EXCLUSIVE: Lord Pearson: ‘I Love Nigel Like A Brother, But He Is Wrong About Gerard’
In an exclusive interview with Kipper Central, former UKIP leader Lord Malcolm Pearson of Ranoch gave his thoughts on the unfolding Farage vs Batten battle within UKIP, speaking out for the first time since Nigel pledged to “remove” Batten from the leadership of the party.
Lord Pearson, who led UKIP between November 2009 and September 2010 – including the 2010 general election, recently sparked controversy by inviting Tommy Robinson to lunch in Parliament and has in the past faced criticism for inviting pro-freedom Dutch MP Geert Wilders to parliament in 2010, and for stating that Sharia Law operates “de facto” in Britain in 2013.
Last week, Nigel Farage launched a coup against UKIP leader Gerard Batten, saying he would write to the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) urging them to call a vote of no confidence in Mr Batten.
As another former leader, however, Lord Pearson holds a rather different view to Mr Farage: “Gerard has done extremely well”, Lord Pearson told Kipper Central, “he saved the party after a succession of failed leaders, the membership is up, the finances are sound, and we are running at 8% in the polls so I think he’s done extremely well and I think it would be wrong to upset him.”
He continued: “I love Nigel like a brother and I think he’s a great, great man and I think without him we wouldn’t have got or won the referendum. I can understand Nigel wanting to concentrate on getting Brexit home and dry, and feeling that the longer-term worry about Islam is too early, but I think he’s wrong to oppose Gerard in this way because I think Gerard has saved the party. He’s built it up in the polls and financially, and I think Gerard deserves our support going forward.”
Responding directly to Nigel’s point that Gerard has a “fixation” on Tommy Robinson and Islam, Lord Pearson said that the issues with Islam go “part and parcel” with the Brexit betrayal, saying: “I can see the argument that banging on about Islam is a little early when we haven’t yet put the other leg of the problem, Brexit, properly to bed yet, but I don’t think that’s a reason to undermine Gerard who I think has done a magnificent job.
“I would emphasise the problem of the establishment being grossly incompetent on Brexit – though most of it is not wanting to deliver Brexit – and on Islam. I think these two issues are linked and I think the determination not to talk about Islam and the whole invention of hate speech, the determination not to say openly that the grooming gang problem is a problem that comes from within Islam goes part and parcel with the establishment’s unbelievable incompetence over Brexit.”
Going on to discuss Gerard’s appointment of Tommy Robinson as a special personal advisor – an appointment which has faced a barrage of attacks from the mainstream media – Lord Pearson said that it is important to use Tommy’s huge support to “concentrate” patriots across Britain on achieving a “proper, genuine Brexit”, adding that UKIP continuing to grow in membership is crucial to this aim.
He told Kipper Central: “Tommy has an enormous following and he’s very pro-Brexit. He’s also very against Corbyn and socialism and the problems it would bring – which would, as socialism always does, do immense damage to the working classes. I know Tommy’s highly controversial and all that but I think it’s good for Tommy to use his pull in favour of a proper, genuine Brexit and I think that’s what that march will concentrate people’s minds on.”
Along with Gerard Batten, Tommy Robinson is organising a pro-Brexit rally through London on December the 9th, with tens of thousands of patriots expected to protest Theresa May’s ‘Brexit Betrayal’. Exclusively revealing what he intends to say if he speaks at the rally, Lord Pearson told Kipper Central: “If I speak on the 9th December, I will make the point that street action and marches are all very well, but the political establishment in Westminster doesn’t actually listen to them much. The only thing that really moves the political establishment is votes and the prospect of losing their seats. That’s the only thing that moves the political landscape.
“If I speak at the march,” he added, “it’ll be to ask people to join UKIP, get their friends to join UKIP and work as hard as they can to make sure UKIP goes up beyond 8%. By the time of the next General Election, if you look at the marginal seats, UKIP will be in a strong position to make a big difference to the result, because a lot of Corbyn’s Labour vote will go to UKIP, and never to the Conservatives. That’s really why I support it, because in the end, it’s votes that count. Quite often, you’re sitting in the gilded palace of Westminster and you really haven’t much of a clue what the marches outside are about. So I believe they are less effective, but if this march can contribute to building up UKIP then it’s absolutely worth doing for that alone.”
Going into more detail on the issue of Tommy Robinson’s relationship with UKIP and the NEC’s recent decision to delay the debate on his admission to the party, Lord Pearson explained that he is working with Tommy simply because he wants to start a conversation about Islam. He said: “Gerard can’t make him a member of the party; I think everyone accepted the decision of the NEC to defer the issue of Tommy’s membership until after the 29th March but Tommy is hugely knowledgeable on Islam and is not at all the image of his mainstream media critics. He really does know his stuff on Islam, and has talked about it a lot – that is not ‘Muslim-bashing’; Tommy criticises the religion, not our peaceful Muslim friends. That’s really why I’ve teamed up with him; I also want to talk about Islam and I think Tommy is tremendously helpful at doing that.
“Whether Gerard has provoked too much anger from the people in the party who simply want us to talk about Brexit and not Islam at all – which I understand is a perfectly tenable position – I don’t really know, I think it’s a bit early to say. Gerard has already been in touch with Tommy quite a bit, and spoke at the rally when Tommy emerged from court the other day.”
“I think the NEC would make a very great mistake if they put Gerard’s leadership to the test at the moment; that would be a mistake,” he added, “but it’s up to them!”
The second half of Kipper Central‘s exclusive interview with Lord Pearson, in which the former UKIP leader discusses the issues with Islam in Britain and explains how Britain should be handling our Brexit negotiations with the EU, will be published on Kipper Central tomorrow.
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