Farage woos Italy’s ‘rebels’ as he builds coalition
The Ukip leader Nigel Farage said on Wednesday night he hoped to “have fun causing a lot of trouble for Brussels”, by agreeing to form a new group in the European Parliament with an Italian anti-establishment party led by a former comedian.
As coalition-building got underway, Mr Farage met with Beppe Grillo, whose Five Star Movement came second in Italy’s European Parliament elections.
“If this works out it would be magnificent to see a swelling in the ranks of the peoples’ army,” said Mr Farage.
For his part, Mr Grillo said: “We are rebels with a cause, and we shall whistle as we march.”
Ukip said in a statement that Mr Farage “agreed after an animated and very amicable encounter to meet again in the next few weeks” with Mr Grillo. It added that they share a “mutual fascination and admiration for each other’s work and campaigning style”.
The two leaders may seem unusual bedfellows. Mr Grillo’s party claims to be neither left nor right but rails against the political establishment. While Ukip also says they are libertarian, they have much clearer support from the right wing. Both are, however, pushing for national referendums: Mr Farage on Britain’s membership of the EU, and Mr Grillo on pulling Italy out of the euro.
The talks came after far-right parties inflicted a stinging defeat on the political mainstream, with Marine Le Pen of France’s Front National also trying to find new allies.
Ukip is a member of one of the seven political families in the European Parliament which unite parties from different countries.
Their current Europe of Freedom and Democracy group would grow to 38 seats following last week’s elections, up from the 31 seats it gained in 2009 – but Mr Grillo’s 17 MEPs would give them a further boost.
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'naked pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
Isis in Syria: 60,000 Kurds flee terror in new exodus
Alan Henning kidnapping: Wife appeals for Isis to release 'peaceful and selfless' British aid worker
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
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
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...
£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...
£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...
£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...