Organisers cancel Ukip youth conference, blaming threats from ‘hard left’

Anti-racist protest group praises venues for declining bookings

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 03 September 2017 10:33
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Young Independence conference would have featured Martin Sellner, Austrian leader of far-right Generation Identitaire movement, and Anne Marie Waters, former leader of anti-immigration group Pegida in the UK
Young Independence conference would have featured Martin Sellner, Austrian leader of far-right Generation Identitaire movement, and Anne Marie Waters, former leader of anti-immigration group Pegida in the UK

The organisers of a Ukip youth conference have said they were forced to cancel the event because of “hard left” threats.

Anti-racism group Stand Up to Racism had planned to demonstrate outside the Hilton Hotel in Sheffield, where the Young Independence conference was due to take place over the weekend.

But the hotel cancelled the event, leading Ukip to attempt to secure other venues, which also declined their booking.

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The Young Independence Executive Council accused the “far left” of sending “threats of violence” to venues if they hosted the conference, adding that the emails branded “Ukip as ‘far right’, ‘fascist’ and ‘Islamophobic’ to name a few.”

The conference has now been cancelled or postponed indefinitely, the council said in a statement to members.

It would have featured Martin Sellner, the Austrian leader of the far-right Generation Identitaire movement, along with Anne Marie Waters, Ukip leadership candidate and former leader of anti-immigration group Pegida in the UK.

Ukip was also forced to cancel a planned three-hour river cruise from Sheffield.

In a statement, Sheffield Stand Up to Racism said: “We are grateful to all the venues who declined the booking from Young Independence, the youth wing of Ukip, rejecting the party’s racism, Islamophobia and hate.”

The statement added: “Stand Up to Racism and other anti-racists will continue to challenge racism and the far right at all times and will always be prepared to stand up to Ukip’s backward and divisive policies.

“Sheffield is and will always be a City of Sanctuary, which welcomes refugees and asylum seekers from around the world.”

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