A GUEST POSTING:
Andrew Neil asked Paul Nuttall about alleged links with Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front.
Nuttall stated that he had never met her.
As recently as the early part of this year reports from Brussels referred to meetings between UKIP and Front Nationale figures to discuss the formation of a political group in the European Parliament after next May's european elections. Godfrey Bloom, of course, was co-founder of the European Alliance for Freedom, a far-right pan-European political party. The photo shows the UKIP logo side by side with the EAF one.
This is from a statement issued by Front Nationale last year:
‘Marine Le Pen joined the European Alliance for Freedom last October. This pan-European platform was founded at the end of 2010 and despite its opposition to the European Union such as it is organised at present, has been recognised by the European Parliament. The members of this Alliance have come from the ranks of those movements engaged in the patriotic and sovereignty struggles of our time. They include for example the Austrian FPÖ of Heinz-Christian Strache, the British UKIP of Nigel Farage..."
Mme. Le Pen is in the ascendency, and is probably the most prominent populist politician in Europe. Farage is said to be seething about this.
Pan-European parties will be able to contest 'virtual' constituencies. To be top of the candidates list in one of these parties is a guarantee of a job for life, which is what Farage craves. He knows that a seat in Westminster will never be his, and a Tory peerage is dependent on his patrons toppling Cameron and replacing him with one of their own, David Davies, most likely.
However, The EAF is now very much Le Pen's vehicle, and she is steering it well. The will be no political space for a second far-right party. Farage has missed the boat and he probably knows it.