 5 February 2016, Accessed 05 October 2016.
  18. ALIX CULBERTSON, UKIP bans candidate for heading up British wing of anti-mass migration PEGIDA group, Express, January 14 2016. Accessed 05 October 2016.
  19. Wikipedia Entry: Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy, accessed 05 October 2015.
  20. Alex Andreou, Is Ukip a party of bigots? Let's look at the evidence,Newstatesman, 11 February 2013.
  21. Rebel Euro MP Nikki Sinclaire expelled by UKIP,BBC News, 4 March 2010. Accessed 5 October 2016.
  22. Rajeev Syal, Ukip does deal with far-right, racist Holocaust-denier to save EU funding, The Guardian, 20 October 2014, Accessed 05 October 2016.
  23. UKIP's Nigel Farage urges 'Judeo-Christian' defence after Paris attacks, BBC News, accessed 12 February 2015
  24. Diane James becomes UKIP leader, BBC News, 16 September 2016. Accessed 04 October 2016.
  25. Nick Assinder Political Correspondent, BBC News website UKIP's secret weapon? Interview BBC Online, Last Updated: Friday, 14 January, 2005, 12:54 GMT
  26. Christopher Hope, Don't cry for me, David Cameron! Sir Tim Rice emerges as Ukip donor, The Telegraph, 23 Feb 2014, acc same day
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