1.
Marine Le Pen

Far right Le Pen future leader of France.


Marion Anne Perrine Le Pen, known as Marine Le Pen (French pronunciation: [ma.ʁin lə.pɛn]; born 5 August 1968), is a French attorney and politician. She is the president of the National Front (FN), a political party in France. She is the youngest daughter of long-time FN leader Jean-Marie Le Pen and the aunt of FN MP Marion Maréchal-Le Pen.

Le Pen joined the National Front in 1986 and has been elected as a regional councillor (1998–present), a Member of European Parliament (2004–present), and a municipal councillor in Hénin-Beaumont (2008-2011). She was a candidate for the leadership of the FN in 2011 and won with 67.65% (11,546 votes) of the vote, defeating her opponent Bruno Gollnisch and succeeding her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, president of the party for nearly forty years.[1][2][3][4] She then became the second president of the party.[5][6][7] In 2012, she placed third in the presidential election with 17.90% of the vote, behind François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy.[8][9][10][11] She launched a second presidential bid for the upcoming election, scheduled for April 2017.

Described as more democratic and republican than her nationalist father, Le Pen has led a movement of “de-demonization of the Front National” to detoxify it and soften its image, based on renovated positions and renewed teams, also expelling controversial members accused of racism, antisemitism, or pétainism. She finally expelled her father from the party on 20 August 2015 after new controversial statements.[12][13]

She has also relaxed some political positions of the party, advocating for civil unions for same-sex couples instead of her party’s previous opposition to legal recognition of same-sex partnerships, accepting unconditional abortion and withdrawing the death penalty from her platform.[14][15][16][17]

Le Pen was ranked among the most influential people in 2011 and 2015 by the Time 100.[18][19] In 2016, she was ranked as second-most influential MEP in the European Parliament by Politico, just behind the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz.[20]

Early political career


In 1986, at the age of 18, Marine Le Pen joined the FN. In 2000, she became president of Generations Le Pen, a loose association close to the party aimed at “de-demonizing the Front National”.[24] In 1998, she joined the FN’s juridical branch, which she led until 2003.

In 2000, she joined the FN Executive Committee (bureau politique). In 2003, she became vice-president of the FN.[24] In 2006, Jean-Marie Le Pen entrusted her with the management of his 2007 presidential campaign. In 2007, she became one of the two executive vice-presidents of the FN and was in charge of training, communication and publicity.[26]

In 1998, she acquired her first political mandate when she was elected regional councillor in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais. From 2002, she began to establish her parliamentary base in the former coal mining area of the Pas-de-Calais.[24]

Her aim is to expand the political influence of the FN and transform it into a “big popular party that addresses itself not only to the electorate on the right but to all the French people”.[3] She has frequently stated that she rules out any political alliance with the Union for a Popular Movement.[30][31]

She has at numerous times distanced herself from some of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s controversial statements,[32] notably those relating to war-crimes, which the media point to her attempts to improve the party’s image. While her father has provoked a long-time controversy by saying that the gas chambers were “a detail of the history of World War II”, she said it has been “the height of barbarism”.

Le Pen is even considered important by US intelligence, Being closely watched since 2012 and even scrutinized for Russian ties. (See: Marine Le Pen’s links to Russia under US scrutiny

 

2.
Geert Wilders                                          Geert Wilders leader of the freedom party, Dutch national


Geert Wilders (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɣeːrt ˈʋɪldərs]; born 6 September 1963) is a Dutch politician who is the founder and leader of the Party for Freedom (Partij voor de Vrijheid – PVV).[1][2] Wilders is the parliamentary group leader of his party in the Dutch House of Representatives. In the 2010 formation of the Rutte cabinet, a minority cabinet of VVD and CDA, he actively participated in the negotiations, resulting in a “support agreement” (gedoogakkoord) between the PVV and these parties, but withdrew his support in April 2012, citing disagreements with the cabinet on proposed budget cuts.[3] Wilders is best known for his criticism of Islam;[4] his views have made him a controversial figure in the Netherlands and abroad, and since 2004 he has been protected at all times by armed bodyguards.[5]

Raised a Roman Catholic, Wilders left the church at his coming of age. His travels to Israel and neighbouring Arab countries as a young adult helped form his political views. Wilders worked as a speechwriter for the conservative-liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie – VVD), and later served as parliamentary assistant to party leader Frits Bolkestein from 1990 to 1998. He was elected to the Utrecht city council in 1996, and later to the House of Representatives. Citing irreconcilable differences over the party’s position on the accession of Turkey to the European Union, he left the VVD in 2004 to form his own party, the Party for Freedom.

