The candidate selected by Ukip members to contest the constituency of Lewisham East could be prevented from standing, according to the party’s leader Paul Nuttall, who has describing some of her past remarks about Islam as making him “a little bit uncomfortable”.
Anne Marie Waters, currently a director of an organisation called Sharia Watch UK, has been selected by local Ukip members to stand in the Labour-held south London seat for a second time, but Nuttall, speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, said a decision would be taken later today by Ukip’s national executive committee about whether to permit this.
Speaking at a Ukip event in Dagenham last month organised by Peter Harris, chairman of the party’s Barking and Dagenham branch and its candidate in the Dagenham and Rainham constituency, Waters said, “I am not an extremist, I am not a racist, I am not a fascist, I am not far right,” and that “all I’m calling for, and it’s not controversial at all, is the enforcement of British law on British soil”.
Waters has told the Evening Standard that she is no longer a member Pegida UK, an anti-Islam protest group which was set up by former English Defence Group leader Tommy Robinson. During a Twitter exchange in September she described Islam as “the only ‘evil’ we have legalised”. Nigel Farage, Nuttall’s predecessor as Ukip leader, warned party members last year that they should not attend Pegida UK events.
Writing for Breitbart, the so called “alt right” website whose founders include Steve Bannon, now chief strategist for Donald Trump, after last year’s London mayor election, Waters defended Zac Goldsmith’s unsuccessful negative campaign against Sadiq Khan and wrote that Robinson “tells the truth about Islam” and that “Islam has turned our society upside down”.