A senior Ukip MEP candidate who last week called for abusive protesters to be arrested by police has been caught on camera swearing at a group of local activists.
Janice Atkinson, who is the party’s South East chair and described herself as Nigel Farage’s “number two”, was pictured raising her middle finger at members of the People’s Assembly in Ashford, Kent.
People’s Assembly and Green Party member Maria Pizzey said she and a small number of activists held a peaceful protest next to Ms Atkinson and Ukip’s Ashford chair Norman Taylor, who Ms Pizzey said seemed “embarrassed” by his colleague’s behaviour.
According to the protesters, former Tory candidate Ms Atkinson made “personal comments about [Ms Pizzey’s] body size”, and said: “I don't care where you f***ing post this, just f**k off!”
Ukip gaffes and controversies
Ukip gaffes and controversies
1/18 European elections poster
Party's latest EU election posters branded 'racist' and compared to BNP campaigns
2/18 Farage 'car-crash' interview
Ukip spin doctor forced to intervene as Farage falters in disastrous radio interview
3/18 Neil Hamilton
Picture Exclusive: The year is 1998. The venue is a Springbok Club meeting. The flag is a symbol for white supremacists in South Africa. And the speaker is Ukip’s deputy chairman, Neil Hamilton
4/18 Kerry Smith
Kerry Smith resigned as would-be MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock after it emerged he had mocked gay party members as “disgusting poofters”, joked about shooting people from Chigwell in a “peasant hunt” and referred to someone with a Chinese name as a “Chinky bird”
5/18 Natasha Bolter
Former Ukip member Natasha Bolter was suspected of not having the teaching qualifications she professed to, only days after it was revealed that claims of her having attended Oxford University were also false
6/18 Ukip Calypso song
Mike Reid released a single in praise of UKIP trying to control the UK's borders, only to withdraw the single after being accused of racism for singing in a Jamaican accent
7/18 Janice Atkinson
Janice Atkinson, Ukip's South East chair, pictured by protesters while campaigning in Ashford, Kent with local party chair Norman Taylor
8/18 Ukip cancels Freephone
Ukip cancels Freephone number after protesters repeatedly called to push up costs
9/18 Farage 'car-crash' interview
Mr Farage appeared to be caught out on a number of issues, from Romanian neighbours to people speaking foreign languages on the train
10/18 Ukip employs illegal immigrants
Ukip criticised after European election candidate found employing illegal immigrants
11/18 Magnus Nielsen
Ukip candidate: 'Take away the right to vote to improve election turnout'
12/18 Poster model
A “British builder” portrayed in a Ukip poster accusing EU workers of taking UK jobs turns out to be an Irish actor - aka a migrant worker
13/18 'Arrest protesters'
Ukip called for police to arrest protesters ‘who call us fascists’ ahead of showdown with anti-fascist groups in Brighton
14/18 London Live make-up
Ukip's Nigel Farage reportedly refused to go on London Live 'without professional make up-artist'
15/18 Andre Lampitt
Ukip forced to suspend the "poster boy" of its European election broadcast, after it was revealed he had posted a series of vile racist comments on Twitter
Nigel Farage says he is taking taking legal advice over “outrageous” allegations that he is responsible for more than £50,000 of “missing” EU funding that was paid directly into his personal bank account
17/18 Have I Got News For You
Nigel Farage appears in Have I Got News For You, spends the entire episode being ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
18/18 Anti-gay comments
Local branch chairman for Ukip defends a party's councillor candidate Douglas Denny who called gay people “abnormal” and said he wished “they stop trying to ram it down my throat”, all while discussing whether the word “sodomite” should be used
The image has now gone viral, with a post on Facebook describing the confrontation having received more than 30,000 shares.
Ms Atkinson, who last week told The Independent that recent protests had made her “fear for her safety”, posted a picture of the activists on Twitter yesterday with the caption: “The attractive face of the Greens, apparently.”
She said that the protesters had been “harassing the public”, resulting in “many complaints, one to police”.
The attractive face of the Greens, apparently. Harassing public in Ashford today. Many complained, one to police pic.twitter.com/c5gsHMfkp5— Janice Atkinson (@JaniceUKIP) May 17, 2014
But Thom Pizzey, who attended the protest along with Maria, said: “We never shouted. We stood respectfully and quietly to the side of their stall and let people approach us.”
He said the group had been “exercising free speech and freedom to protest”, and that “the only one who swore or was aggressive” was Ms Atkinson herself.
Last week Ms Atkinson said that the accusations of fascism and Nazism aimed at Ukip by activists were “disgraceful”. She said the party had called for any protesters who “call our supporters fascists, hurl other abuse or any physical assault” to be arrested by police.
Speaking to The Independent today, Ms Atkinson accused the activists of being “the Socialist Workers anarchy wing of the Greens” and “masquerading as ordinary voters against Ukip”.
She said: “They were intimidating my party workers, women and elderly distinguished gentlemen, calling them racist bigots. That is unacceptable, we are the third party of politics.
“They were also intimidating members of the public who approached me. One young woman who said she was in her 30s and had never voted before, said she was voting for me. The fat Green woman approached her, telling her that I was a racist bigot. She was very upset, she later told me she had complained to the police.
“I think my view of them is self evident. I have nothing else to add.”Reuse content