Six top Ukip candidates have links to racist groups: Party launches probe after BNP cartoon stereotyping minorities is posted online
- Ukip’s top election candidates caught posting racist and offensive material
- The party last night launched as investigation into the offensive media
- Much of the material came from BNP or other nationalist splinter groups
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that at least six Ukip candidates have circulated or endorsed material from the British National Party and other nationalist splinter groups with racist neo-Nazi agendas.
Ukip last night launched an investigation into the offensive media found by this newspaper that included a racist BNP cartoon depicting violent stereotypes of black people, Muslims and Sikhs, and online links to extremist groups Britain First, English Defence League and Infidels of Britain.
The revelations will provoke uproar on the very weekend that Ukip held its Spring Conference, with leaders disassociating the Eurosceptic party with any hint of extremism within its ranks ahead of the May 7 Election.
Bill Walker, the party’s candidate in Aldershot, Hampshire, reposted a picture of a racist cartoon featuring a black man holding guns with ‘Kill Whitey’ on his T-shirt, a Sikh man holding a knife with ‘Honour Killing Rocks’ on his T-shirt and a Muslim man holding a grenade and a Koran in his hands with ‘Death to the Infidels’ scrawled on the front of his Islamic dress.
Mr Walker, 58, a former soldier from Farnborough, Hampshire, retweeted the cartoon on January 11 from the Twitter account of a Southampton-based Ukip activist called David Jones who had added the comment: ‘Brits are treated like second-class citizens in their own country.’ The cartoon was branded ‘disgusting’ by anti-racism groups last night.
Simon Cressy, a spokesman for Hope Not Hate, said: ‘Nigel Farage attempts to hoodwink the public and insists his party and candidates aren’t racist, yet these revelations aren’t going away.’
Several candidates have ‘liked’ the pages of the English Defence League and Britain First, an ultra-Right BNP splinter group, on Ukip Facebook profiles which are being used to campaign for votes.
‘SHARED’ BRITAIN FIRST POST
‘LIKED’: INFIDELS OF BRITAIN
‘LIKED’: ENGLISH DEFENCE LEAGUE
‘SHARED’: BRITAIN FIRST POST
There are also ‘likes’ and posts of material from Infidels of Britain, a white nationalist group which calls for the repatriation of ‘non-indigenous’ people living in the UK.
Barry Elliott, who is standing for Ukip in Blyth Valley, shared on his Facebook page an ‘Infidels of Britain’ picture of the late Tory MP Enoch Powell with the caption ‘I tried to warn you’ – in reference of Powell’s infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ 1968 speech against immigration – which Ukip MP Douglas Carswell insisted was ‘wrong’ in a newspaper article this week.
Geoffrey Bastin, the party’s candidate in Bexhill and Battle in East Sussex, ‘liked’ an EDL page on his Facebook page, while Michael Waddington, the Ukip candidate in Pendle, and Steve Emmens, standing in Norwich South, both shared posts by Britain First last May.
Steve Wood, who is standing in Bristol South, also lists Infidels of Britain and Britain First among his Facebook likes.
THE ‘INFIDELS OF BRITAIN’ FAN
Blyth Valley candidate Barry Elliott, 48, shared a Facebook post from far-Right group Infidels of Britain
Ukip has repeatedly distanced itself from Britain First, which has been accused of stirring racial hatred after its activists ‘invaded’ mosques and handed out Bibles to Muslims. The far-Right party is led by Paul Golding, a former BNP councillor and head of publicity, and describes itself as ‘a patriotic political party and street defence organisation’.
It pledged its support for Ukip during the recent Rochester and Strood by-election, posting on Facebook: ‘Ukip at the ballot box, Britain First on the streets – a winning combination!’ A Ukip spokesman denied the party had any links with far-Right groups last night, and said: ‘These Facebook likes and other online actions will be investigated and considered at the earliest opportunity by the National Executive Committee as part of an established disciplinary procedure.’
All Ukip candidates named in this report were contacted for comment yesterday. Mr Waddington denied knowing Britain First was a far-Right group when he shared one of the party’s Facebook posts about memorials for murder victims Stephen Lawrence and Lee Rigby.
‘He has never been a member of the BNP, Britain First or National Front and never will be,’ said John Stanyer, Ukip’s North West chairman, who spoke on Mr Waddington’s behalf.
Mr Wood said: ‘The head office has responded and I’m not going to be making any further comment.’
From The Mail On Sunday . Report by Michael Powel and Simon Murphy . 01.03.15