The extreme right-wing views of new Ukip leader Paul Nuttall

With his Northern working-class roots and charm, Ukip's new leader Paul Nuttall has been labeled a "major threat" to Labour's core vote. So who is Nuttall and what does he really believe?

Here are just some of his positions as set out on his website and in personal statements he has made over the years.

NHS privatisation

In now-deleted blog posts on his personal website, Paul Nuttall called for the the National Health service to be privatised.

"I would like to congratulate the coalition government for bringing a whiff of privatisation into the beleaguered National Health Service," he wrote.

"I would argue that the very existence of the NHS stifles competition, and as competition drives quality and choice, innovation and improvements are restricted.

"Therefore, I believe, as long as the NHS is the 'sacred cow' of British politics, the longer the British people will suffer with a second rate health service."

On this issue alone, Nuttall is some distance from the average British voter. However, there are many other areas where he takes hardline views well out of step with the public.

Anti-abortion

Nuttall is in favour of limiting abortions to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. He told Sky News earlier this year that he would be in favour of holding a referendum with the option of restricting womens' rights. 

He is also against adverts which inform women about family planning and abortion. In one blog post about a proposed ban on alcohol advertising, he wrote: "So let’s get this right: we are going to ban alcohol adverts because apparently they encourage youngsters to act irresponsibly, but we allow adverts that promote abortion, which also encourages people not to take responsibility for their actions. Do you get where I am going on this one? Rank hypocrisy."

Burqa ban

Nuttall is a leading advocate for banning the burqa.

"The law should be clear - either you are allowed to express your religious beliefs at all times, or you accept that there are some occasions where these are restricted," he said last year.

"Face coverings should be banned in any public building."

Against banning discrimination against gay people

However, while Nuttall is in favour of removing the right of Muslims to wear what they please, he does not believe there should have been any restrictions on the right of Christians to express religious discrimination.

In 2011, Peter and Hazelmary Bull were found to have acted unlawfully in refusing to allow a gay couple to stay in their hotel. Nuttall was not impressed with the ruling.

"This week has been a good week for the PC brigade," he wrote on his blog.

"Peter and Rosemary [sic] Bull lost a court case in Bristol, which was brought by two homosexual men who took exception because the couple refused to allow them to sleep in the same bed. What a complete joke. Aren’t people allowed to live by their religious beliefs in the country anymore? It seems not, especially if those beliefs clash with ‘modern’ views, which the PC ‘luvies’ constantly tell us, represents ‘progress.’ Progress in whose eyes I ask?

Defends sexist comments

In the same post Nuttall went on to defend football pundits Andy Gray and Richard Keys after they were sacked for making sexist comments.

"The second victory for the ‘right-on’ PC bunch came with the sacking on football pundit Andy Gray," he wrote.

"Gray and his colleague Richard Keys were accused of ‘sexism’ after they cracked a few harmless jokes about a woman linesman – oops sorry, I mean referees assistant (more PC tosh). Gray was partaking in something we call ‘banter’ in football circles, and it is what gets said on the terraces and down the pub. It’s not as if he said it live on air, but then again, so what if he had, it’s no worse than the way the Loose Women show regularly mocks men. I think we all need to get a sense of humour, put what Gray said into perspective, and become a little bit more thick-skinned."

He concluded: "The world’s gone mad, and until we all stand up to these PC mind-benders, it will only get worse."

Climate change denier

Nuttall has expressed sympathy with the conspiracy theory that climate change is "a money led scam" pushed by vested interests. He has repeatedly used his personal website to (falsely) push the idea that the world is not in fact warming.

"Figures used to ‘support’ the idea of climate change have been shown to be false and manipulated to meet a pre-made conclusion in order to secure funding," he wrote.

"I think we all need to be assured about the credibility and motivation of scientists onboard the global warming wagon."

It remains to be seen quite how much appeal Nuttall's background and personality has to Labour's core voters in the North.

However, on policy alone, it is clear from Nuttall's public statements that he is very far from Labour core beliefs and is in some respects even more of a hardline right-winger than his predecessor Nigel Farage.

The fake patriotism of the Faragists is poisoning this country

Yesterday white supremacist terrorist Thomas Mair was found guilty of murdering the Labour MP Jo Cox.

