NEWPORT’S branch of UKIP appeared in turmoil at the weekend as their chairman appealed for help to “rid this branch of EDL sympathisers”.
Mike Chaffin posted on the branch’s Facebook page: “Not in my name, not in my party and not in my town!”
He pointed readers to comments made by the Newport East parliamentary candidate Donald Grewar on the EDL Facebook page and BNP website.
Mr Grewar responded to an EDL post warning of ‘no surrender to militant Islam or political correctness’ with the comment: “Thus sais it all… the mood of the nation… well done EDL” [sic].
And he said in response to an article on the BNP website about gay marriage: “Well said Richtofen…. sadly this will all come to fruition in the very near future. We need to resist and stand our ground.”
Mr Chaffin asked party members: “Do you consider someone who both praises the English Defence League and posts on the British National Party’s own website to be a suitable candidate?”
He revealed he had been asked to stand down as Chairman and allow two others to take over the branch.
A rival Newport UKIP Facebook page appeared to have been set up this month, with minutes from a meeting on January 23.
In a post to the new page, Andy Byers claimed Mike Chaffin “will be resigning as Chairman of the Newport Branch”.
He said the committee had nominated James Peterson to stand as temporary Chairman until an AGM on February 23.
But after this had been posted, Mr Chaffin continued to refer to himself as chairman on the initial Facebook page.
Mr Chaffin also proposed an annual general meeting to deal with the issues.
He said that people “who even flirt” with these parties “should be banished and those who help or collude with them named,” he added.
He called for such party members “to take their views to a party more closely aligned with their morals.”
His post ended: “If we tolerate this then what will be next?
Andrew Byers, named by Mr Chaffin in his post, said he was “surprised” by the allegations which he said were “completely without foundation”. He added it was impossible to be a member of both Ukip and one of the other parties mentioned.
He said: “So it’s a no comment at the moment. He appears to have an issue…he’s obviously quite disgruntled.”
A spokesman for Hope Not Hate said this was proof the party was run by “amateurs”.
Simon Cressy said: “There are extreme elements within UKIP, as can be demonstrated by some of the comments.
“He’s coming out saying he supports the EDL – he’s not the right candidate to represent the good people of Newport East.
“We would call on UKIP to remove Donald Grewar and any other person that has made extremist comments.”
Donald Grewar has been approached for comment.
A UKIP spokesman said: “UKIP takes all complaints and concerns seriously and fully investigates all issues brought to our attention. Party members living in Newport recently raised some concerns with the party through our internal procedures and the party acted swiftly in ordering an investigation into these matters. When the full facts become known we will release a full statement on our website.”
South Wales Argus
The Amjad Bashir suspension story is developing by the minute.
What is becoming clear is that he has / was about about to defect to The Conservative Party and has spoke to The Daily Telegraph claiming that UKIP had become a “party of ruthless self-interest” and that UKIP was incapable of delivering a referendum on membership of the EU.
Bashir went on to describe UKIP as “pretty amateur” and condemned its “ridiculous” lack of policies, saying the party was “delusional” over its chances of winning seats in the General Election in May.
Bashir says: “After almost three years as a party member, I realise that Ukip is more concerned with furthering its own interests as a political party than delivering for the British people.
“I’ve seen Ukip both at home, and abroad, and I’m sorry to say they’re pretty amateur. In the European Parliament, some of their MEPs think it’s acceptable to shout and fool around.”
“They think they’ll sweep up dozens of seats in May, but that’s delusional. What they are in very real danger of doing, however, is making a big enough dent in the Conservative vote to let Labour in.”
It’s not clear at the moment what came first, Amjad Bashir’s defection or suspension.
What is clear however is that there is one fewer UKIP MEP’s tonight.
Hope not Hate
They tell us they are not racist but have the backing from the English Defence League, Britain First and the British National Party which is probably why they attract supporters such as Jacqui Jackson.
Chichester based racist, Jackson, took to Facebook to proclaim to fellow Kippers that she has just renewed her membership for the oddball party.
