Ukip say ‘thugs’ who shouted abuse at locals who refused to take Ukip leaflets were imposters trying to damage the party’s reputation
A group of men shouted abuse at Thanet locals while handing out Ukip leaflets on Sunday – but the party say they were part of an organised campaign of imposters out to discredit them.
Witnesses called the police after the men shouted insults at shoppers on Broadstairs High Street who refused to take their leaflets.
One local, who reported the incident in a letter to local community newspaper Thanet Watch, said there were between five and seven men, who shouted “communist scum”, “left wing scum” and “paedophile protection party” at passers-by.
In the letter, the local said: “I said to the Ukip representatives that they shouldn’t talk to the electorate in that way and was promptly told to “go home and knit another scarf”. It was a very intimidating scene to witness, and two of the male supporters followed me down Charlotte Street. I reported the incident to the police.”
Police confirmed in a statement they had received a complaint relating to the incident.
A Police spokesman said: “Officers attended and spoke with the members of the group and gave words of advice. No further reports were received.”
According to Ukip, more than 500 activists descended on South Thanet on Sunday to campaign alongside leader Nigel Farage in the party’s first ‘Day of Action’ in the area, which Farage will contest at the general election.
But a Ukip spokesman said the gang couldn’t have been genuine activists, because “‘kippers just wouldn’t do that.”
He even suggested the incident was part of an organised campaign of imposters who pose as Ukip activists, steal leaflets and deliberately behave badly in order to damage the party’s reputation.
“You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve seen this,” he said. “I’ve seen them nicking our kit, handing it out to the Britain First crowd, and then claiming Britain First support Ukip.”
He continued: “I’m pretty sure we don’t have gangs of five to seven thugs. Most of our supporters are about 55 years old and probably work in a charity shop.”
No investigation has been undertaken by the party, he said, because there was no evidence to suggest the “thugs” were Ukip supporters, and because no photo or video evidence has come to light in order to identify them.
He said: “If there are party members behaving like that, they shouldn’t be. They shouldn’t be behaving like that, and they shouldn’t be party members.
“It just doesn’t ring true to me. If there’s a problem, we’ll deal with it.”
Crawley UKIP campaign manager told to stop liking Facebook posts by far-right political party with links to the BNPPosted: December 21, 2014
A PROMINENT member of Crawley’s Ukip branch, who shared and “liked” Facebook posts by a right-wing group linked to the BNP, has been advised not to do so again by his chairman, who himself has denied accusations he has done the same.
Simon Darroch – Ukip’s campaign manager at last month’s borough council elections – has come under fire on political website The Blue Guerilla for liking posts by Britain First.
The political party says it is against Islam and calls itself a “street defence organisation” which “fights the many injustices that are routinely inflicted on the British people”.
Mr Darroch, who lives in Waterside Close, Bewbush, has been advised by Ukip chairman Lee Gilroy not to like or share any more Facebook posts by the group.
Political blog The Blue Guerilla posted an article on its site claiming that both Mr Darroch and Mr Gilroy had liked posts by Britain First.
Local Conservative leader Duncan Crow has said he is “very concerned” that members of a political party in Crawley appear to support a group which he believes has a racist agenda.
However, Mr Gilroy says a number of fake Facebook accounts have been set up in his name to discredit him, and that he too sees the group as racist.
Mr Darroch, 49, insists he “didn’t realise” what Britain First stands for and only liked posts which he thought seemed reasonable.
However, he admitted: “I have since taken a look at their website and I was quite shocked by some of the things I saw. I didn’t really know who they were. It just popped up on my Facebook news feed.”
Mr Gilroy, who was accused of liking one of the posts shared by Mr Darroch – stating that Bolton’s council had voted to encourage schools to fly the British flag – said he actively discourages his members from liking or sharing their posts.
He said: “I have spoken to Simon. He’s entitled to do what he wants, but I told him to actually look at their website and see what they are all about.
“I think he was quite shocked. The way they write things would make people support that particular post but they will be unaware of what they are actually supporting.
“I don’t for one minute think Simon Darroch is racist. He has obviously been taken in by these posts without realising. I have advised him not to like or share anything in future.”
Mr Darroch added: “If they had posted something saying that we should burn all Muslims and anybody who doesn’t fit in with their agenda then, of course, I wouldn’t have liked that. I think it would be better not to like any more, even if they are things which most people agree with.”
When asked for comment by the Crawley News, Jim Dowson, the co-founder of Britain First, denied that the group is racist,
He said: “We’re certainly right wing, but we’re not extreme and we’re not racist. Our London commander is a black man, for goodness’ sake. They need to give it a rest on this racism (accusation). We’re very, very Christian. God makes people in all skin colours. We are against Islam.”
Asked to clarify whether the group was against all Muslims, he added: “Absolutely not. You don’t see us hassling those people who are not preaching hate. But if someone wants to kill you then you’ve got to fight back.”
WHO ARE BRITAIN FIRST?
BRITAIN First is a far-right political party which campaigns primarily against what it sees as the Islamification of the United Kingdom.
It was created by Jim Dowson, who ran a call centre in Belfast for the British National Party (BNP).
