Nigel Farage faces further questions over Ukip’s vetting as two officials linked to far-right party rally
Nigel Farage is facing further questions about Ukip’s vetting tonight after it emerged that two of his party officials attended a demonstration organised by a far-right group.
The chairman of Ukip’s west London branch Vanessa Crichton and chairman of the Hillingdon branch Cliff Dixon attended an anti-EU protest organised by the British Patriots Society, which has strong links to the English Defence League (EDL).
The tiny group was set up by Sara Roocroft, a former Ukip member. She has expressed support for the English Defence League in the past and its website was registered in the name of a senior EDL figure, Steve Simmons.
The BPS has posted messages online warning of conflict with the Muslim community in retaliation for the Woolwich attack. One message on the group’s Facebook site states: “If nothing is done then the servicemen and women and those who support the troops will take matters into their own hands… And if they want a war then Bring It On!”
Confronted by The Independent, Mr Dixon admitted that he went along to the Westminster demonstration in 2012 with his colleague Ms Crichton, but did not know of the group’s links to the EDL and would not attend any more BPS events. He added: “Threats of violence are unacceptable and I would not want to be associated with them.” Ms Crichton said she could not recall attending the demonstration.
A Ukip spokesman said the two party officials would not be disciplined. He said: “When we spoke to the individuals concerned they were as surprised as we were that they had appeared at an event organised by people with those links.”
The spokesman added: “They were entirely unaware of any EDL links to the BPS, and were shocked. To discipline people for something like that would be heavy-handed and unfair.”
Matthew Collins of the Hope not Hate anti-extremism campaign group said: “The more people look at Ukip, the more shady it appears.”
Sara Roocroft denied she was running an EDL “splinter group” but admitted she has supported the far-right street movement and that the BPS’s website was set up by a leading EDL member. She said: “I would never become an EDL member or go to a demo because I don’t agree with how they conduct themselves, I don’t agree with the drinking, shouting and swearing.”
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
- 1 Scottish independence results live: Reunited kingdom - Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
- 2 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 3 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence results live: Reunited kingdom - Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence: YouGov final prediction puts No campaign 8 points ahead - but Yes team remains optimistic
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£50 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an SEN Teacher or L...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: English & Media Teacher - ...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Y1 Teacher required for a So...
Highly Competitive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - FINANCIAL SERVICES - Senior...