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