The Newport branch of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) has come under fierce criticism for posting an image of the EU flag decorated with a swastika on its Facebook page.
The picture, posted on
February 18, depicts the flag of the European Union combined with
the symbol widely associated with the Nazis. This is superimposed
on a map of Western Europe, intended to replicate the opening
credits sequence of TV classic ‘Dad’s Army’.
In place of arrows originally implying the German advance in WWII
are Britain’s three main parties. A UKIP banner proudly proclaims
the defense of England’s shores.
The image has been described as “abhorrent” and
“disgusting” by MPs and local candidates.
The UKIP candidate for Newport East, Donald Grewar, was suspended
two weeks ago after his links to the far right English Defence
League (EDL) and British National Party (BNP) were revealed.
The picture was posted on the official UKIP Facebook group for
the regional branch, which describes itself as “giving you
all the updates on our candidates standing for Newport East and
Jess Morden, Labour MP for Newport East, urged UKIP to take
action against its radical-right members.
“For UKIP to use a Nazi symbol on a graphic is simply
abhorrent. Just a fortnight ago, the local UKIP candidate was
removed following publication in the media of his support for the
far right BNP and EDL. It is clear that a dangerous extremist
bloc within UKIP are becoming more prominent. UKIP need to take
The former chairman of the branch was also suspended after he
revealed the allegations against Grewar.
Paul Halliday, Liberal Democrat candidate for Newport East, said:
“To somehow equate the other parties with Nazism and to say
that Europe is Nazism is naive, distasteful and downright
“One of the great things about the EU is the peace it has
brought to Europe for so long. UKIP are using scare tactics and I
think they have some serious questions to answer,” he added.
Green Party candidate David Mclean also said people were fed up
with hearing “tabloid” politics.
“The issue here is the growing divisive nature of politics
that is becoming increasingly tabloid in nature and which people
are getting genuinely fed up of,” he said.
“The UK’s relationship with the EU is certainly something
that needs to be debated, and the Green Party is well up for that
debate, but it needs to be done in a mature way and without
relying on inappropriate or inaccurate language and
The Conservative candidate, Natasha Asghar, said it was important
that Newport and the surrounding area are not influenced by
“I’m doing all I can to promote community cohesion and
sticking a swastika up isn’t helping anybody. I think it’s highly
insensitive and disgraceful of UKIP to do such a thing,” she
A UKIP spokesman said the image was posted in poor taste, but
criticized the response from local parties, particularly Labour.
“The posting on the Newport East Facebook page may be in bad
taste. Illustrating anything by use of a swastika is so. However
the confected outrage of the local Labour Party is even more over
the top. It must have passed their notice that the branch sees
itself as fighting totalitarianism, not supporting it.”
The image has now been removed from the Facebook page.