The founder of the far-right group For Britain has rejoined UKIP years after setting up the breakaway party.
Anne Marie Waters has returned to politics as UKIP’s justice spokeswoman in a move that campaigners say “shows how extreme the party has become”.
Ms Waters , who spent years as a Labour Party member before a dramatic shift to the right, first joined UKIP in 2014. She left the party to form For Britain after an unsuccessful leadership bid in 2017.
UKIP, formerly led by Nigel Farage, said on Wednesday Ms Waters’ return would help it “unite” the “fragmented” right wing of politics in Britain and “fight back” against “woke-drunk” politicians.
But Hope Not Hate researcher Gregory Davis said: “Ms Waters, formerly leader of the defunct far-right For Britain Movement, returning to UKIP shows how extreme the party has become since it has found itself more and more politically irrelevant.
“When Waters stood for UKIP leader in 2017 she was rejected for being too extreme, now they’ve welcomed her back with open arms. Both UKIP and Waters are a spent force in British politics.”
Hope Not Hate has previously called Ms Waters “one of the UK’s most prominent anti-Muslim campaigners,” highlighting how she has “spent years relentlessly attempting to associate Islam with violence and social degradation”.
At an event in 2015, she was filmed saying: “For a start the immigration will have to stop, the immigration from Islamic countries has to stop entirely, that is just the way it is. A lot of people need to be deported. Many mosques need to be closed down. It really has to get tough.”
During her UKIP leadership bid, she said “Islamic culture is simply not compatible with our own”.
Rejoining the party Ms Waters said: “What I have come to accept is that there is only one party on the ‘sane side of politics’ as I like to call it that is a household name, and that party is UKIP.”
She called UKIP “one of the only parties fighting for truth and justice and for Britain that has managed to stay alive”.
She added: “We do need to come together and fight the establishment and I believe that fight should take place under the umbrella of UKIP.”
UKIP reached the peak of its success under Mr Farage at the 2014 European parliamentary elections when it became the first party other than Labour or the Conservatives to win a national vote in modern history.
At the time it regularly polled at around 14 per cent of the vote or above, with this figure having since fallen to around 1 or 2 per cent.
UKIP was contacted for comment.
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