Tories and UKIP under fire for target seat candidates with far right links

22nd March, 2015 2:56 pm

Tory rosette 2014-04-22 11-42-50

The Conservative Party have been forced to suspend a candidate with alleged links to the racist EDL (English Defence League), while an internal row has erupted in UKIP over comments made by a candidate in one of their top target seats. Both are candidates in seats with Labour majorities of under 800 votes.

Afzal Amin has been suspended as the Tory candidate in Dudley North, after secret recordings came to light which seemed to reveal Amin attempting to organise a fake EDL rally in order to garner support. He also appears willing to pay EDL members to canvass for him, a practice which is against the law.

The recordings, in today’s Mail on Sunday, are of a meeting between Tory hopeful Amin, former EDL leader Tommy Robinson and current EDL chairman Steve Eddowes that took place last week, followed by a phone conversation between the Amin and Robinson a couple of days later. The candidate floats the idea of the EDL announcing a march against a new mosque in Dudley on the Saturday before the election, and then later cancelling it at a press conference with Amin. He believed this would show his ability to build community cohesion in the town.

When questioned by Eddowes about what the EDL stood to gain from the deal, Amin promised to be an “ally” to the group in Parliament, as well as offering them parliamentary access:

“You get a strong, unshakeable ally, who will ring you and people you want to – whose voices you want to see heard into the mainstream…

You will have meetings with other MPs, with Ministers, all sorts of other people involved in the Parliamentary system. Because obviously there’s journalists, there’s think-tanks, there’s all sorts of things.”

At another point during the meeting, which took place in a curry house, Amin responds to a question about whether he likes spicy food by saying “I’m not a paki, am I?”

Afzal Amin has now been suspended by the Conservatives, who are looking to overturn a majority of just 649 to unseat Ian Austin in Dudley North.

UKIP

More secret recordings in the Sunday Mirror show the internal warring inside UKIP over their choice of candidate in Great Grimsby. In 2013, their candidate Victoria Ayling was recorded saying of immigrants: “I just want to send the lot back but I can’t say that.” It is also claimed that she was a member of the National Front group in the 1970s – but she claims she only attended their meetings as “research”.

Now it has come to light that even UKIP members are disgusted by Ayling’s antics, with a leading UKIP member in Grimsby revealing that the party has been “haemorrhaging members” in the town since her selection. The remark was made at a meeting called by David Soutter, who is in charge of vetting UKIP candidates, after discovering that many members were refusing to campaign for Ayling.

At the meeting, one member says:

“I cannot endorse or support a candidate who I genuinely believe – whether anybody else does or not – who I genuinely believe is racist.”

Great Grimsby was singled out by Mark Ferguson last summer as one of the five Labour seats at most risk to UKIP, and in September, Matthew Goodwin and Rob Ford (who have researched and written about UKIP extensively) said:

“The most potent UKIP challenges to Labour come in seats such as Great Grimsby, where the radical right insurgents have already put in strong local showings, and the local Labour Party has a smaller majority to fall back on.”

Labour have a majority of just 714 in Great Grimsby, and with long-serving MP Austin Mitchell standing down, a new candidate in Melanie Onn. The Conservatives finished second there in 2010, with their candidate… Victoria Ayling.

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  • Malcolm McCandless

    11 Labour politicians are members of the right wing Henry Jackson Society, which has taken an increasingly hawkish and intolerant stance in respect to the Middle East and Islam.

    • ebc12

      Interesting. More when apposite please.

      • Doug Smith

        Jim Murphy is a member of the Society’s Political Council.

        • ebc12

          What? No w I am definitely going to look online.

      • Malcolm McCandless

        “In recent years, the Henry Jackson Society has become increasingly anti-Islam, expressing views characteristic of the far right. Its anti-Islam orientation appears to have garnered it increasing support from a range of conservative funders in both the UK and US. While it continues to pose as favouring a moral approach to foreign policy, it is dabbling in the politics of hate in an approach which is supposed to be the opposite of British values of fair play and the rule of law.”- Spinwatch

        Gisela Stuart, Labour MP is a senior member of the HJS

        • ebc12

          Thanks. I will now go ogle for more.

        • treborc1

          Members of Parliament Michael Ancram, Michael Gove, Edward Vaizey, David Willetts, Denis MacShane, Fabian Hamilton, Gisela Stuart,

    • wolfman

      Really ?????

      Fancy you mentioning that..

      Go to Conhome please..

      • Michael Murray

        Yes. He is an anti-labour troll who has come on to a pro-labour site and is trying to divert potentially damaging and negative stories about the Tories and UKIP by smearing Labour MPs who support a legitimate think tank that has as one of its principles the belief that modern Liberal democracies set an example to which the rest of the world should aspire. A complete red herring. No-one should be taken in by it. It is damage limitation byan anti-Labour troll.

        • Malcolm McCandless

          “a legitimate think tank”????????

          “Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board,” Douglas Murray, Associate Director, Henry Jackson Society

        • treborc1

          Progress as well surely they are right wingers like your selves.,

        • MikeHomfray

          The key issue for supporters of that think – tank is Zionism and support for Israel

          • Michael Murray

            Good for them. I have no wish to see Israel anhialated..

  • Monkey_Bach

    A few years or so ago Maurice Glassman, originator of Blue Labour (which incoherent nonsense pops up every now and again like a weed) argued that members of the EDL should involve themselves with the Labour Party.

    There’s weirdos aplenty in every political party.

    Just sayin’.

    Eeek.

    • ebc12

      More serious than the mad fringes getting cranky. Growing cynicism with the political class and the apparent acceptance that our democracy is mature and just needs tweaking have pretty much killed off mass progressive radicalism. We are in a process of national decay.

      • Monkey_Bach

        Anybody suggesting that thuggish right-wing faschists should be invited to join Labour to curry favour amongst to the lowest possible common denominator needs his (or her) bumps feeling. Maurice should book a course of appointments with a professional psychoanalyst and take the talking cure.

        Eeek.

        • treborc1

          They need to be sent to ATOS then

    • treborc1

      These far right groups like the EDL Progress and a few others.

  • MonkeyBot5000

    I’m probably going to vote UKIP anyway out of spite. If you don’t like it, you could index link the minimum wage or re-nationalise the railways to win me back.

    inb4 Michael Murray calls me an anti-Labour troll.

    • Michael Murray

      You have every right to waste your vote.

      • MonkeyBot5000

        How is it wasted? All the main parties hate the idea of us voting UKIP so if I vote for them just to annoy the others, I’ll get exactly what I want.

        If I want to waste my vote, I’ll cast it for a party that has a Work & Pensions secretary that doesn’t want to represent me because I qualify for Housing Benefit.

    • treborc1

      It’s a close call between them and the greens, or Plaid.

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