We were a bit gobsmacked about what we saw next on her Facebook page – an attack on Labour MP Chuka Umunna who she described as a ‘muzslime’ and a ‘paki’.
Chuka is of Nigerian decent and not Muslim, he is Anglican.
It does not stop there. Her Facebook timeline is like a advert for UKIP and is jammed full with racist and Islamophobic posts.
So Mr Farage. Is this the type of Party Members you are trying to attract to your group with your divisive dog whistle politics?
A former counter terrorism operative and UKIP candidate sent a “grossly offensive” message to a Cambridge mosque and posted anti-Islamic material on his Facebook page.
And when police raided the home of Ian Couch, a former marine and member of the special forces, they found half a pig’s head in his fridge, heard Cambridge Magistrates’ Court.
Now the 54-year-old, of Woollards Way, Great Shelford, faces a jail sentence after he admitted emailing the Omar Faruque mosque and posting a photograph of the pig’s head on Facebook accompanied by religious slurs.
Joe Bird, prosecuting, explained that on the evening of August 20 last year, Couch, who was then drunk, sent the email to the mosque after becoming angry at a news report on the beheading of US journalist James Foley.
Addressing Couch – who stood as a South Cambs District Council candidate in May last year – Mr Bird said attempting to justify his email as “freedom of expression” was just an excuse for unacceptable behaviour.
He added: “You knew full well when you sent that email that it’s something they would find grossly offensive.”
Taxi driver Abdul Muquith, who volunteers as a receptionist at the Kirkwood Road mosque and received the email, told the court it left him “disgusted and shocked”.
He said: “I was scared and very upset because we are quite a close-knit community in that area and we are responsible for the wellbeing and safety our congregation.
“I was shocked because we’d never received any emails in the past in that kind of language – we were scared that something might happen in the morning when he arrived.”
Mr Muquith then discovered the shocking contents of Couch’s Facebook page – which has a public privacy setting – when he looked him up after receiving the initial email.
He continued: “There were pictures and a lot of language which was against Muslims and Islam and a lot of statements about putting pigs’ heads in the mosques.
“There are no words to describe how shocking it was for me to see things like that on a Facebook page.”
Speaking in court, Couch confessed he had been drinking heavily when he sent the email and that he was angry and emotional after watching the news and an online video of four women being killed by militants.
He also argued it was a coincidence the head was found in his fridge upon his arrest, claiming he had got it as a treat for his dogs despite it being the first time he had ever bought a head rather than just ears or trotters.
However, lead magistrate Marisa Johnson rejected any freedom of expression defence and slammed Couch for attempting to defend the “indefensible”.
She said: “We find the email was offensive – we are offended by it and it had the intention of causing offence and distress to the people who received it.
“You are in a very serious situation, particularly at these volatile and serious times.
“We consider it a hate crime and are looking at a custodial sentence with a six-week starting point.
“We can’t tolerate this kind of behaviour from anyone which is likely to make matters worse for people in the community.”
Commenting on the conviction, Paul Bullen, UKIP group leader for Cambridgeshire County Council, confirmed Couch was no longer a member of the party.
He told the News: “When the party became aware that he was anti-Islamic and that he didn’t have our standards we asked him to leave, which he did immediately.
“I believe his conviction is correct and his actions are damaging to the community – you can’t judge a religion on a few fanatics.”
Ukip leader blamed multiculturalism for the terrorist shootings by Islamist extremists in Paris that left 12 people dead
David Cameron has rebuked Nigel Farage after the Ukip leader blamed a “fifth column” in European countries for the Charlie Hebdo terrorist shootings by Islamist extremists.
The prime minister said it was wrong to make political arguments so soon after the “appalling events” in Paris, and Labour’s Dame Tessa Jowell accused Farage of making “sickening comments”.
Speaking at an event on Manchester to promote the government’s plan to create an English “northern powerhouse”, Cameron said the terrorists were wholly responsible for the attack as he distanced himself from Farage who blamed the shootings on a “really rather gross policy of multiculturalism” in Europe.
