Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Ukip "attracts the racist vote"

'The party deliberately attracts the racist vote': 
Ukip poster girl tipped by Farage as 'rising star' quits over 'terrifying' lurch right
  • Sanya-Jeet Thandi urges supporters not to vote for party anymore
  • Hit out at ad campaign which claimed 26 million migrants after British jobs
  • Claims Nigel Farage has let party descend into 'form of racist populism'

Sanya-Jeet Thandi, 21, who was once one of the rising stars of Ukip, has quit today calling the party's latest advertising campaign 'racist'

A UKIP poster girl described by Nigel Farage as a ‘rising star’ has quit after describing it as a ‘racist’ and ‘terrifying’ party that she cannot vote for.

Sanya-Jeet Thandi, 21, a British-born Indian who had starred in a party election broadcast and spoken at its annual conference, accused Ukip of deliberately attracting racist voters.

The university student said the party had abandoned its core supporters and called on others to end their memberships and boycott the upcoming European elections.

Just days after she appeared on Channel 4 News to defend the party, Miss Thandi said she had quit as it has ‘descended into a form of racist populism’.

She said: 
The direction in which the party is going is terrifying. This week I decided to leave the party and I will abstain from voting in the upcoming European elections. I urge other Ukip supporters to do the same.

Ukip is exploiting the stupidity of ignorant anti-immigrant voters for electoral gain. While the party deliberately attracts the racist vote, I refuse to be associated with them.
Privately-educated Miss Thandi, who was previously chairman of its youth wing in London, specifically attacked one of its campaign posters for next week’s elections, which reads: ‘26 million people in Europe are looking for work. And whose jobs are they after?’

‘The poster epitomises where the party is going wrong,’ she wrote in the blog post for the Guardian website.

Ms Thnadi, who has previously spoken at party conferences, said Ukip was exploiting 'the stupidity of ignorant anti-immigrant voters for electoral gain'

‘This anti-immigrant campaign undermines Ukip's claim not to be a racist party. They are turning the election into a game of "us" and "them". Well, I am with "them".

‘Having worked so hard to help Ukip rid themselves of their "racist" label and denying comparisons to the BNP, this direction of campaigning really isn't doing my former colleagues any favours.’

Miss Thandi's accusations come less than a week after Mr Farage appeared alongside of black and ethnic minority candidates at a rally in London, in an attempt to shake off claims Ukip is racist.

The London School of Economics anthropology student said that when she joined the party aged 17, ‘there was none of this "they took our jobs" business’.

She added: 
Ukip is straying further and further from the policies that attracted so many of its original supporters, instead cynically pursuing ever more aggressive anti-immigrant rhetoric. 

Ukip's immigration policy, to me, was all about equality for every nationality; it was about treating Europeans and people outside the EU equally.

But the recent racism scandals suggest, it seems, that most other Ukip voters and members support the policy – and the party – for a very different reason.

Previously fundamental policies like taxation and promoting a small state are being ignored in favour of going after the votes of those who think Lenny Henry "should emigrate to a black country".

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