Former Front National MEPs join UKIP in Europe

David Lawrence - 05 10 17

Despite Nigel Farage famously saying that UKIP would never do a deal with France’s far-right Front National (FN) – due to “prejudice and antisemitism” rife within the party – three MEPs who were until recently FN members have just joined UKIP’s group in the European Parliament.

Florian Philippot, Mireille D’Ornano, and Sophie Montel have formed their own far-right party, leaving the far-right Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group, which is led by FN leader Marine Le Pen.

Today they announced they were joining UKIP in its Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) parliamentary group, demonstrating how at home they feel with the British party, now led by Henry Bolton. The Eurosceptic EFDD is dominated by UKIP and the Italian populist Five Star Movement.

UKIP has in the past sought to maintain distance from Front National, but FN leader Marine Le Pen has stated on several occasions that she believes the two parties are similar, and share aims.

Despite UKIP’s supposedly principled stance, ahead of the French Presidential elections Farage came out in support of Marine Le Pen.

Supporting her point, one of UKIP’s new bedfellows, Phillpott, is the former strategic director of Le Pen’s presidential campaign.

Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie, who founded the party, was fined last year for describing Nazi gas chambers a mere ‘detail’ of history. It was the third time he had been prosecuted for a similar offence.

But The Financial Times yesterday reported that UKIP and its European allies may have lost access to their biggest source of European campaign funding, following a series of scandals over alleged misuse and misappropriation of funds.


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