In the first instalment of a new local election blog series, we give a rundown of some of the worst candidates representing UKIP in May.
The local elections campaign is underway, as UKIP hopes to win seats by exploiting antipathy and Brexit discontent across the UK.
Signalling the explicitly far-right and anti-Muslim direction of the party, UKIP has been receiving help campaigning from former members of the English Defence League (EDL), such as Lee Dargue in Middleton.
Below is a rundown of some of the worst UKIP candidates standing for the party in May. Stay tuned for further instalments.
Martin Costello, Swindon
Costello, standing in the Liden, Eldene & Park South ward of Swindon, is the former second-in-command of the oddball Trump-supporting group Make Britain Great Again (MBGA). During his time at MGBA he could be found screaming “round up all illegal immigrants and get them out of here” at a pro-Trump event in July.
Costello is best known, however, for being part of an idiotic incident in August 2018 in which he and eleven others entered the left-wing bookshop Bookmarks in London, instructed by MBGA leader Luke Nash-Jones to “make a right nuisance”. In the resulting debacle, shop staff were abused and a sign was ripped up. Facing backlash, Nash-Jones condemned the actions of “third parties” at the bookstore. He and Costello subsequently had their UKIP memberships suspended, although Costello was reinstated later that month.
Costello has also been active in the Yellow Vests UK, members of which took part in the appalling harassment of Anna Soubry MP and journalist Owen Jones outside of Parliament earlier this year.
Darrell Goodliffe, Peterborough
Goodliffe, representing UKIP in the West ward of Peterborough, attended and wrote a glowing review of the April 2018 UK conference of Generation Identity (GI), a far-right youth group that argues for a form of racial separatism, on his website Kipper Central. The identitarian ideology of GI claims that non-white and, especially, Muslim migrants pose an intrinsic threat to white, non-Muslim Europeans.
Goodliffe claimed that “UKIP would do well to also learn a little from GI […] GI clearly has a bright future in the UK and as patriots, we should wish it well and engage with it constructively where we can and not be off put by the controversy that surrounds it”. Goodliffe also claimed that “I did see a fair few people who feel clearly threatened by Islamisation but that is a rational response to its behaviour and the ideology itself”. One of Goodliffe’s few criticisms was that he feared GI terminology, such as “the Great Replacement”, would be too jargony to newcomers (although pointed out that he is familiar with the term).
There are worrying links between GI and UKIP. GI activists have openly boasted about joining the party and UKIP’s youth group invited Martin Sellner, de facto leader of GI, to give a talk in March 2018, on the topic “Free Speech, Generation Identity, & The Great Replacement”. GI’s identitarian ideology was an inspiration to the New Zealand gunman, who murdered 50 Muslims at a mosque in March 2019; “The Great Replacement” was the title of his manifesto.
John Wallace, Horsham
Wallace, standing in the Pulborough and Coldwaltham ward of Horsham and UKIP’s West Sussex County Organiser, is author of a threatening leaflet, distributed outside Westminster in January ahead of Parliament’s vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal. The leaflet claims “WE WOULD CLASSIFY ANYONE PREPARED TO VOTE FOR THIS AGREEMENT AS A NATIONAL TRAITOR, OR STATE ENEMY – AND WE’RE WATCHING YOU.” Leaflets were also sent to homes in Chichester.
Whilst UKIP have claimed the leaflets were not sanctioned at a national level, Wallace has refused to apologise for the dangerous rhetoric used in the leaflets.
Ian Kealey, Bath & North East Somerset
Former teacher Kealey, who is representing UKIP in the Paulton ward of Bath & North East Somerset, is best known for his appalling social media posting history, for example tweeting: “LGBT marching against Islamophobia ?!? It’s like Jews marching for Hitler.”
Kealey also shared multiple posts from the white nationalist group Defend Europa, including a post about demographic change, which reads:
1960s “It’ll never change our demographics”
1990s “Change is good, yay multiculturalism!”
2017 “Die white people they’re our countries now.”
Kealey stood for UKIP in the Bristol South constituency in the 2017 General Election, receiving a dismal 3.1% of the vote.
Hugh Jackson, North of Tyne
Jackson, standing as a mayoral candidate for North and Tyne, was suspended from North Tyneside Council in 2008, where he was sitting as a Conservative, after suggesting that euthanasia could help reduce the number of children in care at a finance sub-committee meeting.
He was forced to apologise, describing his comment as “misplaced humour”, and later resigned his role. However, he has found a home in UKIP.