By Nigel FARAGE
The run-up to the recent county local elections saw more than its fair share of exposes as the parties fight for votes.
One that caused particular consternation was a UKIP candidate for East-Sussex whose Facebook posts indicated views which were not suited to be a candidate for our party.
Despite claims by the candidate that she has Jewish heritage and her comments were taken out of context, the decision was taken by Ukip to suspend her pending further investigation.
Unlike ALL of the other parties, UKIP is the only one to have the legal membership criteria and therefore the mechanism to exclude and remove those advocating fascist or extreme views. In a nutshell, if they slip through our many nets, we chuck them put when we do find them.
UKIP specifically exclude membership to former members of the BNP, National Front, or those who share their views and this is something I brought in as leader.
Many people would like us to extend this to other groups on the hard left whose organisations contain members with extremist views.
But It’s inevitable that some will slip through the net, either by lying or omission. No amount of “vetting” can weed out undetected past crimes, current predilections or future tendencies and that is where Ukip relies on its branch structure to highlight any possible undesirables.
Worse, it nurtures a culture of mistrust, prevents and traps people who genuinely want to move on, while some truly nasty characters have been given the “all clear” as the deeply flawed CRB has proven.
It’s worth Contrasting what happens in the other parties particularly given that these recent stories have been part of a concerted smear campaign by the Conservative party who spent large sims of money trawling through facebook and twitter accounts looking for anything to attack ukip with.
As a former Conservative Councillor and candidate confirmed to me, they do not vet Council candidates, neither do Labour nor the LibDems. They all will have a smattering of members with extremist views including many who think that being violently anti-Israeli is acceptable.
We’ve defectors who have met them and can confirm thiis. Newspaper reports will confirm former BNP members now sitting as councillors and Edgar Griffin, father of the deplorable Nick, was a member of the Conservative Party for years and an advisor to Iain Duncan Smith.
I was contacted by a member of ours who wrote to me;
‘At last years Conference in Birmingham, I was amazed at how many Jewish members, many religious, were in attendance. The Friends of Israel in UKIP function was very well received.
‘I see UKIP as a breath of fresh air. I have fought for over forty years against the anti-Israel bile of both the fascist left and right: If I had thought that UKIP was at either extreme I would never have joined. The choice is simple, the unsatisfactory status quo, or a change for some common sense.’
Indeed I think that I am the only party leader of a British party leader to openly condemn the long running BBC anti-Israel bias, while UKIP is the only mainstream party to take a balanced view of the Middle East.
We are still a growing party and don’t have the administrative structures in place yet to vet all our candidates. But we do have the most stringent rules of any party and we take action if our rules are broken.
Before they attack us perhaps the others should ask themselves why they don’t follow our policies on extremists.