After Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice decided to issue legal proceedings against Femi Oluwole because the anti-Brexit campaigner had described Leave EU, which Tice co-founded, as “anti-Jewish”, it became clear that the multi-millionaire was determined to go after the less well off if they accused him of being racist, even if only by association.
So it should have surprised no-one when Tice’s partner Isabel Oakeshott inserted herself into a Twitter dispute between a Brexit Party MEP and a Times leader writer, after the latter had described the party as racist. It is clear that those in and around the Brexit Party are on the hair trigger when it comes to accusations of racism, with the party’s supporters ready and waiting with examples of BAME MEPs and candidates.
The ruckus began when Oliver Kamm told Ben Habib (recently featured on Zelo Street talking total nonsense about the Irish border) “I’ve no idea if you personally hold racist opinions, nor am I interested in the question. You are an elected representative of a racist party. Hence we have nothing to discuss”. Up popped Ms Oakeshott.
“Genuinely curious: what is the basis of your suggestion that [the Brexit Party] is a ‘racist party’?” she countered, the phrase “genuinely curious” dripping with hostility. It was a single Tweet that set Tice off against Femi Oluwole; it looks for all the world as if it could be a single Tweet that sets Tice’s party off against Kamm.
But in the meantime, perhaps I can remind Ms Oakeshott why defending the Brexit Party against suggestions of racism may not be the easiest of tasks. Let’s start with Catherine Blaiklock, the party’s first leader, who resigned that post after she was discovered to have “repeatedly retweeted posts from far-right figures as well as sending her own messages. Among the messages she shared was one by Mark Collett, a former British National party (BNP) activist, referring to ‘white genocide’”. And there was more.
“One of her own messages read: ‘Islam = submission – mostly to raping men it seems’ … Blaiklock retweeted seven messages from [Tommy] Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon”. So the party’s first leader was a racist.
Then we have the heckling of Neena Gill. “An MEP of Asian origin was heckled with shouts of ‘Go home’ by Brexit Party supporters during her acceptance speech following her re-election to the European Parliament”. And how do we know it was Brexit Party supporters? “Brexit Party candidate Vishal Khatri - who is himself of Asian heritage and was present at the declaration - confirmed that the shout of ‘Go home’ came from their group, but denied it was racist”. The use of that taunt is widely associated with racism. Next.
MP candidate “John Booker, who will stand in the Yorkshire seat of Penistone and Stocksbridge, shared a screenshot of a chain email suggesting the United States was ‘cutting its own throat’ because it was ‘not fighting back’ against increasing ‘Islamist’ influence in the country” and liked “Facebook posts which suggested the UK government should ‘fight fire with fire’ to respond to ‘atrocities of Islam’ - and one which suggested the elevation of British-Somali Magid Magid to lord mayor of Sheffield was evidence that ‘the turkeys are voting for xmas’”. Has he been sacked yet, Ms Oakeshott?
Because if he hasn’t - good luck with making a libel case against Kamm. Or maybe not.
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