Wilders has campaigned to stop what he views as the “Islamisation of the Netherlands”. He has compared the Quran to Mein Kampf and has campaigned to have the book banned in the Netherlands.[6][7][8] He advocates ending immigration from Muslim countries,[6][9] and supports banning the construction of new mosques.[10] Wilders was a speaker at the Facing Jihad Conference held in Jerusalem in 2008, which discussed the dangers of jihad, and has called for a hard line against what he called the “street terror” exerted by minorities in Dutch cities.[11] His controversial 2008 film featuring his views on Islam, Fitna, received international attention. He has been described in the media as populist[12][13][14] and labeled far-right,[15][16][17] although this is disputed by other observers.[12][18][19] Wilders, who long refused to align himself with European far-right leaders such as Jean-Marie Le Pen and Jörg Haider and expressed concern about being “linked with the wrong rightist fascist groups”,[20] views himself as a right-wing liberal. More recently, however, Wilders worked together with the French National Front‘s Marine Le Pen in a failed attempt to form a parliamentary group in the European Parliament which would also have included Austria’s Freedom Party, Italy’s Northern League, and Belgium’s Flemish Interest.[21][22][23][24]

Political views


Political principles

Wilders generally considers himself to be a right-wing liberal, with a specific mix of positions independent of the European political spectrum and particular to iconoclastic Dutch society. He has stated that “My allies are not Le Pen or Haider … We’ll never join up with the fascists and Mussolinis of Italy. I’m very afraid of being linked with the wrong rightist fascist groups”, saying instead his drive is issues such as freedom of expression and Dutch iconoclasm.[4] Wilders views British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as his greatest political role model.[4] People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy figure Frits Bolkestein also heavily influenced his beliefs.[35]

Wilders strongly opposes the Dutch political system in general. He believes that there is a ruling elite of parliamentarians who only care about their own personal careers and disregard the will of the people. He also blames the Dutch system of multi-party coalition governments for a lack of clear and effective policies.[35] In his view, Dutch society advocates rule by consensus and cultural relativism, while he believes that this should change so as to “not tolerate the intolerant”.[107]

On foreign relations, Wilders has largely supported Israel and has criticized countries he perceives as enemies of Israel.[33] Furthermore, he has made some proposals in the Dutch Parliament inspired by Israeli policies. For example, he supports implementing Israel’s administrative detention in the Netherlands, a practice heavily criticized by human rights groups, which he calls “common sense”.[107]

Wilders often mentions Henk and Ingrid in his speeches, fictitious common Dutch subjects who he claims to work for.[108] Henk and Ingrid represent the Average Joe in Dutch political parlance, as the “heart and backbone of Dutch society”.[108][109][110] They were compared to Joe the Plumber in Dutch media, although he is a real person.[109] They live in a Vinex neighbourhood, have two school attending children, a median income and both work. They used to vote PvdA but now vote PVV.[111]

Furthermore, Wilders has revived the ancient idea of reuniting Flanders and the Netherlands.[112]

Wilders published the version of his political manifesto called Klare Wijn (“Clear Wine”) in March 2006. The program proposed ten key points to be implemented:

  • Considerable reduction of taxes and state regulations.
  • Replacement of the present Article 1 of the Dutch constitution, guaranteeing equality under the law, by a clause stating the cultural dominance of the Christian, Jewish and humanist traditions.
  • Reduction of the influence of the European Union, which may no longer be expanded with new member states, especially Turkey; the European Parliament will be abolished. Dutch financial contributions to the European Union should be reduced by billions of euros.
  • A five-year moratorium on the immigration of non-Western foreigners who intend to stay in the Netherlands. Foreign residents will no longer have the right to vote in municipal elections.
  • A five-year moratorium on the founding of new mosques and Islamic schools; a permanent ban on preaching in any language other than Dutch. Foreign imams will not be allowed to preach. Radical mosques will be closed and radical Muslims will be expelled.
  • Restoration of educational standards, with an emphasis on the educational value of the family.
  • Introduction of binding referenda and elected mayors, chiefs of police and prime ministers.
  • Introduction of minimum penalties, and higher maximum penalties; introduction of administrative detention for terrorist suspects. Street terrorism will be punished by boot camps and denaturalisation and deportation of immigrant offenders.
  • Restoration of respect and better rewards for teachers, policemen, health care workers and military personnel.

