- Anne Marie Waters tells BI she will not endorse another candidate if blocked from the UKIP leadership contest.
- The anti-Islam campaigner says UKIP is “willing to ignore” its members who are concerned about the impact of Islam on Britain.
- Waters promises to “democratise” UKIP and hold a party-wide vote on scrapping the NEC.
LONDON — Anne Marie Waters has told Business Insider that she will not endorse any other candidate to be elected UKIP leader if she, as she is expecting, is blocked from standing.
The anti-Islam campaigner told BI this week that she expects the UKIP National Executive Committee to block her bid to be the party’s new leader but said she will not give her support to any other candidate on the ballot paper.
Waters was banned from standing as a candidate for UKIP in the June general election after describing Islam as “evil” and a “killing machine.” Last year she co-founded the UK branch of anti-Islam group Pegida alongside Tommy Robinson, former leader of the English Defence League.
Another UKIP figure who is running for the vacancy told BI they will “absolutely” consider their party membership if Waters is elected leader. The Huffington Post reported earlier this summer that 18 UKIP MEPs would consider quitting if Waters wins the contest.
“I do believe they’re going to block me for bringing the party into disrepute, probably. Because of Tommy Robinson and Jack Buckby. If that’s the case then so be it,” Waters, a former Labour Party member, explained. A number of senior and former senior UKIP figures have told BI that they expect the Waters’ candidacy to be blocked.
“They will have shown the membership that they are willing to ignore them [Waters’ concerns about Islam],” Waters added. “And they will show the public that, frankly, they are not brave enough to discuss Islam in terms that the public wants to hear.”
Waters went on to say that there is no other candidate in the running who she would consider endorsing for the position.
“It’s not because I dislike them all,” she said. “I don’t like a lot of what David Kurten has said about gays. I’ve heard him come out with his horrible, judgemental nonsense that gay people were sexually abused as children. I certainly don’t want him to win.
“John Rees-Evans I quite like, but I don’t think his direct democracy is going to excite the public. It’s complicated and difficult to explain. But certainly not people like David Coburn either.
“So, no, there is nobody who I would particularly like to see as leader.”
UKIP is in search of yet another new leader after Paul Nuttall quit following the party’s poor general election performance. The party won no seats and just 1.8% of the national vote, down from the 12.6% of the vote it won in 2015.
A total of 11 people have put their name forward, including the party’s Scottish leader, David Coburn; bookies’ favourite Peter Whittle; and Jonathan Rees-Evans, who famously accused of a gay donkey of raping his horse.
The NEC is set to announce the final ballot paper this month before the winner is announced at the party’s Autumn conference in Torquay this month.
Waters’ bid has allegedly been boosted by an influx of over a thousand members of the far-right, a development she believes proves that the public is interested in her policies on Islam. “I have been banging my head against the wall trying to tell them about the level of concern but among the public and within the party about this issue,” she said.
“They have not been listened to. When I announced I was standing a thousand people joined within two weeks.”
She reiterated her belief that immigration from “Muslim societies” is the “biggest threat” to both the British and wider western way of life and closing Europe’s borders, via bringing down the EU, is the only way of combating it.
“This is not a transient issue. This is permanent and it will have an enormous effect on generations to come.
“This mass-migration and what it’s bringing is not easily-reversible. These are huge problems. Huge existential issues that need dealing with. And I think that’s why a lot of politicians turn away from it — it’s just too big. Politicians are happy to kick the can down the road until their careers are over. That’s not good enough for me.”
Waters has promised to “democratise” the party if elected leader and hold a membership-wide referendum on scrapping the party’s NEC, which she believes is out of touch with grassroots support. She also wants party members to vote on the major policies and have a direct impact on what is included in future manifestos.
“Members tell me all the time that they can’t get through to the leadership. They don’t feel represented and they don’t feel their views are represented. The manifesto is top-down and it should be bottom-up,” she said.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.