UKIP's allies in the far-right EFD group in the European Parliament have hit the headlines again, and as always, for the wrong reason.
Lega Nord, the party which has previously called for the 'ethnic cleansing' of gay people from Italian cities, is now being condemned for attacking the Mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia for recognising gay couples through a local initiative known as Registro delle Unioni Civili. this is a sort of civil partnership, valid only locally.
Italy is in crisis, and Lega Nord, a populist party is on the decline.
When fascists are faced with such a situation, they will traditionally look for scapegoats - Jews, Gypsies, or in the case of Lega Nord, Gay people.
Lega Nord is not merely a partner of UKIP in the EFD group, the party shares the group presidency with Nigel Farage.
Famously, when the convicted racist Lega Nord MEP Mario Borghezio praised the murderous fascist gunman Breivik, Farage assured the UKIP membership that he was 'suspended' from the group. This was simply untrue. Other people may call it an outright lie, which might surprise nobody.
In reality, the Lega Nord co-president of the group, Frank Speroni, holds the whip hand over Farage. Lega Nord was not prepared to even consider allowing Borghezio to be suspended from the EFD group, and Farage was put in his place. He was told, at a meeting between the two delegations, that if action were to be taken against Borghezio then Lega Nord would leave en masse, and collapse the group.
The group is important to Farage as his presidency gives him access to certain privileges. This apparently comes before principle, before UKIP's political integrity, and certainly before telling the truth to the party membership