Following the debacle in Clacton that saw the UKIP PPC Roger Lord passed over in favour of Tory turncoat Douglas Carswell, it appears the same could be about to happen in nearby Basildon & Thurrock.
Lord branded Douglas Carswell as “arrogant” and a “gutless coward” claiming that he was betrayed by UKIP following Carswell’s defection and selection in the seaside town.
The disgruntled Lord resigned as a UKIP county councillor and eventually left the xenophobic party following his shoddy treatment by Farage and co.
A little further south in the Basildon & Thurrock constituency, things aren’t quite as rosy for UKIP.
Basildon UKIP chairman Kerry Smith has been deselected by UKIP as the PPC in favour of a “big fish” candidate.
The Basildon councillor received a phone call from the party informing him he would not be standing for Stephen Metcalfe’s seat in South Basildon and East Thurrock.
Smith told the local press he was disappointed and didn’t know what was going on.
Gavin Callaghan, Basildon Labour Group Leader, said: “The decision to deselect him shows what we all know – UKIP in Basildon is in disarray. They don’t speak with one voice, they split on every vote. They are letting the residents of Basildon down badly.”
Nigel Farage has been accused of “stooping to a new level of ignorance” for reportedly suggesting stopping migrants with HIV from entering the UK would be a “good start” in controlling Britain’s borders.
In an interview with Newsweek Europe, the Ukip leader set out the changes he would like to see, including a block on convicted killers being allowed into the UK, referring to the Latvian prime suspect in the Alice Gross murder case.
It was in this interview, published as the polls closed in the Clacton and Heywood and Middleton byelections, that he reportedly said Ukip “want to control the quantity and quality of people who come” to the UK.
When asked by Newsweek whether “quality” meant people without a murder conviction, he answered: “Yes. And people who do not have HIV, to be frank. That’s a good start. And people with a skill. That is what Britain should do.”
He went on to say: “I have never said that we should not take refugees. We have a proud record of accepting refugees, and that must be continued.”
The Terrence Higgins Trust’s, the oldest HIV charity, condemned his remarks for demonstrating an “outrageous” lack of understanding over the issue.
Chief executive Dr Rosemary Gillespie said: “It is to the UK’s credit that for more than three decades successive governments, no matter their political stamp, have refused to put in place border controls against people living with HIV.
“Major international organisations, including the United Nations, agree that such draconian measures would have no impact on the epidemic. In bracketing those living with the condition with murderers, and suggesting there is no place for them in his vision of Britain, Mr Farage has stooped to a new level of ignorance.”
Responding to his remarks, Labour MP Pamela Nash said: “New level of disgust at Farage tonight. Not a clue about the facts around HIV. Blatant discrimination.”
On Twitter, fellow Labour MP David Lammy claimed Farage was “trying to revive the very worst bigotry of the 1980s”.
A UKIP MEP apologised last night for retweeting a link to a virulently anti-Semitic blog after her party had initially mounted an extraordinary defence of the politician.
Jane Collins, who was elected this year to represent Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, posted a link to a page of an extremist blog attacking Labour’s deputy leader Harriett Harman over allegations an organisation she once worked for had links to paedophile rights campaigners. The opening sentence referred to the politician as a “Jewess” – which she is not.
Featured elsewhere on the blog are vehrmently anti-Semitic posts including one entitled ‘Book review: Jewish supremicism by Dr David Duke’. Another post called ‘Holocaust or Holohoax? 21 amazing facts’ is featured in a list of the site’s most popular posts. Although the UKIP MEP did not retweet any of theses pages, the list is clearly visible alongside every post on the website.
After Jewish News repeatedly pressed the party – which is expected to secure its first seat in the House of Commons in tomorrow’s Clacton by-election – Collins deleted the Tweet and subsequently apologised. “I have deleted my retweet after seeing how vile the cigpapers blog it linked to is. Sorry to have caused offence to the Jewish community,” she wrote on the microgging site. The retweet had remained on her account for three days and for around 24 hours after this paper brought it to the attention of the party.
