However, he may have won support from an unusual quarter – the founder and former leader of Ukip, Professor Alan Sked, says the party he launched in 1993 has become “extraordinarily right-wing” and is now devoted to “creating a fuss, via Islam and immigrants. They’ve got nothing to say on mainstream issues.”
“Its extraordinary,” Sked told the HuffPost UK, “that at the last general election, with the country facing the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, [Ukip’s] flagship policy was to ban the burqa.”
“They’re not an intellectually serious party. Their views on immigrants and on [banning] the burqa are morally dodgy.”
Sked, who led the party between 1993 and 1997, before quitting and resigning his membership, said it was a Ukip peer who invited Dutch politician Geert Wilders to the UK to screen his anti-Islam film Fitna in October 2009.
In recent years, several Ukip politicians and candidates have been caught out making both anti-Islam and anti-Muslim remarks: former party leader Lord Pearson claimed Muslims were “breeding ten times faster than us”; one Ukip parliamentary candidatedenounced “Muslim nutters who want to kill us and put us under medieval Sharia law” and another described Islam as “morally flawed and degenerate” and endorsed Wilders’ view of Islam as a “retarded ideology”.
See also “Are Ukip supporters racist?”, Huffington Post, 26 November 2012