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Greg Lance – Watkins
yet again Ukip makes the perfect error – it would be hard to find a more stupid and badly led organisation – little wonder their support, after their crass failures in the BreXit Campaign, they compound their problems by encouraging their racist lunatic fringe, mostly due to the utter incompetence of their leadership over the years! Not just their individual leaders but the callibre of those placed on their NEC and put in place as staff and in the chain of command.
Ukip has been accused of “grubbing around in the gutter” for votes after the party selected a parliamentary candidate who has described Islam as evil.
Anne Marie Waters, an activist from the anti-Islam Pegida movement, has also praised the far-right leaders Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders.
It follows Ukip’s decision to campaign on banning the full-face veil and sharia courts. The move by Ukip’s leader, Paul Nuttall, to focus his party on an “integration agenda” – which also calls for mandatory medical checks on schoolgirls at risk of female genital mutilation – has prompted some disquiet among senior figures.
One Ukip MEP said the adoption of Waters, who this month appeared on the far-right Swedish web platform Red Ice TV, was “a massive worry”. He said he hoped to challenge it with colleagues.
The decision was also condemned by the leaders of the Liberal Democrats and Greens, who said Waters’ selection showed Ukip was embracing hard-right politics in an attempt to gather votes in the wake of the EU referendum.
Waters, who will stand in Lewisham East in south London, takes a robust attitude towards not just radical Islamism, but the religion as a whole, which she described in a tweet last year as “evil”.
She was deputy leader of the UK arm of Pegida, the German-formed far-right and anti-Islam group partly set up by Stephen Lennon, who, under the name Tommy Robinson, founded the English Defence League street organisation.
In an election video posted on her Twitter page, Waters says she wants to set out a “new vision” for the UK, one targeting Islam and Muslim integration.
“Whether it is politically correct or not to say it, people are concerned about Muslim immigration,” she says. “They are concerned because Islamic culture does not fit with ours, and it is our culture that is being sacrificed. They are concerned that their children are at risk of rape and sexual abuse.”
A Ukip spokesman said: “Anne Marie Waters has been selected as a candidate for Lewisham East, where she will work hard to promote the party and gender equality.”
However, a party source said Waters’ candidacy still had to be approved by the national executive committee, which would meet on Friday.
Tim Farron, the Lib Dem leader, said: “Once again the mask is slipping from Ukip and revealing the nasty, grubby, true face of the party. This is why they are constantly rejected by voters, because what they stand for is genuinely un-British.
“This party seems desperate to grub around in the gutter for every single vote, and shame on them for it.”
Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green party, said after the Brexit vote Nuttall’s party was “desperately scrabbling around for relevance and seem to have settled upon attacks on Muslims and promoting fringe far-right politics as their new home.
“By selecting candidates from the extreme right, they expose themselves as the bigots they really are and utterly undermine any claim they have to stand up for ordinary people. Ukip are no patriots – they are reactionaries wrapped in the Union Jack.”
Waters is not alone within Ukip in expressing such views. After the Westminster terrorist attack last month, one of the party’s MEPs, Gerard Batten, who is Nuttall’s spokesman on Brexit, blamed the attack on Islam, which he called “Mohammedanism”.
Batten wrote: “It is a death cult, born and steeped in fourteen hundred years of violence and bloodshed, that propagates itself by intimidation, violence and conquest.”
At the same time, Victoria Ayling, who finished second for Ukip in last year’s Sleaford and North Hykeham byelection and is believed to be seeking selection for the Boston seat, retweeted a false claim that Muslims had been seen celebrating in Birmingham, Bradford, London and other cities after the attack. When challenged, she refused to disown the tweet.