Tommy Robinson is backing Richard Braine as the next leader of UKIP, his representatives have today announced.
Braine’s platform involves further affiliating the party with extremist figures like Robinson and Carl Benjamin, who stood for the party at the European elections – turning the party into a safe space for far-right internet trolls.
Here’s what we know about the candidate.
Who is he?
Richard Braine is the chairman of UKIP West London branch and a failed European Parliament candidate for London. He is a software developer and photographer.
What does he stand for?
This company he wishes to keep is interesting/disturbing. Yesterday, we revealed that Milo Yiannopoulos congratulated the shooter who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas for being “better at it” than the shooter who killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio this weekend. He is also a Trump supporter who was banned from Twitter and Facebook for harassment.
Another of Braine’s “cutting edge free speech advocates”, Carl Benjamin recently implied that the growth in the Muslim population was a justified reason for white supremacist terrorism. He has also “joked” about raping Labour MP Jess Phillips.
Braine also evidently supports Tommy Robinson. His campaign poster calls his imprisonment “appalling vindictive treatment” and says “we fully stand behind him”.
On his website, Braine adds: “Only UKIP warns about data-tyranny, extreme Islam, cultural marxism and the loss of our ancient freedoms.”
Braine seems to be following the example of previous leader Gerard Batten, who drove the party to a far-right position on Islam – even calling the religion a “death cult”.
These policies don’t seem to have gone down too well among the electorate, however. UKIP was beaten by the Monster Raving Loony party in the recent Brecon and Radnorshire by-election.
The candidates standing against Braine are Mike Hookem, Freddy Vachha and Ben Walker.
The new leader of the party will be announced on 10th August.