UKIP leader unveils 'anti-Islam' official party manifesto

UKIP leader unveils 'anti-Islam' official party manifesto
2 min read
21 September, 2018
All-Muslim prisons, enhanced screenings for migrants from 'Islamic countries' and a repeal of anti-discrimination laws signal UKIP's shift further to the far-right under new leader Gerard Batten
Gerard Batten has been leader of UKIP since April [Getty]
The leader of the UK Independence Party announced a spate of policies from its new manifesto on Friday, taking aim in particular at Muslims and other minorities and signalling a lurch further toward extreme far-right politics.

Gerard Batten launched UKIP's "interim manifesto" during the party's annual conference. The 17-page document includes policy pledges such as building Muslim-only prisons, in order to prevent "Islamic gangs" from promoting extremism to non-Muslims.

The party also promises to establish Donald Trump-inspired restrictions on migrants travelling from "Islamic countries", purportedly to stop extremism, as well as making border guards directly answer to politicians.

Read more: You can't take Islamophobia out of the Tory party

Ignorant of the fact that white people made up the majority of arrests last year for terror offences, and that those jailed with far-right ideologies has been significantly on the increase, Batten insisted the immigration policy was on the grounds of curbing extremism.

"Under a security-based screening policy we restrict any limited migration from Islamic countries to those people we can be sure, as far as possible, do not follow a literalist and extremist interpretation of Islam," the manifesto pledges.

The leader also boasted that UKIP would repeal anti-discrimination laws and get rid of hate crime prosecutions, if they made it to power.

The party proposes to scrap guidelines on hate crime put forward by the Crown Prosecution Service, saying instead that it would no longer take the attacker's motives into account.

The manifesto also seeks to repeal the Equalities Act which effectively protects people from discrimination on the grounds of religion, sex, race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or age.

Fortunately Batten is far from likely to enter number 10 anytime soon. The party's support has been virtually wiped out after two years of leadership turmoil and infighting.

However under the new leadership, UKIP is seeking to regain voters unhappy with Prime Minister Theresa May's handling of Brexit negotiations, by running on a populist, hard-line platform.

The new manifesto was however ridiculed by the mainstream press, who say Batten has an obsession with Islam, a religion he has referred to as a "death cult".

"I want UKIP to be the party that represents the interests of ordinary people," Gerard Batten told the party conference in Birmingham, as he simultaneously unveiled a succession of extreme policy ideas.

Batten has come under fire for publically welcoming EDL leader Tommy Robinson into the party, and saying the anti-Islam figurehead is not on the far-right.