UK Independence Party (UKIP): Political Islam is now in Southern Mexico and Latin America
The UK Independence Party (UKIP /ˈjuːkɪp/) is a Eurosceptic and right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom. It is headquartered in Newton Abbot, Devon and currently led by Paul Nuttall. At Westminster, UKIP has one Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons and three representatives in the House of Lords. It has 20 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), making it jointly the largest UK party in that Parliament. It has six Assembly Members (AMs) in the National Assembly for Wales and has 488 councillors in UK local government.
UKIP has been identified by political scientists as part of the broader European radical right. Its ideological approach is that of right-wing populism, employing populist rhetoric to distinguish itself from the political establishment. Promoting a British unionist and nationalist agenda, it characterises the latter approach as a non-racial civic nationalism, although the accuracy of this description has been disputed. UKIP’s primary emphasis has been on hard Euroscepticism, calling for the UK’s exit from the European Union, while it has also placed strong emphasis on lowering immigration. Economically describing itself as libertarian and influenced by classical liberalism and Thatcherism, it promotes economically liberal policies while appealing to traditional social values.
UKIP was founded in 1991 by the historian Alan Sked as the Anti-Federalist League, a single-issue Eurosceptic party. Renamed UKIP in 1993, the party adopted a wider platform that was influenced by an ideological heritage from the right wing of the Conservative Party. The party’s early growth was slow and largely eclipsed by the Eurosceptic Referendum Party. Under Nigel Farage‘s leadership, from 2009 the party capitalised on concerns about rising immigration, in particular among the White British working class, resulting in significant breakthroughs at the 2013 local elections and the 2014 European elections, where UKIP received the most votes. At the 2015 general election the party gained the third-largest vote share and one seat in the House of Commons.
Governed by its leader and National Executive Committee, UKIP is divided into twelve regional groups, with an additional one representing Gibraltar. UKIP is a founding member of the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe European political party, and the party’s MEPs sit with the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group in the European Parliament. While gaining electoral support from various sectors of British society, political scientists have established that its primary voting base is in England and consists largely of older, working-class white Britons. UKIP has faced a critical reception from mainstream political parties, much of the British media, and anti-fascist groups, and has been accused of racism and xenophobia, allegations which it has denied.