20 May 2015

Failed Ukip candidate with 6000 votes turns to extreme right

He increased Ukip support in his constituency by 240 per cent and outpolled the party’s deputy leader – but Jack Sen, the party’s former candidate for Lancashire West, is also a “national socialist”.

Mr Sen says he is a keen follower of both the British fascist leader Oswald Mosley and Enoch Powell, whose 1968 “rivers of blood” speech stirred up racial tensions.

He believes that Britain wants to embrace national socialism; the full name for Adolf Hitler’s movement. And, during a speech at a prominent far-right meeting in London earlier this month, Mr Sen accused Ukip – from which he resigned yesterday – of having been “taken over” by “Jewish special interest groups”.

He admits to being concerned about the “negative connotations” of the term “national socialist”, but describes himself as such, nevertheless. “If national socialist means that I love my country, believe in a strong national identity, will fight to preserve our culture and want a strong society, safety net for the poor, national healthcare etc. then certainly I see myself as a national socialist.”

‘Weeding out the lunatics’

He adds: “Oswald Mosley is someone I respect and appreciate and Enoch Powell. I believe in a strong state that works in the interests of the people in the country, not in those of big business or immigrants or internationalists.”

Now no longer a Ukip member, Mr Sen is keen to “come out” with his views. But they are nothing new, he insists, saying he held them long before joining the party. And yet he made it through Ukip’s vetting process – a process described by the man tasked with running it as an exercise in “weeding out the lunatics”.

At the general election, Mr Sen polled 6,058 votes as his name appeared on the ballot paper as the Ukip candidate for Lancashire West. The seat was held by Labour, but his relative electoral success is down to one thing, according to Hope Not Hate’s Simon Cressy: his status as a Ukip candidate. “Sadly, they received large amounts of votes all over the UK.

“The bad press Mr Sen received over the anti-Semitic comments will have no doubt dented his vote somewhat. However, most voters probably didn’t see the news coverage. Ukip’s vetting procedure is clearly flawed.”

Anti-Semitic tropes

A Ukip spokesman admitted that the party could not hope to have a watertight vetting process. “You can’t see inside someone’s mind, with the best will in the world. You can only talk to them and see what they have to say.”

Mr Sen was suspended from Ukip on 1 May after a series of racially charged comments, including references to common anti-Semitic tropes. He was given 21 days to appeal. However, his suspension came too late to remove his name from the ballot paper.

Ukip said that, had he been elected, he would not have sat in Parliament as a Ukip MP. In the event, he came third, with 12 per cent of the vote – nearly 5,000 ahead of his Liberal Democrat rival Daniel Lewis.

He referred to his suspension during a speech at the London Forum this week. He said Ukip asked him if he was anti-Semitic after abusive tweets were directed at the Labour MP Luciana Berger from his account.

He told the audience: “I know the way I think and it might be anti-Semitic, I’m not sure.” But he claimed that he would not have voiced as much publicly because he is “not that stupid”.

(Picture courtesy of Hope Not Hate)

That event at which Mr Sen spoke this week – the London Forum – has been linked to British supporters of the Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party and the National Front.

The group is described by the anti-fascist campaigners Hope Not Hate as an “extreme right wing think-tank”.

These days, the former Ukip candidate for Lancashire West describes the party as a “safety valve” for the establishment. It is, he says, a safe protest vote in the eyes of the major parties. And, for the man who attracted thousands of votes at the election, Ukip is not sufficiently hardline nationalist.