Former UKIP leader and LBC commentator, Nigel Farage MEP, has called for current leader Gerard Batten MEP to be sacked. Farage’s reasoning for this is because last week it was announced that Tommy would serve as a ‘special advisor’ to the UKIP leader for grooming gangs and rape culture. Controversy has surrounded Mr Robinson as he has been in the news frequently in the past few months because of his legal battles. Mr Farage spoke to co-host Nick Ferrari on how he was ‘appalled’ by the decision to employ Tommy Robinson and announced that he would be writing to UKIP’s NEC this morning calling for a vote of no confidence in the current leader!
Ever since the Brexit referendum in 2016, UKIP has become a political joke. After Farage resigned as leader to get his ‘personal life back’, there have been 6 other UKIP leaders since then. Scandal after scandal saw the party collapse in the polls, but then Gerard Batten MEP took over. Despite immediately announcing he would only remain as leader of one year, the party has since seen a revival. Party membership has increased, and Mr Batten is gradually becoming a household name. The mainstream media have attacked the leader because of his support for Tommy Robinson during his court trials. Nevertheless, the leader has consistently stuck by and supported Mr Robinson, and this could arguably be the reason for gradual rise in party membership.supported Mr Robinson, and this could arguably be the reason for gradual rise in party membership.
However, despite Gerard Batten’s efforts to save and revive UKIP, Nigel Farage is still very angry. Speaking on LBC, he said that UKIP is ‘primarily about Brexit and not one religion’. Mr Farage also highlighted concerns that the appointment could mean that UKIP and the Brexit idea is branded as far right. On 9th December UKIP have organised a mass-rally outside parliament, and Tommy Robinson is due to speak.
If you have been following UKIP for the last twelve months, then Gerard’s hiring of Mr Robinson won’t exactly seem surprising. The party is currently debating whether to let the political commentator into the party; the issue being there is a ban of former members of far-right groups, of which Mr Robinson was a member (BNP and EDL). However, the UKIP National Executive Committee have decided to abstain the decision until after ‘Brexit day’ on the 29th March 2019.
Although Nigel Farage might come across as intrusive in his argument, there could be an underlying reason he has spoken out. Brexit is a crisis at the moment, with Theresa May proposing a draft agreement that takes away control, and leaves the UK tied into the customs union for a further two years. This anger should mean that UKIP is increasing its polling numbers to double digits and seeing a return to the glory days in 2014. This is not happening, and perhaps Nigel Farage wants to return to front line politics. Currently, Mr Farage has been touring the country with the pro-Brexit organisation Leave Means Leave, but this has not been a national success.
Nigel Farage is absolutely right about one thing, that UKIP should be capitalising on this Brexit chaos. Theresa May is about to destroy the Brexit ideology and instead allow for the UK to become a colonial state to the EU. Now is not the time to be focusing on the issue of Islam radicalisation, but instead to ensure there is valuable opposition to the Conservative Party. The vast majority of the 52% of the UK population who voted to leave in the referendum, will be furious with Mrs May and the Conservative Party, but they have no other credible Eurosceptic party to vote for. UKIP need to step up to the mark, instead of wasting its time surrounded by controversy with Mr Robinson. Is Nigel Farage going to return as UKIP leader? Only time will tell, but UKIP needs to stop self-harming itself and instead concentrate and capitalise on this Brexit crisis.