Dowson, who also led an anti-abortion campaign, the UK Life League, was joined by other former officials from the British National Party.
Its stated aim is to protect “British and Christian morality” and ensure “genuine British citizens will be put first in housing, jobs, education, welfare and health”.
In May the group visited mosques in Bradford and Scotland to hand out leaflets and Bibles to Muslim worshippers in what it called a Christian crusade.
A UKIP candidate is today being investigated by party chiefs over a string of comments left on Facebook.
Liz Mahon, who is standing for the party in Garrison ward, Preston Council, made posts hailing Enoch Powell, criticising Nigel Farage for paying tribute to Nelson Mandela and calling halal food ‘sick evil satanic’.
The politician made a number of her posts on the Facebook pages of the far-right English Defence League and Britain First parties.
Today a spokesman for UKIP said the posts were “being investigated as a matter of urgency”.
The spokesman added: “Such posts are not acceptable and are not the views of UKIP at all.”
The Evening Post visited Ms Mahon at her home in Forest Way, Fulwood, yesterday. She said the posts were made “ages ago” and declined to comment further. The posts were made on her own Facebook page and other pages including the EDL and Britain First party between August 2013 and February this year.
Ms Mahon is standing in today’s elections for Garrison ward, which is a vacant seat after Coun Jennifer Greenalgh stood down.
Last night Ms Mahon’s page had been changed from public to private and some of the posts were removed.
Liberal Democrat candidate Julie Voges, who is also standing in the same ward, said the posts were “disgraceful”.
She added: “It’s absolutely appalling, it’s quite shocking I feel.
“We are living in a multicultural society. The England she wants to live in doesn’t exist any more. We are all human beings, we are all inhabitants on planet earth.”
Charlotte Leach the Conservative Party candidate for the ward said she couldn’t comment on something she hadn’t seen.
Labour Candidate Steve Ratcliffe could not be reached at the time of going to press.
Green party candidate Bill Houghton couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday.
In February, Ms Mahon shared a message from the far-right Britain First party claiming Enoch Powell was “absolutely” right.
In December she posted on Nigel Farage’s page criticising him for his tribute to Nelson Mandela after the ex-South African president’s death.
She posted: “Bad comment Mr Farage, so very disappointed, you portray Mandela as a good person, when he certainly was nothing of the sort.
“Do you see Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams as a good men, cos if you do, you clearly have shown your true colours on here today – my vote hangs in the balance now. I want you to answer the question.”
And in August last year she commented on a post by the English Defence League Sikh Division page which was headed ‘Barbaric Halal slaughtering of animals.’
She posted: “Sick evil satanic, why is England allowing this evil animal cruelty to happen.
“DEFRA petition is not enough, we need a petition to have this stopped…this is England and they should be arrested for animal cruelty.”
A number of violent,far right groups turned out last night to offer protection to a UKIP meeting that was to take place at The Winter Gardens in Margate last night.
The meeting,which was addressed by Nigel Farage along with several EU candidates including Janice Atkinson and Patrick O’Flynn was opposed by a small but peaceful counter protest outside the venue.
Britain First, Paul Golding’s wannabe paramilitary outfit wrote on their Facebook page: “Britain First activists today in Margate. They spent the afternoon guarding the venue where UKIP leader Nigel Farage was giving a speech. They stood guard against a horde of leftwing thugs. Well done.”
Members of Kent National Front also turned out to protect their new found friends in UKIP.
Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP reported over the weekend that his party had a number of idiots within its ranks.
The Sunday Times reported yesterday on a story that we shared with them regarding yet another one of Farage’s “Idiots” Plymouth UKIP candidate Derek Wagstaff,
Wagstaff, an ex police office originally from Rotherham is standing for UKIP in the Stoke Ward on Plymouth City Council.
When Hope not hate checked his Facebook profile we found Wagstaff was a member of a large number of online extreme right wing groups including The English Volunteer Force, a violent splinter on The English Defence League and also Britain First, a rival political party who are actually standing candidates against UKIP in some areas and was formed as a breakaway group fom the BNP.
Wagstaff is not a dormant member of these groups regularly sharing racist postings made by these groups on his own personal Facebook profile.
The Plymouth man is also a member of The Anti Islamic World Wide Movement, Parents against Islamic Studies and Indoctrination in our British Schools and Islam Exposed (the truth about Islam) Facebook pages.
These kind of stories regarding UKIP members and racism have become par for the course and we would be fairly certain that there are plenty more out there on the various social networks.
However, our last discovery was a truly disturbing find and not one we had seen before.
Derek Wagstaff posted an article by a conspiracy theorist linking the Prince of Wales to allegations of paedophilia adding the comment: “Unbelievable what our future king has been up to.”
The bizarre, defamatory essay refers to Charles’s friendship with Jimmy Savile, the disgraced DJ, and the prince’s “potential for sharing a penchant for unnatural relationships with children”.
A UKIP official has told The Sunday Times that Wagstaff would be added to the list of members subject to disciplinary action.
So when Farage says UKIP is full of idiots who are we to argue ?