‘Ukip‘ thugs ambush Labour party activists
Monday 27th April 2015
POLICE were hunting thugs yesterday who allegedly carried Ukip placards as they attacked Labour Party activists in South Thanet, Kent, at the weekend.
Officers are investigating claims that a Labour campaigner had a rosette ripped from his chest during the gang’s violent rampage on Saturday afternoon.
It was one of three alleged attacks carried out by the 10-strong mob linked to the English Defence League (EDL).
They also reportedly targeted Stand Up to Ukip and Tory volunteers campaigning in the constituency, which is being contested by Ukip leader Nigel Farage.
Eye witnesses reported that the men carried Ukip posters and chanted: “Ukip, Ukip” as they ran riot on Broadstairs seafront.
A Ukip spokesman told the Star that they “misappropriated” the party’s campaign material and condemned their “thuggery.”
The men are believed to be part of the white supremacist South East Alliance, which split from the EDL.
They are said to have attacked a dozen Labour activists who had travelled from Hackney to help the campaign of their party’s South Thanet candidate Will Scobie.
The group were canvassing at around 2.30pm in the high street when they were ambushed by men who leapt out of a car, according to a local Labour spokesman.
“The men squared up to our activists, ripped up their campaign literature, tore off their rosettes and then drove off chanting: ‘Ukip’,” he said.
Kent Police confirmed they were investigating the incident. A statement said: “It is alleged that a rosette was torn from the clothes of a 46-year-old man who was canvassing in the area. Enquiries are ongoing to locate the suspect.”
Mr Scobie last night appealed for anyone with information to help the police investigation.
“This was an appalling incident and very frightening for the people involved,” he said.
“The individuals in question were clearly sympathetic to Farage’s party and while we are of course not suggesting this had anything to do with Ukip’s campaign in the seat, it is just the latest example of the negativity Farage has bought to the area.”
Among them was Gary Field, a former EDL organiser with assault convictions who was photographed at the rally by the Mail on Sunday.
A Ukip spokesman told the Star: “This has been happening quite a lot in that people misappropriate our stuff.
“We utterly denounce any thuggery by anybody towards any political party.”
Mr Field was also identified by eyewitnesses as one of the gang who attacked Stand up to Ukip activists.
Norman Thomas, who runs community magazine Thanet Watch, was selling magazines nearby when Mr Field and his followers struck.
He told the Star: “Suddenly from out of nowhere came 10 or so people with St George’s flags and Ukip placards.
“They attacked the Stand Up to Ukip people, ripping up their posters and throwing them all along the sea front.”
The gang screamed: “Commie scum” at the three women and one man as they pursued them into a nearby pub, according to the local resident.