Exodus from Ukip continues as more senior figures quit over Tommy Robinson links

Extra senior figures have left Ukip because the celebration continues to implode in a row over its affiliation with far-right activist Tommy Robinson.

David Coburn, Ukip’s long-serving Scottish chief, stop on Friday morning, accusing the celebration of selling “English nationalism” and anti-Islamic politics.

He was intently adopted to the exit door by former chief Paul Nuttall, who mentioned coping with Mr Robinson was a “catastrophic error”

The exodus follows on from the departure of former chief Nigel Farage and former economics spokesperson Patrick O’Flynn in current weeks.

Gerard Batten, the celebration’s present chief, sparked outrage amongst members of the celebration by appointing Mr Robinson, a former chief of the English Defence League and anti-Islam alt-right media persona, as an advisor final month.

The celebration has collapsed within the polls because the EU referendum and has did not capitalise on it success within the marketing campaign.

Mr Coburn, the celebration’s solely MEP in Scotland mentioned in a letter: “As a unionist, I abhor English nationalism as a lot as I abhor Scottish nationalism. The celebration has been infiltrated by folks with an alternate agenda, which isn’t the one on which I stood after I was elected and sadly doesn’t signify the values for which Ukip as soon as stood.

“I didn’t run on an anti-Islam platform. Sadly, this appears to be the course that Ukip is taking — obsessing about this difficulty to the exclusion of all else at a time once we would possibly lose the Brexit we fought so exhausting for.”

In a press release, Mr Nuttall, who’s an MEP for North West England, mentioned he would serve his time period within the European Parliament till it expired.

(EPA)

“After a lot soul-searching over the previous week, I’ve concluded that I have to, as of right now, resign as a member of Ukip. I do that with an immense quantity of reluctance and remorse, as I’ve labored tirelessly for the celebration for the previous fourteen years,” he mentioned.

“I’m resigning as a result of the celebration is being taken in a course which I imagine is dangerous to Brexit. The affiliation with Tommy Robinson will merely appal many average Brexit voters and inevitably be detrimental to the trigger.

He added: ”Placing Tommy Robinson entrance and centre, while Brexit is within the technique of being betrayed is, for my part, a catastrophic error. To conflate Brexit and Robinson at this significant second is to place the Eurosceptic trigger at risk and I can not and won’t be celebration to that.”

Mr Nuttall was Ukip chief for underneath a yr between 2016 and 2017. On the 2017 basic election he stood in Boston and Skegness, taking the celebration from a marginal second place to a distant third place. He was beforehand Nigel Farage’s deputy from 2010 to 2016 throughout the celebration’s most profitable interval.

Occasion chief Mr Batten accused Mr Farage of “bitter grapes” for leaving earlier this week, claiming he was “on the lookout for an excuse to stroll away for 2 years and now he is discovered it”.

He has appointed Mr Robinson as his advisor on prisons and grooming gangs.

Regardless of reaching polling highs of round 25 per cent in 2014, Ukip is now again to polling single figures. It has misplaced different senior members together with former chief Diane James, who left in 2016, and Stephen Woolfe, who stop in the identical yr, branding the group “ungovernable”.

One other former chief Henry Bolton stop earlier this yr, leaving the celebration with an growing dearth of recognisable faces.


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