Political analyst hails Farage for leaving ‘Islamophobic’ UKIP

Rodney Shakespeare speaking to Press TV

The former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) was wise to leave the party after it shifted its focus to campaigning against Islam and embrace of far-right figures, a political analyst in London says.

“I think that he (Farage) was very wise to do that,” said Rodney Shakespeare, an author and retired academic from London, adding that the popular British politician had recognized that he cannot stay with “a party which has become narrow-minded, xenophobic, Islamophobic and racist.”

Farrage said last month that a decision by UKIP leader Gerard Batten to appoint Britain’s top Islamophibic figure Tommy Robinson as an advisor showed that the party was no longer the one that had a clear political and social mission.

The former UKIP leader said Tuesday upon resigning that the party had become unrecognizable due to its “obsession” with the anti-Muslim policies under Batten.

Shakespeare said the UKIP had over the past years developed more and more “racial and anti-other-people elements” who wanted to exploit the public sentiments against immigrants, especially after the Brexit referendum in 2016.

Many Britons voted to leave the EU simply because they were not happy with the growing number of migrants in the UK who come from eastern European countries.

However, he said, the UKIP has failed to  understand that anti-immigrant sentiments were rooted in economic and political reasons and had nothing to do with racism.

“The British people as a whole, half of whom voted to get out of Europe, are not racist. There are elements there. There are certainly elements of Islamophobia, but they are not. Their case against Europe was primarily economic and political,” said Shakespeare.

He said even Farage, whom he described as a highly critical politicians, had realized that UKIP was travelling on the wrong path.

“Nigel has recognized that the party with which he was identified has probably outlived its usefulness,” said the analyst.

Despite the risks of leaving the party and falling into a “political wilderness”, Farage did “the honorable thing” by disassociating himself with a party which no longer has got “any descent moral principles,” Shakespeare said.

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