Gerard Batten shared a video with his followers on why he supports far-right felon Tommy Robinson. The reason? Robinson is like Mahatma Gandhi
Gerard Batten MEP has gathered plenty of criticism after repeatedly supporting imprisoned English Defence League (EDL) frontman Tommy Robinson.
But in a video to his social media followers published today, Batten argued not only that Robinson is on the “right side of a very great cause” but also a civil rights hero comparable to the suffragettes and Nelson Mandela.
Batten is seen looking into the camera saying:
“Did he break the law? Yes, I am sure he did on occasion. So did the suffragettes, so did Gandhi, so did Nelson Mandela – they are all now looked at as national or international heroes.”
Robinson’s fans, however, are well known for their foul-mouthed misogynistic tirades and Islamophobic rants.
UKIP itself has recently welcomed the membership of YouTube stars Paul Joseph Watson and Carl Benjamin, known for their racist and sexist commentary. Benjamin, who is known online as Sargon of Akkad, stands accused of triggering a series of rape-threats to Labour MP Jess Phillips, following his anti-feminist posts.
Commenting on Batten’s strange video, Best for Britain champion Virendra Sharma MP said:
“To anyone still in doubt, this is proof that UKIP is made up of a bunch of far-right extremists. Their leader is unashamedly supporting a jailed hate preacher.
“They have no shame in dragging this country’s name through the mud. They don’t give a monkeys about this country, full stop. The only thing these people do care about is spewing hate-filled venom to get restore some semblance of relevance.”
It remains uncertain how Batten squares his supporters’ views with the feminist or the anti-Apartheid cause.
Joana Ramiro is a reporter for Left Foot Forward. You can follow her on Twitter for all sorts of rants here.
As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.
We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.