UKIP's West Midlands MEP, Bill Etheridge, has spoken to a gathering including a fringe far-right group, denouncing a local MP as a "traitor".
The controversial UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge donned a White Pendragons t-shirt at a Brexit rally in Dudley on Saturday, speaking to members of the group and others before denouncing Dudley North MP Ian Austin as “a traitor and a liar”.
Etheridge was speaking to the tiny crowd as part of the ‘Non-Partisan Pro-Brexit Rally’, which was advertised on the People’s Charter Foundation (PCF) Facebook page.
The meeting was also addressed by UKIP councillor Dean Perks, PCF founder Luke Nash-Jones, and Gary Clarke of the White Pendragons.
The White Pendragons, headed by a notorious former English Defence League (EDL) activist and convicted racist, are best known for staging a failed ‘citizen’s arrest’ of London Mayor Sadiq Khan last month with a makeshift gallows in tow.
After Etheridge’s speech – during which he denounced Dudley North MP Ian Austin as “a traitor and a liar” – the tiny crowd marched from Stone Square in the city centre to deliver a letter to Austin, accusing him of not representing his constituents’ views on Brexit.
Etheridge later posed for a snap holding a White Pendragons flag, offering “a big thank you to the dragons for helping and supporting in Dudley”.
The White Pendragons first came to press attention for gatecrashing the Fabian Society conference in January in order attempt a “citizen’s arrest” of London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
During the bizarre protest the group wheeled out a makeshift gallows, about which the group’s Chairman David Russell declared “the gallows awaits anybody who breaks their oath of office.”
Russell is a convicted racist and former EDL activist.
He has previously filmed himself tearing up and spitting on the Qur’an, and previously ran a pirate radio station under the name “DJ Bossman”, on which he interviewed former British national Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin and EDL founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon.
Until recently the group was led by Graham Moore, an Islamophobic former candidate for the far-right English Democrats party.
Etheridge has previously courted controversy after he was forced to resign from the Conservative Party after posing with “golliwogs” on Facebook, and for a 2015 UKIP meeting in Dudley in which he echoed the words of Enoch Powell, warning that multiculturalism could lead to “rivers of blood”.
Etheridge recently staged an apparent coup-attempt against besieged UKIP leader Henry Bolton.