In hugely powerful remarks that deserve quoting at length, Justice Wilkie told Mair that he had betrayed his country.

"In the true meaning of the word [Jo Cox] was a patriot," he said.

"You affect to be a patriot. The words you uttered repeatedly when you killed her give lip service to that concept. Those sentiments can be legitimate and can have resonance but in your mouth, allied to your actions, they are tainted and made toxic."

He went on: "It is clear from your internet and other researches that your inspiration is not love of country or your fellow citizens, it is an admiration for Nazism, and similar anti democratic white supremacist creeds where democracy and political persuasion are supplanted by violence towards and intimidation of opponents and those who, in whatever ways, are thought to be different and, for that reason, open to persecution.

"Our parents' generation made huge sacrifices to defeat those ideas and values in the Second World War. What you did, and your admiration for those views which informed your crime, betrays the sacrifices of that generation.

"You are no patriot. By your actions you have betrayed the quintessence of our country, its adherence to parliamentary democracy."

Wilkie was talking about the actions of just one man, but his words also sum up the forces behind the current tide of nativist politics that is spreading across the Western world.

Cox's killing, and the rise in hate crimes across the country which followed, are the result of a political environment that was deliberately stirred up by far-right and nationalist politicians.

At the front of the charge is Nigel Farage, who has devoted his entire career to spreading fears about the very same immigrants and refugees who Cox spent her career fighting to defend.

Cox was the embodiment of everything that makes this a great country. Her devotion to her constituents, her compassion for refugees and her determination to fight for a better future for Britain, are a shining example of how every one of us can make a positive difference to the world around us. Her murder, during the course of her duties, was the darkest moment of a divisive and damaging referendum campaign.

Farage, on the other hand, is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with our political culture. His own brand of politics is based on raising and exploiting our ugliest fears and prejudices. Whether it's his comments about being uncomfortable hearing foreign voices, or his unveiling of a poster depicting dozens of brown-skinned refugees with the slogan "Breaking point," Farage has repeatedly and deliberately sought to exploit fear and prejudice for his own political gain.

The murder of Cox, just one week before the EU referendum vote, was a threat to this particular approach to politics. As a result, Farage appeared keen to dismiss it. Describing Mair as "one man with serious mental health issues," he suggested that Cox's murder risked stealing "momentum" from the Leave campaign. He would later boast that the referendum campaign had been won "without a single bullet being fired".

Others around Farage were even less hesitant about revealing their thoughts. His sidekick and one-time leadership hopeful, Raheem Kassam, accused Labour MPs of using a "ouija board" to summon up Cox, accused her grieving husband of trying to exploit her death and attacked president Obama for phoning Cox's relatives to offer his condolence.

Kassam, who like Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon, works for Breitbart News, is the unrestrained id to Nigel's super-ego. He is Farage stripped of any residual charm or decency. He is the poisonous embodiment of everything that makes the Faragist movement such an unpleasant and dangerous development in British politics.

In a healthier political environment, the likes of Kassam and Farage would have long ago been exposed as the fringe charlatans they so clearly are. Far from loving this country, Farage and his hangers-on have barely concealed contempt for it. They despise the open, tolerant and multicultural society that Britain has sought to become and they are determined to reverse what progress has been made towards that aim.

Until recently, theirs seemed a futile aim, but the vote for Brexit, followed by Trump's victory in America, means that their brand of politics is now in the ascendant. Hate crime is on the up, with senior officers suggesting that reports of far-right extremism and terrorism across the UK have surged.

Meanwhile Farage, who portrays himself as the champion of "decent, ordinary people," was the guest of honour last night at a lavish victory party in London's Ritz hotel. The interim Ukip leader boasted to the room of donors, tax exiles and newspaper barons, that his movement was now on the march.

"For those that are here that aren't particularly happy with what's happened in 2016, I've got some really bad news for you - it's going to get a bloody sight worse next year," he said.

Progress is not inevitable. Rights that were long and hard fought can be easily and quickly lost. Buried prejudices can rise up from the dead. Defeated movements do not remain defeated forever.

