A Ukip member who has described Islam as “the only ‘evil’ we have legalised”, will not contest the Labour-held Lewisham East constituency for her party, as its governing national executive committee (NEC) has chosen not to approve her candidacy.
Anne Marie Waters, a director of an organisation called Sharia Watch, was nominated by local activists to fight the South London seat, but a spokesperson for Ukip has told On London that “she has not had her candidacy ratified by the NEC,” confirming reports that circulated at the weekend.
The decision followed party leader Paul Nuttall describing past comments by Waters as making him “a little bit uncomfortable” and having “gone way above and beyond party policy” as set out in its “integration agenda“.
Waters was chosen as a Ukip candidate for last year’s London Assembly elections, but dropped after it emerged she had joined Pegida UK, an anti-Islam protest group set up by former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson. She recently told the Evening Standard that she is no longer a member of the group.
Admirers of Waters, who was Ukip’s Lewisham East candidate in 2015, have rallied round her on Twitter, with some describing Nuttall as “weak” and saying Waters is “a true patriot” who would be a better leader.
Waters, who is Irish but lives in London, argued following Theresa May’s announcement of the election that Ukip should fight “a battle for our country, for who we are, for Britain”. She said: “People are concerned about Muslim immigration. They are concerned because Islamic culture does not fit with ours, and it is our culture that is being sacrificed. They are concerned that their children are at risk of rape and sexual abuse.”
Speaking at a Ukip event in Dagenham held near the end of March, organised by the party’s candidate for Dagenham and Rainham, Peter Harris, Waters denied being an extremist or a racist or “far right” and said all she was calling for was “the enforcement of British law on British soil”. Waters has previously criticised Christian leaders for lacking compassion towards gay people.