UKIP and Britain First – two peas in a pod?
Categories: Latest News
Friday October 31 2014
After the scandal of UKIP canvassers posing for a photo with supporters of the far right group Britain First, the Daily Mirror investigates whether there is all that much that separates the two parties.
Ahead of the by-election for the parliamentary seat of Rochester and Strood, following the incumbent’s defection from the Conservatives to UKIP, Britain First has publicly endorsed UKIP on its Facebook page despite UKIP’s attempts to deny any connections with the far right party.
Posts on BF’s Facebook page state:
“BRITAIN FIRST HAS NOTHING BUT THE UTMOST RESPECT FOR UKIP, BUT WE ARE OUR OWN MOVEMENT.
“THE MEDIA IS DESPERATELY TRYING TO CAUSE FRICTION BETWEEN US, BUT THEY WON’T SUCCEED.
“WE UNDERSTAND UKIP HAS TO PLAY THE “POLITICAL GAME” SO THEY HAVE TO DISTANCE THEMSELVES FROM US.
“WE ADVISE OUR SUPPORTERS TO IGNORE UKIP’S NECESSARY POLITICAL MANOEUVRES WHEN THEY CONDEMN BRITAIN FIRST – IT’S ALL BLUSTER FOR THE MEDIA’S SAKE.
“UKIP AT THE BALLOT BOX, BRITAIN FIRST ON THE STREETS – A WINNING COMBINATION!”
The paper observes that the tactics used by both parties, Britain First contested seats in the European Parliament elections earlier this year, appear to be identical as demonstrated by UKIP’s campaign poster and one of Britain First’s images on Facebook.
While UKIP’s poster of a young girl states “There are 1,400 reasons why you should not trust Labour again”, in reference to the Jay report’s estimate on the number of young white girls who were victims of the sex abuse scandal, Britain First posted a similar image of a young girl with two men dressed in traditional Muslim clothing with the caption, “THERE ARE MANY TOWNS IN ENGLAND WITH LARGE MUSLIM POPULATIONS. IT TOOK 20 YEARS OF SUFFERING FOR LABOUR TO ADMIT TO THE HORRORS IN JUST ONE OF THEM. THOUSANDS OF LITTLE GIRLS ARE STILL SUFFERING.”
The Daily Mirror examined Britain First’s website, its Facebook page and its statement of policies and interviewed UKIP’s spokesman, Gawain Towler, to discern whether the party is all that different from Britain First.
While Britain First is anti-immigration, UKIP has expressed that it “merely want[s] to control it.”
The paper further observes that Britain First proposes a ban the burqa, similar to the ban introduced in France and Belgium and which was upheld by the European Court of Human Rights in a ruling earlier this year. Likewise, UKIP has also advocated a burqa ban and only ditched it from party policy last year.
Fransen, the prospective parliamentary candidate for Britain first contesting the Rochester and Strood seat, claimed in a video posted on Facebook that there was “absolutely” no difference between the two parties. She said, “the Ukip supporters… seem to be singing from the exact same hymn sheet as Britain First.”
Moreover, Britain First have endorsed the UKIP candidate for the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner by-election.
UKIP have denounced the photo showing party canvassers posing with Britain First supporters and its constitution explicitly denies membership rights to any individuals who has a prior association the “British National Party, National Front, British Freedom Party, British People’s Party, English Defence League, Britain First or the UK First Party”.
But given the number of UKIP candidates discovered to have spouted anti-Muslim and Islamophobic views on social media and in public meetings (see here, here, here, here and here), is it any wonder that questions are being asked about whether UKIP and Britain First are two peas in a pod?