Yet another candidate resigns after bizarre Obama/Nazi comparison
It’s only Tuesday but this has already been an embarrassing week for UKIP. As Nigel Farage prepares to unveil the first of his party’s campaign billboards in Dover, other members of his party seem to be doing their very best to discredit him.
First, it was revealed that a UKIP’s candidate for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Christopher Gillibrand, is the vice-chairman of the Traditional Britain Group, whose website promotes the views of European far-right parties including the French Front National and the Flemish Vlaams Belang. When Doreen Lawrence was elevated to peerage in 2013, the group posted this:
“It is a monstrous disgrace that this Lawrence woman, who is no friend of Great Britain, and who is totally without merit, should be recognised like this or in any other way. In fact she, along with millions of others, should be requested to return to their natural homelands”.
Mr Gillibrand has sought to distance himself from the post, but remains in his position at the Traditional Britain Group.
Then, UKIP’s candidate for Hendon Jeremy Zeid launched into a bizarre attack on Barack Obama, writing on his Facebook page:
“Once Obama is out of office, the Israelis should move to extradite the bastard or ‘do an Eichmann’ on him and lock him up for leaking state secrets.”
Mr Zeid (who is Jewish) appeared to have been upset by a news report that suggested the US government had released documents confirming the existence of Israel’s nuclear programme. Israel has never publicly acknowledged the existence of nuclear weapons, but it is not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In a post that has since been deleted, Mr Zeid wrote of Obama:
“Just kidnap the bugger, like they did to Eichman, who suddenly found that he’d woken up in Israel. The problem is that Israeli jails are far more humane and adherent to human rights than American ones.”
Yesterday he told the Jewish Chronicle that he had quit the party and the ‘dirty, disgusting, revolting, horrible election campaign with slurs’.
And then there’s Rozanne Duncan, the UKIP councillor who was forced to resign after being filmed saying:
“I really do have a problem with people with negroid features.”
Appearing on ITV’s new daytime show O’Brien, hosted by LBC interviewer James O’Brien, Ms Duncan is asked again how she feels about black people and says:
“I can’t explain the discomfort I feel, I really can’t.”
Also on the show was UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge, who has previously described Hitler as ‘a magnetic and forceful public speaker’ who ‘achieved a great deal’. O’Brien questioned Mr Etheridge about his decision to keep a photo of himself with a golliwog doll on his Facebook page. The MEP said that it was there to encourage debates about issues of race.
As the short campaign begins, Nigel Farage will no doubt be praying that no more of his party members make the headlines this week – when they do, it’s almost never for a good reason.
Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on TwitterLike this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.