Last week the BBC’s Daily Politics featured Farage. His fellow guest was Macmillan-Scott, a Lib-Dem MEP.
Macmillan-Scott argued that UKIP was failing the electorate due to the appalling attendance record of several UKIP MEPs - including Farage. He also pointed out that “two UKIP MEPs had left this group (the EFD) because they claim some of their continental allies are extremists”.
Several viewer emails were then read out to Farage. John West, a former UKIPPER, also mentioned the loss of two UKIP MEPs from the EFD:
"Why is UKIP happy to sit with racist parties in the EFD Group in Brussels? His fellow UKIP MEPs Mike Nattrass and Nikki Sinclare left the group because they didn't want to be associated with the Lega Nord".
A terse and clearly agitated Farage had the audacity to dismiss the email by claiming that the Lega Nord is not racist!
Oh, really? Here are just a few Lega Nord facts:
Nikki Sinclaire on the Lega Nord.
The group contains parties who have a variety of extremist views which includes racism, anti-Semitism and violence. One of these parties, Lega Nord was removed from the last EU group to which UKIP belonged, Indpendence & Democracy (Ind Dem), because of their extremist views. Despite this history, they are now Co-Presidents of EFD and hold the power of veto on Nigel Farage.
End of quote.
And what about this?
Pro-Federalist Lega Nord – the party's constitution says that the party will end its political activity when federalism is obtained - are no strangers to racially motivated violence: indeed, MEP Mario Borghezio was fined in 1993 for beating a 12 year old Moroccan child. In 2005, whilst sitting as an MEP, he was found guilty of setting fire to the belongings of immigrants under a railway bridge in Turin, during a vigilante raid. In September 2007 he was arrested by Belgian police for his part in an anti-Islamic demonstration.
The former leader of Lega Nord, Umberto Bossi, an MEP in the last parliament, was convicted of incitement to violence in 1998. He received a one-year suspended prison sentence. He had previously received a conviction for taking a 200 million bribe. In 2003 he described Africans as "Bingo-Bongos", and suggested that the Italian navy should open fire on boats carrying refugees.
Notorious holocaust denier Father Floriano Abrahamowicz is considered to be the "unofficial Chaplain" of Lega Nord. He told an Italian newspaper: "I know the gas chambers existed... but I don't know if anyone was killed in them. I know that, in addition to the official version, there is another version..." He has also been a vocal supporter of Erich Priebke, the German SS officer convicted of war crimes for a 1944 massacre in Rome, extradited to Italy from Argentina and currently living under house arrest.
The Lega has its own militant faction, the so-called Green shirts.
So the Lega Nord is not racist according to Nigel!
What other gems can we expect from Farage? How about:
"Hitler was just a good old-fashioned guy with a few quirky policies".