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Ukip rides into new storm as local leaders linked to far-right

two local Ukip leaders were linked to the BNP and National Front.

Ukip's thin veil of respectability slipped even further yesterday after anti-racist campaigners revealed two local party leaders were linked to the BNP and National Front.

Hope Not Hate exposed a Ukip leaflet that boasts of the defection of former Dudley Labour branch chairman Steve Daniels - whose name and address appeared on a leaked BNP membership list.

Hope Not Hate explained Mr Daniel's swapped parties after Labour barred him from standing while investigating his links to Nick Griffin's racist party.

But Mr Daniels said it was his son on the list, not him.

He claimed he was standing as a Ukip candidate in May's council elections because "their value match mine."

Local Ukip party chairman Deak Parks said it "is a pleasure to welcome Steve."

Mr Perks insisted the BNP membership claims are "completely false."

But Labour Dudley council leader David Sparks told the Star: "I'm assuming it was him. He was a horrible bloke. He said he joined the Labour party in order to be a councillor.

"I think he is at best an opportunist and at worst a fascist."

The revelation came a day after the party confirmed the selection of Victoria Ayling as its Boston and Skegness branch chairwoman despite her links to the National Front.

Ms Ayling joined the fascist group in 1977 and took part in its meetings and marches, her mother and ex-husband told the Daily Mail in December.

And the day before Ms Ayling's selection, Ukip members were caught guffawing at racist gags at the party's spring conference.

Hope Not Hate spokesman Simon Cressy told the Star that "a pattern is emerging."

He said: "Ukip are a racist party. They are veering more and more to the right wing and backing it up by their actions."

Mr Cressy compared Ukip leader Nigel Farage's complaint that hearing foreign languages on a train made him feel uncomfortable with rhetoric used by BNP leader Nick Griffin.

"Some of the language that he's adopted is exactly the same language that Nick Griffin and the BNP have used in the past," Mr Cressy said.

nA Ukip conference ended in farce on Friday after security staff tried to eject several journalists from a fringe meeting on sharia law.

While more reporters were turned away at the door, those still in the venue refused to move until they were begrudgingly told they could stay "if you behave."

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