The murder of Jo Cox was the darkest moment in recent British political history. At the very least it should require us to stop and think about the dangerous direction that our political culture is heading. If nothing else, we should think twice before joining in with celebrations for a politician who has done more for anti-immigrant and anti-refugee politics, than any other current politician in the UK.

Jo Cox was a true patriot. She loved this country, and the people who live here. But unlike some, Cox's compassion did not stop at the border. Unlike some, she loved her fellow humans regardless of whether they were born on the quiet streets of Batley, or the war-torn streets of Aleppo. Cox chose to stand up for all people, regardless of where they were born, and she paid the highest possible price for that choice.

Of course only Thomas Mair can be held responsible for her death. Only he chose to do what he did on that awful day in June. But just as Mair is responsible for his own actions, others are responsible for theirs.

With Mair's trial now over, it's time to realise that pushing a politics of fear and resentment against immigrants is not a cost-free action. It has real and sometimes fatal consequences. As citizens of this country, we have a duty to recognise that fact and to view those who pursue such a deeply dangerous approach to politics in the manner they deserve.

True patriotism involves an honest assessment of what is both great and what is ugly about our culture. True patriotism involves exposing what is wrong with our country and then working, as a nation, to make it right. True patriotism involves bringing people together. The fake patriotism of Farage involves driving people apart.

As British politics heads rapidly in a more closed and nationalist direction, this principle is more important than ever. It is a principle which Jo Cox shared. It is also a principle that Farage, and those around him, will never understand.

Theresa May abandons the 'ordinary workers' she promised to protect

When Theresa May became prime minister she stood on the steps of Downing Street and promised that she "will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few, but for every one of us."

One of the main policies used to demonstrate this was her pledge to force companies to put workers on company boards.

"We will publish our plans to have not just consumers represented on company boards, but workers as well," she explained at the time, adding that the Conservatives were now "the party of workers".

Today May revealed that pledge to be the sham it always was.

Speaking inside a Mayfair hotel to hundreds of Britain's leading business people, May ditched her plan to give workers control over the companies they work for.

"Let me be clear about some important points," she reassured the CBI conference.

"While it is important that the voices of workers and consumers should be represented, I can categorically tell you that this is not about mandating works councils, or the direct appointment of workers or trade union representatives on Boards."

This is not just a "watering down" of May's pledge, it is a flushing away of it altogether.

Under her new plans, companies may in future choose to put workers' representatives on their boards, but then companies were already free to do so. At most the government will encourage companies to set up complementary sub-committees for union reps, but it is clear from May's comments about "works councils" that even this will not be mandatory.

And it's not just workers who have been abandoned by May's government.

When May became prime minister she promised to lead a government that would prioritise the interests of "ordinary working class families".

"If you’re from an ordinary working class family, life is much harder than many people in Westminster realise, " she said.

"You have a job but you don’t always have job security. You have your own home, but you worry about paying a mortgage. You can just about manage but you worry about the cost of living and getting your kids into a good school.

"If you’re one of those families, if you’re just managing, I want to address you directly. I know you’re working around the clock, I know you’re doing your best, and I know that sometimes life can be a struggle. The government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours."

Yet when her chancellor, Philip Hammond, stands up to deliver his autumn statement on Wednesday, it will be precisely these "ordinary families" who will be worst hit.

Hammond will announce that he plans to implement in full the £12 billion cuts to social security payments planned by his predecessor George Osborne.

Among those hit will be the disabled, who are expected to lose £30 a week to their Employment and Support Allowance.

Asked yesterday about the cut to support for some of the most vulnerable people in the country, Hammond insisted that the government had to push ahead in order to maintain Britain's economic "credibility".

Yet at the same time that Hammond stands firm on cuts to the disabled and low-income workers, May today repeated her pledge to give the UK "the lowest corporate tax rate in the G20".

Under current plans that means cutting the corporate rate from 20% to 17%. However, given that Donald Trump has announced plans to cut the US rate to 15%, then May will soon have to find even bigger cuts to welfare and other spending in order to meet her pledge.

When May first made her speech on the steps of Downing Street, it was widely reported that she had "parked her tanks on Labour's lawn".

But no matter where she chose to park her tanks, it's now clear that their guns are pointed at the very "ordinary working class people" she entered Downing Street promising to protect.

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