Nigel Farage quits UKIP over alleged anti-Muslim stance

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UKIP is being transformed into an "anti-Islamic party" which could soon be led by Tommy Robinson, former members and MEPs concerned about the leadership of Gerard Batten have suggested. He said that Ukip had been a well-organised force in winning council seats and European elections but had become distracted by far-right extremism and "street activism".

Farage goes on to say that many Ukip members were against the appointment of Robinson however their pleas "fell on deaf ears".

The former Ukip leader made the dramatic announcement on his LBC show on Tuesday night.

In an article for the Daily Telegraph, he said: "With the Conservative and Labour parties having openly broken both their referendum and general election promises, Ukip should be riding high in the polls".

This Sunday there is going to be a march in London with Gerard Batten and Tommy Robinson as the speakers, two days before the most important parliamentary vote in modern times.

Mr Batten tweeted: "I hear that Nigel Farage has resigned from UKIP".

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is now banned from becoming a member by party rules, but has been inciting his supporters to join Ukip so they can influence its policies.

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Farage's exit came after UKIP veteran Suzanne Evans quit the party on Monday, citing the "perverse direction" being taken by Batten.

Farage lambasted the party's involvement in the protest, warning it "may well inspire violence and thuggish behaviour".

It added: "He is not a UKIP member and through his associations he is barred from joining UKIP". "Sadly, these pleas fell on deaf ears".

The MEP has since clashed with the party's leadership as he voiced concerns over the direction of the party, in particular efforts to woo EDL founder Robinson.

Batten's decision to hire Robinson as an adviser was met with criticism from within the party, but he survived a vote of no confidence held yesterday by Ukip's National Executive Committee (NEC).

"My heart sinks as I reflect on the idea that [Tommy Robinson and others] may be seen by some as representative of the cause for which I have campaigned for so much of my adult life". The anti-Islam activist now styles himself as an "independent reporter" and has capitalised on a surge of publicity over his imprisonment earlier this year to forge political ties across Europe, the United States and Australia.

Batten had previously libeled Islam as a "death cult" and called for radical policies against its followers, including Muslim-only prisons.

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