Just months ago Brexit Party candidates were calling Farage a “Tory shill” and supporting far-right figures, and have spread anti-Muslim propaganda online.

In July, UKIP’s five councillors in Derby defected en masse to the Brexit Party, despite having remained active in UKIP throughout the entirety of the Gerard Batten period, which Farage condemned as “obsessed with Islam” and in danger of turning into the “new BNP”. The Derby defectors included Alan Graves Sr., his son, Alan Graves Jr., and Kirk Kus, who are now hoping to win seats for the Brexit Party in Derby North, High Peak and Sheffield South East respectively. 

However, HOPE not hate can reveal that just months ago the Graves’ were trashing Farage and their new party online, supporting misogynistic YouTuber Carl Benjamin (AKA Sargon of Akkad), and Graves Sr. was making appearances with disgraced far-right “journalist” Katie Hopkins during UKIP’s disastrous European Election campaign.

We can also reveal that in 2015 Kus posted far-right propaganda that described the “systematic obliteration of Europe” at the hands of “so-called refugees” who are “nothing more than invaders from the underdeveloped world”, and urged support of extreme European far-right parties.

Graves (bottom right) alongside Mark Meechan, Carl Benjamin and Gerard Batten at the UKIP European Elections launch in May 2019

“Privately educated multi millionaires”

Embarrassingly, HOPE not hate have uncovered numerous comments made by Graves Sr. and Jr. railing against Farage and his party just months prior to their defection, some of which were covered by the Sunday Mirror.

In now-deleted tweets Graves Jr. labelled the Brexit Party “Farages [sic] ego trip” and his “vanity project”, calling him a “slippery man”, a “Tory shill”, and “only in it for the money/fame”. In April Graves Jr. tweeted “Privately educated multi millionaires speaking for the common man? I think not”. He also called the party a “dictatorship” and in June retweeted a post reading: “Nigel Farage wants American-style Insurance based Health Care in the UK. The Brexit Party is NOT the party of the Working Class”. Graves Sr. himself retweeted a series of anti-Brexit Party posts, including one that called the Brexit Party “a one man band that makes bad decisions”.

Batten’s UKIP

More concerning, however, is the willingness of the Brexit Party – which has presented itself as breaking away from UKIP’s toxic baggage – to embrace the Derby defectors, given their track record.

Graves Sr., who became a UKIP councillor since 2014, rose to prominence in the 2018 local elections, being one of just three UKIP wins nationally. He became increasingly important to the party as it drifted towards the far right under veteran anti-Muslim activist Gerard Batten, who is notorious for describing Islam as a “death cult” and for his infatuatation with far-right thug Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson).

Alan Graves Sr. (left) and fellow Brexit Party councillor John Evans have a penchant for dress up on St. George’s day

Graves Sr. addressed UKIP’s 2018 conference, claiming during his speech that the party’s manifesto, which included references to the far-right conspiracy theory of “cultural Marxism”, scrapping the category of hate crime and repealing equality laws, was the most “common sense” of any party.

A dog-whistle UKIP leaflet distributed in Derby in the 2018 local elections. Graves features top right.

Graves Sr. became one of UKIP’s two campaign managers in the May 2019 local elections and European Parliament elections, in which he also stood as an MEP candidate. During the campaign he travelled on the UKIP campaign bus with Batten and Katie Hopkins, the disgraced far-right “journalist” infamous for labelling migrants “cockroaches” and a “plague of feral humans”.

The UKIP European Elections campaign was notoriously dominated by the candidacy of YouTuber Carl Benjamin (AKA Sargon of Akkad), who repeated his disgusting rape “jokes” about Labour MP Jess Phillips, and was exposed by HOPE not hate for having made an appalling racial slur-ridden video. In April Graves Sr. posted Benjamin’s content online, and Graves Jr. described Benjamin as a “good guy”, also writing supportively of Mark Meechan (AKA Count Dankula), the UKIP candidate known for teaching his pug to perform a Nazi salute.

(L-R): UKIP leader Gerard Batten, Alan Graves Sr., and Katie Hopkins

Anti-Muslim Propaganda

Kirk Kus, a Brexit Party candidate in Sheffield and also an ex-UKIP councillor in Derby, has also expressed support for UKIP’s extreme Youtubers Benjamin, Meechan, and far-right conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson, the latter of whom he retweeted over 50 times. Kus recently deactivated his account after offensive posts resurfaced.

HOPE not hate can also reveal that Kus posted an article titled “The Migrant Crisis Is a Radical Islamic Invasion” in a pro-Brexit Facebook group. The 2015 article from the now-defunct website Political Scrapbook, which Kus himself wrote for several times, claims that “Europe is at a crossroads between survival and annihilation”, and railed against “so-called ‘refugees’, who are nothing more than invaders from the underdeveloped world [who had] viciously attacked innocent women in the streets of Switzerland”.

The article urges support of a number of far-right European parties, including Vlaams Belang, Alternative for Germany, Lega Nord and Sweden Democrats, concluding:

Britain will not survive if the continent of Europe falls to radical Islam. If you do not care about this, or you are resigned to your belief that we shall fail in preventing the islamization of Europe, by the Wahhabi and Salafi elements who are already amongst us, then I suggest you head to Australia or New Zealand, if you can afford to do so. This is a war for the survival of our civilization. Now is the time to rise up as one […] You must stand united together to prevent what our adversaries seek-our systematic annihilation.

You can find out more about the Brexit Party – and how to beat them – by reading our factsheet here.