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Indian-origin far-right UK party member quits over 'racism'

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 - 8:40pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI
A British-born Indian member of Britain's far-right UKIP has quit the party on the grounds that it has descended into a "terrifying form of racist populism" for electoral gains.
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A British-born Indian member of Britain's far-right UKIP has quit the party on the grounds that it has descended into a "terrifying form of racist populism" for electoral gains.

Sanya-Jeet Thandi, described as a rising star of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) as a member of its youth wing, said she is leaving the party because it is appealing to the "stupidity of ignorant anti-immigrant voters for electoral gain".

"In reality, however, the direction in which the party is going is terrifying: 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," she wrote in the 'Guardian'.

She explained that she joined UKIP's youth wing three years ago because she believes in liberal ideas such as lower taxes, a smaller state and an "immigration policy that offered fair and equal opportunities for everyone".

"Yes, UKIP is still a relatively young party. No, that is not an excuse to allow racists to stand for election. Nor is it an excuse to exploit the ignorance in British society and indulge the racist vote by telling them 'they'll take your jobs'. Sorry UKIP, you've lost another vote," she wrote.

UKIP is based on strong anti-immigrant policies and its leader Nigel Farage has recently sought to rid the party of its racist image by appearing at a rally flanked by 40 ethnic minority supporters.

A privately-educated London School of Economics student born to Punjabi parents, 21-year-old Thandi joined UKIP because she said Prime Minister David Cameron was "going soft" on immigrant policies.

Three years ago, she said she agreed with UKIP's policy on immigration because current British policy favoured Europeans over other migrants like her grandparents who came from India.
Thandi, who grew up in the English county of Kent, became one of Farage's biggest cheerleaders until she decided to resign this week.

UKIP's head of communications, Patrick O'Flynn, described her resignation as "a bit shabby".




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