British Asian Ukip leader quits over 'racist populism'
Ukip 'rising star' says party is 'exploiting the stupidity of ignorant anti-immigrant voters'
A PROMINENT British Asian youth leader has announced that she is leaving Ukip because it has begun peddling a "form of racist populism".
Sanya-Jeet Thandi, who acted as chair of Ukip's London youth wing, says in an article in The Guardian that she is leaving the party due to the "terrifying" direction it has taken and she can no longer support it.
The departure of the 20-year-old is "awkward" for Nigel Farage, the Financial Times says, coming just a week after the party held a political rally featuring ethnic minority council candidates.
In the run up to the European elections Ukip has attempted to counter allegations that it is a racist political party.
But in her article, Thandi says that the party has become just that, and had veered away from the principles that first attracted her to it, which included lower taxes, a smaller state and "an immigration policy that offered fair and equal opportunities for everyone".
"The direction in which the party is going is terrifying," she claims. "Ukip has descended into a form of racist populism that I cannot bring myself to vote for. This week I decided to leave the party and I will abstain from voting in the upcoming European elections. I urge other Ukip supporters to do the same."
The former Ukip member says she has been particularly troubled by a Ukip election poster featuring an image of a finger pointing out at the viewer with the caption, "26m people in Europe are looking for work. And whose jobs are they after?"
Thandi says: "The... poster epitomises where the party is going wrong. This anti-immigrant campaign undermines Ukip's claim not to be a racist party. They are turning the election into a game of 'us' and 'them'. Well, I am with 'them'.
"Ukip is exploiting the stupidity of ignorant anti-immigrant voters for electoral gain. While the party deliberately attracts the racist vote, I refuse to be associated with them," Thandi writes.