The about-turn came less than 24 hours after UKIP defended the MEP. After this newspaper’s first call to the party, a UKIP spokesman told the Jewish News “wholeheartedly opposes anti-Semitism” and added: “She is in no way endorsing the blog, or its previous content, which I am sure she has never read or would never read. That somebody is described as a Jewess, whether accurately or not should be of no more consequence, nor should it be any more insulting than saying that Mrs Collins is a Yorkshire-woman, it is merely descriptive not pejorative. Unless of course the Jewish News is suggesting otherwise. If so then an apology would be appropriate.”
And in an extraordinary remark, the party goes on to refer to a listing for a comedy event featured on the Jewish News’ website earlier this year in which the antiquated term is used. It highlights a “5 starred collection of stories-in-song; charting feuding tailors, a Jewess who joins a 1950s Christian cult, a cocaine-addicted rabbi and many more”.
“That the story has been highlighted by a collection of hard left anti-UKIP bloggers and online warriors says more about them than any falsely perceived anti-Semitism.”
It was only after a second call to the party that a UKIP spokesman described the blog as “vile”, though he continued to insist that the term ‘jewess’ was usually “as unloaded a term as Yorkshireman”. He acknowledged this was not the case with this blog.
The Community Security Trust earlier urged UKIP to look closely at the link and apologise. A spokesman said: “It is clear that Jane Collins has made a serious error of judgement. The article’s opening words are ‘Jewess Harriet Ruth Harman’. Above all this, the website itself has two sections, ‘home’ and ‘Join the British Truth Movement – Stop White Genocide’. Another plainly visible link on the site is ‘Holocaust or Holohoax? 21 Amazing Facts’.
“So it is ridiculous for UKIP to claim that this website’s word ‘Jewess’ is merely descriptive; and it is a gross insult to use the Jewish News website as a point of comparison. I hope Ukip will do the responsible thing and issue a sincere apology.”
Board of Deputies Vice President Jonathan Arkush said: “We are amazed by the UKIP spokesperson’s response. Not only have they failed to acknowledge the irresponsibility of an elected politician retweeting an article posted on a white supremacist and racist website , but they totally missed the point that reference to Harriet Harman’s supposed faith was wrong, irrelevant, deeply offensive to Jews and could encourage anti-Semitism.”
The retweet was first highlighted by former JLC chief executive Jeremy Newmark. The specific page posted by Collins to allegations highlighting by the Daily Mail earlier this year that the National Council for Civil Liberties, where she worked as a legal officer, had granted “affiliate” status to a paedophile rights group. The
long-time politician denied claims she had been an “apologist for paedophilia” and, while expressing “regret” at the links which were established before she began working for NCCL in 1978, insisted she had nothing to apologise for.
The UKIP spokesman said: “Let this be a lesson to UKIPers and politicians of all parties, it is deeply unwise to just send a retweet without first checking where it came from. This blog is vile is and it’s beholden to people on people to check their sources.”
Former Christian Peoples Alliance leader Alan Craig – who has warned that same-sex marriage amounts to “child abuse” – says he’s campaigning for UKIP by-election candidate Douglas Carswell.
Mr Craig is notorious for his extreme anti-gay views. In a recent blog post, the right-wing Christian branded same-sex marriage a “democratic disgrace” and described it as “social vandalism by the Tory Bullingdon boys”.
The ex-councillor and former 2008 London mayoral candidate also revealed he had applied to join UKIP and was supporting former Tory Douglas Carswell’s bid to become UKIP’s first elected MP.
In his blog, Alan Craig wrote: “Whatever you think of the issue itself, the gay marriage legislation last year was a democratic disgrace. Faithful one man/one woman marriage has been a defining and enduring bedrock of our society and culture – and the preeminent place of nurture for the nation’s children – for a millennium and a half.”
