Railing against UKIP’s burqa ban as she was escorted out, the woman shouted: “They are racist and how dare they tell Muslim women what to wear?”
By Ben Glazedan Bloom
UKIP’s election campaign launch descended into chaos today as it was stormed by protesters and a Muslim woman branded the party “racist”.
The scenes unfolded just minutes before UKIP leader Paul Nuttall – who wants to ban the burqa – gave a speech kick-starting the general election countdown.
Three demonstrators wielding Stand Up to Racism placards burst into the King George V suite at London’s Marriott County Hall hotel this morning.
They were bundled out by security guards – but minutes later there was a second set-to between UKIP staff and a woman from Somaliland wearing a hijab.
Attacking UKIP as she was escorted to the door she shouted: “They are racist and they do target Muslim women and how dare they tell Muslim women what to wear when they have no right to?
“How dare white men tell Muslim women what to wear constantly and threaten us?”
A white man who had been sitting with the woman was also thrown out, claiming: “UKIP are a nasty, racist party.
“Paul Nuttall wants to spread division and racism.
“How dare he tell Muslim women what to wear.
“UKIP want to blame migrants, they want to blame refugees and they want to blame Muslims for the problems in society.
“It’s people like Paul Nuttall and Nigel Farage who are to blame for the problems in society.
“They are kicking the only Muslim woman in the room out of this room.
“How dare UKIP stand on a stage and try and tell us what’s good for us.
“UKIP are a nasty, racist party.”
Three separate protesters began the chaotic scenes by storming the room half an hour before Mr. Nuttall was due to appear.
One of them shouted: “Why are you putting up racist propaganda? Women are allowed to wear what they like – the burqa.
“It’s racist to say Muslims are responsible for the problems in Britain.
“Unemployment is caused by bankers and rich people.”
UKIP’s press team and two security guards tried to bundle the protesters out of the oak-paneled meeting room as they wielded placards saying “migrants and refugees welcome here.”
One demonstrator shouted “you’re hurting me, it’s wrong for you to do this” as he was escorted out.
He added: “UKIP are bigots, Mr. Nuttall is a racist bigot.”
The UKIP leader was not thought to be in the building at the time of the protest but was due to launch the party’s campaign half an hour later.
Mr. Nuttall was forced to deny he’s “at war with Muslims” today as he admitted he may have to drop a general election candidate who branded Islam “evil”.
Pressure is mounting on Paul Nuttall over his burqa ban and anti-Islam rants by Anne Marie Waters which he admitted: “make me feel a bit uncomfortable”.
Ms. Waters, chosen to represent UKIP in Labor-held Lewisham East, wrote on Twitter “the only ‘evil’ we have legalized is Islam” and has called on people to “insult Islam”.
Mr. Nuttall told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “She’s not standing actually. She’s been selected by the local branch. This is all coming up this afternoon at the NEC.
“We will look at some of the things that this woman has said and we’ll take a decision then.”
Asked if it was possible he would stop her standing, he said: “Yes”.
Yet despite saying “we’re not at war with Muslims”, Mr. Nuttall refused to backtrack on his party’s controversial so-called ‘integration agenda’.
The policy would ban the burqa and bring harsher sentences for sex grooming when the criminal and victim are of a different race.
It prompted the resignation of UKIP’s foreign affairs spokesman and the party was accused of “war on Muslims” by former donor Arron Banks.