The new BNP

‘De­pressed’ Farage warns Ukip leader that march­ing with far-Right ag­i­ta­tor Tommy Robin­son will turn ‘poi­soned’ party into...

The Mail on Sunday - - News - By Harry Cole DEPUTY PO­LIT­I­CAL EDI­TOR

UKIP will be the new Bri­tish Na­tional Party and de­stroy Brexit if they march through Lon­don with far-Right ac­tivist Tommy Robin­son next week, Nigel Farage has warned.

The anti-Brus­sels stal­wart pre­dicted‘ ab­so­lutely calami­tous’ scenes of drunken thugs brawl­ing out­side Down­ing Street will be used to dis­credit leav­ing the EU ‘for years to come.’

His dra­matic in­ter­ven­tion comes ahead of a planned Brexit rally in White­hall next Sun­day by the strug­gling Euroscep­tic party along­side English De­fence League founder Stephen Yax­ley-Len­non, who goes by the name of Tommy Robin­son.

In an in­ter­view with The Mail on Sun­day a ‘ de­pressed’ Mr Farage pleaded: ‘I know if that hap­pens, that is the day that Ukip be­comes the BNP, that’s it, that is the mo­ment.’

And Ukip’s most fa­mous face has threat­ened to tear up his mem­ber­ship card af­ter 25 years un­less Ukip’s ‘ob­ses­sive’ anti-Is­lam leader Ger­ard Bat­ten is forced out at a cri­sis meet­ing to­day.

Mr Bat­ten has hired Mr Robin­son as an ad­viser on ‘Mus­lim rape gangs’.

And he has vowed to flank him on the march just two days be­fore the cru­cial Com­mons vote on Brexit on De­cem­ber 11.

Mr Bat­ten is the fourth leader to take the helm of the trou­bled party since Mr Far age stood down in 2016, but the for­mer mouth­piece of t he anti-EU group claims that his suc­ces­sor is turn­ing Ukip into a poi­sonous ‘cult’.

He says he is only re­luc­tantly speak­ing out af­ter weeks of try­ing to warn Mr Bat­ten pri­vately that the planned rally would be ‘ cat­a­strophic for all moder­ate Leave sup­port­ers.’

‘If the se­nior per­son at that march is the elected Ukip leader, that is a dis­as­ter for the Brexit cause’,

Urg­ing the party’s Na­tional Exec- utive Com­mit­tee, who are meet­ing this af­ter­noon, to sack Mr Bat­ten in or­der to stop the march, he blasted: ‘Wreck­ing Ukip is one thing, but se­ri­ously dam­ag­ing the Brexit cause is quite an­other.

‘ It will be seen to be a Ukip branded thing with Tommy Robin­son, and if it de­scends into scuf­fles, vi­o­lence, worse, who knows to say?’

He pointed to ‘pre­vi­ous Robin­son CULT FIG­URE: Robin­son is ar­rested at an English De­fence League demo. In­set: Ukip leader Ger­ard Bat­ten and Robin­son ral­lies’ that saw ‘ beer bot­tles be­ing thrown over the fences of Down­ing Street and po­lice horses be­ing at­tacked’, adding he was ‘ cer­tain that ele­ments of that will oc­cur’.

‘And that then be­comes the en­dur­ing vi­sion of Brexit that is used for years to come for why Brexit is a bad thing,’ he added.

If Mr Bat­ten sur­vives the bid to oust him, Mr Farage said ‘it would be very dif­fi­cult to stay as­so­ci­ated beyond that mo­ment’. He added: ‘We are head­ing up this blind al­ley of be­com­ing a party that is al­most a cult against a reli­gion and I think that is the wrong place to be.’

He de­scribed be­ing pushed to the verge of quit­ting the party he co-founded as ‘very dif­fi­cult’ af­ter a quar­ter of a cen­tury, adding: ‘I just think that this would be un­re­cov­er­able.’

Mr Farage told The Mail on Sun­day he was ‘very down, very, very down, to be hon­est I’m quite de­pressed about it re­ally.

‘It’s been a huge part of my life. I was there at the be­gin­ning of it.’

Last week Mr Farage boasted to the BBC that he had ‘pretty much sin­gle-hand­edly killed off the BNP’, adding he had al­ways fought to make Ukip ‘ a non- racist, non­sec­tar­ian party’, but Mr Bat­ten had ‘blown a hole’ in that with his flir­ta­tion with Mr Robin­son.

He said last night: ‘God knows who they have let in.’

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