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Ex-UKIP leader Paul Nuttall quits party over Tommy Robinson role

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Ex-UKIP leader Paul Nuttall has become the latest senior figure to quit the party over Tommy Robinson’s appointment as an adviser.

Mr Nuttall, who sits in the European Parliament as an MEP for North West England, claimed UKIP is “being taken in a direction which I believe is harmful to Brexit”.

He criticised the party’s association with far-right activist Robinson, who now serves as a personal adviser to current UKIP leader Gerard Batten.

Tommy Robinson leaving the Old Bailey, London where Judge Hilliard said his case should go to the Attorney General for his consideration after receiving a statement from Robinson on Monday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 23, 2018. The Former English Defence League (EDL) leader is alleged to have committed contempt of court by filming people in a criminal trial and broadcasting footage on social media.
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Tommy Robinson is an adviser to current UKIP leader Gerard Batten

Mr Nuttall said in a statement: “After much soul-searching over the past week, I have concluded that I must, as of today, resign as a member of UKIP.

“I do this with an immense amount of reluctance and regret, as I have worked tirelessly for the party for the past 14 years.

“I am resigning because the party is being taken in a direction which I believe is harmful to Brexit. The association with Tommy Robinson will simply appal many moderate Brexit voters and inevitably be detrimental to the cause.

“The Tommy Robinson issue should have been shelved and debated within the party following Brexit; in line with the sensible decision taken by the National Executive Committee last month.

“The party leadership and my MEP colleagues have been aware of my views on this issue for some time.

“Putting Tommy Robinson front and centre, whilst Brexit is in the process of being betrayed is, in my view, a catastrophic error.

“To conflate Brexit and Robinson at this crucial moment is to put the eurosceptic cause in danger and I cannot and will not be party to that.

“I will continue to serve the North West of England in the European Parliament until my term expires.”

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