Batten: I would support Tommy Robinson joining UKIP

Ukip leader Gerard Batten has told ITV News he would like to see former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson join the party, describing him as an “incredibly brave man”.

He was speaking at the party’s conference, after clashing with former leader Nigel Farage, who warned it faced “total and utter marginalisation” if it moves to the far-right extremes of politics.

As the conference kicked off in Birmingham, Farage said he was “really upset” by the prospect of figures such as Tommy Robinson – real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – being admitted into Ukip.

Batten: I would support Tommy Robinson joining UKIP

In a Sky News interview he denied courting the far right before confirming previous statements that he would welcome Robinson into the party.

The comments come just days after Batten attended an anti-Muslim march organised by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) in Sunderland.

Demonstrators clashed with the police and anti-racism protesters at the rally, where three people were arrested, including one protester who swung a Union flag at a police officer on horseback.

Batten addressed the crowd saying “industrialised gang rape and sexual exploitation” is being covered up by the political and media establishment, pointing the finger directly at people from the “Muslim of the Islamic religion”.

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