Monday, 17 December, 2018

Nigel Farage quits Ukip over party's 'extremism' direction

Nigel Farage Nigel Farage
Pablo Mccormick | 05 December, 2018, 12:48

Calling current leader Gerard Batten's decision to bring English Defence League founder and street organiser Tommy Robinson into the party "catastrophic", Mr Farage said of the work he had done as leader to see that UKIP discussed hard topics without straying into extremism.

"Mr Brexit" Nigel Farage - who the White House revealed last week is in regular contact with the President of the United States to discuss Brexit, said Batten's direction had not only damaged UKIP as a party but was also damaging Brexit itself.

Farage said "there is a huge space for a Brexit party in British politics, but it won't be filled by UKIP".

'This means we no longer have a professional campaigning team.

Announcing his departure on his LBC talk radio slot Tuesday evening, Mr Farage reflected on his time in UKIP which he said he had joined in 1992 when it was known as the Anti Federalist League.

Speaking later on LBC, Mr Farage accused Mr Batten of "turning a blind eye to extremism" and attempting to turn the party from an "electoral" force into a "party of street activism".

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"I have worked tirelessly for Ukip", Nigel said.

"And also obsessed with this figure called Tommy Robinson".

'Nigel & I were founder members of UKIP in 1993.

Mr Batten has come under fire within the party in recent weeks for taking far-right activist Robinson on as an adviser.

'I have always given him full credit for his work in UKIP bringing about and winning the Referendum.

Gerard Batten appointed Mr Yaxley-Lennon as an adviser on rape gangs and prison reform.

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UKIP subsequently said the NEC had voted "overwhelmingly" against a motion of no confidence.

Mr Farage has said the appointment of Robinson to Ukip signals the party has become a "party of street activism".

Since stepping down as leader following the vote for Brexit, he has been critical of UKIP - describing it as disorganised and poorly led.

His departure from the party comes as Britain braces itself for Prime Minister Theresa May to present her Brexit deal with the European Union to Parliament in a make-or-break vote.

On account of previously being part of the EDL, Robinson is now barred from being a Ukip member but this has not prevented Batten from giving him the advisory role.

Ukip said the December 9 march had not been organised by the party, but added: 'Members are free to attend should they wish'.

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"With the Conservative and Labour parties having openly broken both their referendum and general election promises, Ukip should be riding high in the polls".

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