Romford Ukip candidate Gerard Batten MEP: ‘Far-right Euro deal is necessary evil’

Gerard Batten, currently a Ukip MEP for London

Gerard Batten, currently a Ukip MEP for London - Credit: Archant

Ukip MEP and Romford parliamentary candidate Gerard Batten has defended his party’s deal with a far-right grouping in the EU parliament whose leader uses racial slurs and questions the Holocaust.

Mr Batten is a member of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group in the European Parliament, which this week recruited Polish MEP Robert Iwaszkiewicz of the far-right Congress of the New Right party.

Its leader Janusz Korwin-Mikke has reportedly denied the Holocaust and called for women to lose the vote. Earlier this year he told members of the European Parliament introducing the minimum wage in the US resulted in “four million n******” losing their jobs.

“Now we have 20million Europeans who are the Negroes of Europe,” he went on to add, criticising European minimum wage legislation.

Mr Iwaszkiewicz’s addition to Ukip’s group ensures it remains entitled to funding from the European Union (EU). Last week a Latvian member resigned, leaving it with representatives from only six countries - one short of the number required to be officially recognised.

This week Mr Batten said the group - of which he and 23 other Ukip MEPs are members - gave his party a “procedural advantage” in the European Parliament and protected Nigel Farage’s prominent position.

He said: “Ukip has done this deal to keep its own group.

“The only reason we have done it is because it gets Nigel Farage on the front row of the European Parliament and on TV screens.

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“It’s vital to our ambition of leaving Europe.”

He said his party was “desperate” to exit the EU, adding: “If that means having people in our group that otherwise we might not want to associate with then so be it.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said it was “gravely concerned” by the move. Vice president Jonathan Arkush said: “Robert Iwaszkiewicz belongs to an extremist party whose leader has a history of Holocaust denial, racist remarks and misogynistic comments.

He added: “For Ukip to choose such a figure as Robert Iwaszkiewicz as a bedfellow, apparently for money, is beyond belief.”

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