21 September 2018

Gerard Batten drags Ukip further right with harsh anti-Islam agenda

Ukip has proposed Muslim-only prisons, special security screening for Muslim would-be immigrants and a repeal of equalities laws before its annual conference, further indicating the party’s shift to the populist hard right under its leader, Gerard Batten.

The conference will be held from Friday. Other policies put forward in a so-called interim manifesto, which Batten said was aimed at making Ukip “a populist party in the real sense of the world”, include the abolition of the category of hate crime, as well as scrapping the Equalities and Human Rights Commission and the government’s equalities office.

The document also calls for a national inquiry into the abuse of children and women by sexual grooming gangs, something it calls “one of the greatest social scandals in English history”.

Batten is vehement in his views on Islam, having described the religion as “a death cult”. His influence is clear in a policy programme that is likely to increase fears among more moderate Ukip members that he is seeking to create a nationalist, anti-Islam party.

Two key themes are measures connected to what it describes as “Islamic literalist and fundamentalist extremism”, and an emphasis on what the party calls a threat to free speech “driven by the political doctrine of cultural Marxism”. [The Guardian] Read more