Ukip leader Gerard Batten survives no confidence vote over Tommy Robinson appointment

Posted on Dec 3 2018 - 7:40pm by admin

Mr Batten appointed Mr Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, as an adviser on rape gangs and prison reform. The activist was the founder of the English Defence League. His appointment led to widespread criticism, including from former party leader, Nigel Farage.

Last month, Mr Farage said he would write to Ukip’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) to demand a vote of no confidence to remove Mr Batten as leader.

However, on Sunday, Ukip said the NEC had voted “overwhelmingly” against a motion of no confidence.

A statement also said, however, that the party “does not endorse the appointment of Tommy Robinson in any advisory role”.

It added: “He is not a Ukip member and through his associations he is barred from joining Ukip.”

READ MORE: Nigel Farage’s fury at Ukip’s Tommy Robinson appointment

Mr Batten previously defended his decision to give Mr Robinson a role advising him, describing the English Defence League founder as “courageous”.

He said after his appointment: “I think he’s a good person to have on side, a lot of people respect his stand on things and his courage.”

The appointment was met with significant backlash and has seen some Ukip MEPs resign as a result.

Mr Farage also attacked his successor for the hire and accused him of both tarnishing the Ukip brand and having a negative impact on Brexit.

He said: “I do not want Gerard Batten and Tommy Robinson being seen to lead something that is violent, nasty, unpleasant and will be used for the next decade to say ‘this is what Brexit represents’.”

However, Mr Batten has denied moving Ukip to the extremes or opening its doors to racists.

He told the BBC Mr Robinson would help him turn the party into a “mass movement… a party for ordinary people”.

Mr Robinson is expected to feature prominently in a Brexit march in London two days before the Commons votes on the UK’s EU withdrawal deal.

Ukip said the December 9 march had not been organised by the party, but added: “Members are free to attend should they wish.”

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