In an exclusive interview with Westmonster, UKIP’s Deputy Leader Peter Whittle has pledged that UKIP will be focusing more on the cultural battle going on within the country, including standing up for free speech and tackling Islamic extremism.
“Immigration was once upon a time something you could not talk about. UKIP have changed that. We will now do the same when it comes to issues such as the threat from radical Islam, opposing sharia law and defending freedom of speech as a great liberal value,” Whittle told us.
He went on to cite the example of British Olympic medallist Louis Smith who was effectively put on trial by media after a video leaked of him pocking fun at Islam.
“I don’t want to live in a country where a highly successful young Olympian messes around and finds himself on trial by media with his career threatened simply because he was mocking a religion. We cannot be in a position in this country where you cannot mock a series of ideas or belief systems. It’s part of our culture.”
Whittle, who alongside UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall is in Bolton today for UKIP’s Conference, pointed out that it has been UKIP who have changed the centre-ground of British politics.
“I remember when you would be considered a nutcase and a crazy person if you wanted to come out of the EU or thought mass migration may not be a wholly good thing.
“But UKIP changed the centre-ground of opinion and now I would call 330,000 net migration a year extreme or wanting to belong in a supranational bureaucracy like the EU as extreme.
“What is important is that for the first time left-wing orthodoxies have been challenged by the Brexit and Trump votes, and by UKIP. The liberal establishment knows it is losing its grip and that’s why they’re getting vicious. We must not let them get their stranglehold back.”