Anne Marie Waters, a UKIP candidate standing in Wickford Crouch in Essex in May’s County Council elections, has recently appeared on the Swedish extreme far right media platform Red Ice TV.
While she started in the Labour Party, running twice as a candidate, Waters has drifted dramatically to the right since 2013 and has developed multiple links to the UK far right. Waters has been a leader of the anti-Muslim street movement Pegida UK alongside Stephen Lennon (alias Tommy Robinson) and has written blogs for the International Free Press Society’s Dispatch International on subjects such as Sharia law, immigration and ‘Muslim crime’.
In May 2014, Waters joined the populist right-wing party, UKIP and in April 2014 she launched Sharia Watch UK in the House of Lords. The group campaigns “for recognition of the dangers posed by sharia law in the UK, particularly in relation to women’s rights”.
Sharia Watch UK primarily functions as an internet resource and contributors have included Sam Solomon, a key player in the UK’s anti-Muslim scene and Alan Craig of the right-wing Christian People’s Alliance, who campaigned against the building of a new mosque in east London. Waters’ also has links to extreme anti-Islamists such as Lars Hedegaard and Alan Ayling (one of the original financial backers of the EDL).
While a UKIP parliamentary candidate for Lewisham East she was filmed saying:
“For a start the immigration will have to stop, the immigration from Islamic countries has to stop entirely, that is just the way it is. A lot of people need to be deported. Many mosques need to be closed down. It really has to get tough.”
Despite this long history of controversial links on the radical right her appearance on Red Ice TV on 13 April marks a further shift towards extremism and is evidence of a new willingness to mix with racial nationalists. Red Ice Creations, a media platform founded on the west coast of Sweden whose editor-in-chief is Henrik Palmgren, is a leading alt-right platform and purveyor of extreme-right content.
Her appearance on the show to talk about ‘Opposing the Islamization of Europe’ means she now joins a list of guests that includes leading alt-right figures, such as Richard Spencer and Greg Johnson and former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke. It also marks the increasing crossover between the so-called alt-right and the anti-Muslim counter-jihad movement.
With UKIP already in crisis and continually dogged by links to the far right, Anne Marie Waters recent actions will no doubt be deeply embarrassing in the run up to an election.
Dr Joe Mulhall is Senior Researcher at HOPE not hate. Formerly he was a visiting lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London where he also completed his PhD on the postwar far right. He has published extensively on the international far right and discussed his research on the BBC, CNN and Channel 4 news among others. If you have a tip, get in touch at [email protected]Twitter