“Yet without warning, electoral mandate, Green or White Paper consultation or intelligent debate, and egged on by media, the PR industry, Hollywood celebs and the all-powerful gay lobby on both sides of the Atlantic (the UK perennially follows where the US leads), our political leaders like lemmings rushed off the marriage cliff and into the gay sea while emoting loudly and stupidly that it is ‘all about love’.
“Overnight, unitedly and unnecessarily they redefined, enfeebled and wrecked a hugely beneficial social institution.”
Mr Craig added: “As a consequence procreation and child-rearing are no longer primary purposes of marriage and conjugal faithfulness is no longer a primary characteristic. Marriage is no longer marriage.”
In a post published earlier this year, titled ‘Gay marriage and child abuse’, the former Christian Peoples Alliance leader mocked the wedding announcement of gay parents Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow.
“The problem is that all gay marriages are a counterfeit,” Mr Craig wrote. “According to the government and unlike conventional marriages, gay marriages cannot be consummated and adultery cannot be reason for divorce. So same-sex partners in a gay marriage are free to play the field whereas husbands and wives in a real marriage promise to be faithful ’til death us do part’.
“By firmly bolting a counterfeit on to the hallowed institution of marriage, parliament has diluted, distorted and, in the end, dismantled an invaluable social institution. And it is the nation’s children, who need stability, commitment and faithfulness at home to best flourish, who will suffer.”
Mr Craig, an ex-councillor for the London Borough of Newham, was nominated for Stonewall’s ‘Bigot of the Year’ award in 2012.
Ukip’s existing general election candidate in Clacton-on-Sea said he had no intention of standing aside for the Conservative defector Douglas Carswell – and even said that the Tories had been making overtures to him.
Roger Lord, a former Conservative candidate turned Ukip member, said that the announcement by Carswell “was a complete surprise to me”. He said that he had first heard about the news whilst at work, when he was called.
“There are some basic courtesies that one expects. Douglas Carswell could at least have called me an hour before his announcement,” Lord said.
“It’s pretty arrogant of Douglas Carswell to assume that the voters and the electorate are like sheep and they will just go along with this.
“I genuinely hope that the national executive of Ukip will hear me out. For starters though It’s pure bad manners for someone from Ukip who I have never met to just ring me up and tell me to shut up.
“Nigel Farage also contacted me and I had a word with him. I have known him since 1997 and have stuck with him but I do have a few options open. I have been contacted by a prominent Eurosceptic who I have known for a long time and he said that he would back me 100%.
“A bottom line though is that I would like a fair hearing and to stand on a stage with Douglas Carswell to put my side of the story. I have stood in several general elections and I have stood on platforms with a good many MPs and I know that I can hold my own.
“After I was selected I had already formed campaign team, which actually includes campaign members who are former supporters of Douglas Carswell. They have already said to me that they are not going to support him.”
Tory Douglas Carswell has defected to UKIP and quit as MP for Clacton, saying he will contest the subsequent by-election for the party.
If he wins the support of voters he will be the first elected UK Independence Party MP in the Commons.
The maverick Eurosceptic backbencher said he wanted to “shake up” the cosy Westminster “clique”.
Mr Carswell made his surprise announcement at a news conference in central London.
He told reporters he did not believe Conservative leader and Prime Minister David Cameron was “serious about the change we need”.
He said the decision to jump ship from the Conservatives had given him “sleepless nights” but he wanted to see “fundamental change in British politics” and UKIP – a party he believed belonged to its members rather than a “little clique” of political insiders – could deliver it.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who this week was selected to fight South Thanet at the 2015 general election, said it was the “bravest and most honourable” decision he had ever seen in British politics.
Mr Carswell has been an outspoken critic of Westminster politics since being elected in 2005, calling for more democratic accountability such as open primaries to select candidates and recall elections for MPs who break the rules.
Explaining his decision to force a by-election – which he did not have to do in order to sit as a UKIP MP – he said: “The only honourable thing to do is to say to the people of Clacton, who I represent in Westminster, it’s their choice.”
Mr Carswell, who was an early supporter of Mr Cameron when he was bidding for the party leadership, said he had not spoken to the prime minister before announcing his decision.