Socialist Worker

Ukip bigots at war after by-election loss

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2544

Racist Ukip leader Paul Nuttall says his party is in a mess

Racist Ukip leader Paul Nuttall says his party is in a mess (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Ukip is in a “mess” according to party leader Paul Nuttall.

Open warfare has broken out in the racist party following Nuttall’s failure to win the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election last month.

In a BBC interview last weekend Nuttall pleaded, “Give me time to sort out this mess.” Just two days before he had claimed, “This is not a party in crisis.

“This is a party that is on the move and looking to the future.”

Ukip is split between what former head of media Alexandra Phillips described as “the more pragmatic, soft side and the more rabid and right wing side”.

Former leader Nigel Farage wants the party to retain a hard right focus on attacking migrants. He has denounced Ukip’s only MP, Tory defector Douglas Carswell, for failing to whip up enough hatred against migrants.

Arron Banks, Ukip’s biggest donor, backs Farage and has declared he will stand against Carswell at the next election.

Ukip has been in near continual crisis following the vote to leave the European Union, but this isn’t new. Its history is full of crises.

Figures last week revealed that the party is on the verge of bankruptcy. It received just £33,228 in donations in the last quarter of 2016.

Both the Green and the Co-operative parties received more than Ukip.

It’s good that Ukip is in trouble. But for all Nuttall’s problems, he still won nearly 25 percent of the vote in Stoke.

As long as mainstream politicians promote racism, Ukip will pose a threat.


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