Cameron said: “With the appalling events in Paris still so fresh in people’s minds and with people still struggling for their lives who have been injured, I think today is not the day to make political remarks or political arguments. Today is the day to stand four square behind the French people after this appalling outrage and simply to say that we will do everything we can to help them hunt down and find the people who did this.
“The cause of this terrorism is the terrorists themselves. They must be found, they must be confronted, they must be punished.”
Farage told LBC radio earlier that Britain and other EU countries were paying the price for decades of multiculturalism, which he said, had discouraged integration. He also said the Rochdale child abuse scandals showed that authorities had turned a blind eye for fear of being racist.
The Ukip leader said: “What should have been done is we should have had a controlled immigration policy and made sure we did full checks on everybody who ever came to this country from anywhere – and that applies to everyone else. We in Britain, and I’ve seen some evidence of this in other countries too, have a really rather gross policy of multiculturalism. By that, what I mean is that we’ve encouraged people from other cultures to remain within those cultures and not integrate fully within our communities …
“I don’t think anyone can pretend there is a quick fix to this. We have, I’m afraid, and mercifully it’s small, but we do have a fifth column within our countries.”
He continued: “And added to that, we have turned a blind eye. You’ve only got to look in the north of England and the sexual grooming of young children to see admissions from public figures that they didn’t bother to turn over the stone when they heard rumours of things going wrong, for the fear they might be thought to be racist. So we have made some awful mistakes, but we are where we are.
“On a cultural level, what price anybody who is a standup comic, a cartoonist, a newspaper columnist, who wants to say something critical about Islam at all?”
Cameron said political leaders should focus on highlighting common values across Europe. He said: “The only other thing we should say today is that, as countries in Europe, we share certain values – values that are not incidental to our success, values that are a key part of our success as free and open societies and successful economies.
“Those values include freedom of speech, the right to disagree, the right to argue in public, the right to have a government under the rule of law, the right to have a tolerant society with a strong democracy. Today is the day to make those arguments and those points and, I would argue, not much more than that.”
Cameron said it would be wrong for him to dictate to the press after he was asked whether newspapers should show their support for Charlie Hebdo by publishing its cartoons. “In terms of the values displayed by our media organisations, I don’t think it would be right for a politician to lecture them about that. We have a vibrant, exciting, passionate, disputatious, sometimes infuriating press. Long may that be the case.”
The prime minister’s criticism of Farage was echoed by Theresa May, who said the Ukip leader’s comments were irresponsible. The home secretary confirmed that the Home Office had taken the precautionary step of raising security at seaports.
May told BBC News: “I think it is irresponsible to talk about a fifth column. We should all be working across society to ensure that we deal with and eradicate extremism wherever it exists.”
Labour’s Jowell said the murder of innocent people was “criminal, plain and simple”.
Nick Clegg said on his weekly LBC phone-in: “I’m dismayed, really, that Nigel Farage immediately thinks, on the back of the bloody murders that we saw on the streets of Paris yesterday, that his first reflex is to seek to make political points.
“If this does come down to two individuals who have perverted the cause of Islam to their own bloody ends, let’s remember the greatest antidote to the perversion of that great world religion, Islam, are law-abiding British Muslims themselves.
“And to immediately somehow suggest that many, many British Muslims, who I know feel fervently British but also are very proud of their Muslim faith, are somehow part of the problem, rather than part of the solution, I think is firmly grabbing the wrong end of the stick.”
I wrote earlier about Steve Barratt, UKIP’s racist fisherman who is a guest speaker at a UKIP meeting in Thanet, Kent tonight.
Following the exposure of his vile racism, Barratt has subsequently deleted his post and tried to make out to anyone who will listen his offensive post was just a one off angry response to the events in Paris yesterday
However, we can reveal this isn’t the case and in fact Barratt has lots of previous form when it comes to racism.
Check out the grabs below, all made before the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
UKIP and Janice Atkinson have still refused to take any action or make any comment regarding Steve Barratt.