Instead of complicated reorganization, a more accessible and humane health care system, especially for elderly citizens.[113][114]

Wilders has been criticized over his racial views, even going as far as to call all Moroccan people “Scum”. (See: Far-right Wilders attacks ‘Moroccan scum’

3.
Frauke Petry

Frauke petry making a speech in the EU about AFD party


Frauke Petry (born Marquardt; 1 June 1975) is a German politician, who has been party chairwoman of the Alternative for Germany party since 4 July 2015. Petry is described as a representative of the far-right wing within her party by political scientist Cas Mudde, but rejects the label and considers herself to be a national conservative.

She was formerly one of three party spokespersons from 2013 to 2015,[1] and became leader in 2015 by displacing the party’s founder Bernd Lucke after an internal power struggle; Lucke subsequently left the party and said it has “fallen irretrievably into the wrong hands” after Petry’s election. Petry is noted for her anti-Muslim views and for her calls to ban minarets,[3] and for arguing that German police should use firearms “as a last resort” to prevent illegal border-crossings.[4] She is a chemist and small businesswoman by education and professional background.

Political orientation


Petry is described as a representative of the far-right wing of her party by political scientist Cas Mudde.[7] She describes herself as national-conservative and supporting policies of “national self-determinism.” Der Spiegel reports that her electoral success on 4 July 2015, which gave her the reins of leadership in the AfD in preference to Bernd Lucke, the founder, was made possible by the national-conservative wing of the party. Bernd Lucke’s wing did not have the majority.[1]

On the subject of the political spectrum, Petry has said, “Right and left are terms that haven’t fitted for a long time.”[8] Petry believes sharia is incompatible with the “democratic and liberal order of state”[9] and has said that the majority within her AfD favors a liberal-conservative policy.[10]

Border control

Petry was made a source of controversy in January 2016 when asked about European and German border policies by a reporter from the regional newspaper Mannheimer Morgen. Petry initially answered that the German Border police must do their jobs by “hindering illegal entry of refugees.” She then cited existing German law which states that the border police may “use firearms if necessary” to “prevent illegal border crossings”. The reporter followed up on her response, using the term Schiessbefehl which means “order to shoot”. Petry clarified that she did not use that term, going on to state that no policeman “wants to fire on a refugee and I don’t want that either” but that border police must follow the law to maintain the integrity of European borders.[10]

In an interview with Tim Sebastian from Deutsche Welle on 21 March 2016, Petry said she feels the German government is refusing “to take responsibility for our [Germany’s] national borders,” but has cautioned that if border guards ever had to use armed force, it would be the “ultima ratio [last resort].”[9][10] Another argument she made in defense of her statements is that she is not the only German politician with these views, citing Boris Palmer of the Green Party. Boris Palmer has said, “Greece alone won’t be capable [of defending European borders]. This can only be achieved by European border troops. And it’s perfectly normal for them to be armed, as it is at almost every border.”[9]

Male circumcision

She has recently been criticized by Lutz Bachmann of the anti-Islamic movement Pegida for supporting the right of Muslim Germans to circumcision.[11] In a rough draft of its manifesto, the AfD had considered adopting a stance stating that male circumcision should be outlawed, but Petry said in her interview with Tim Sebastian on 21 March 2016 that this language would not be in the final draft.[9] The Central Council of Jews in Germany is also in an uproar over the question of religious circumcision, stating that to give precedence to a child’s self-determination over his parents’ right of freedom of religion is “an unprecedented and dramatic intrusion on the right to self-determination of religious communities.”[12] This national dialogue is happening in the wake of a 2012 decision of a Higher Regional Court in Cologne, which called the circumcision of a 4-year-old boy “bodily harm.”[12] Bachmann is of the view that a man should be 18 before being able to decide whether or not he wants to be circumcised. He has also said that Petry is “scared of Germany’s past with Jewish people.”[11]

Women in society

Unlike the CDU and SPD, Petry does not believe mandatory quotas are the right way to give opportunities to women, nor does she believe they improve the chances of women having more leadership positions. She believes quotas make women unsure of whether a promotion would be made on the basis of qualifications.[13]

Regarding the issue of burqas, Petry believes it shouldn’t be compulsory for women to dress in such a manner. She has said that in schools “this sort of religious costume should not be worn.”[9]

Migration

On the issue of international migration, Petry is of the view that, “We [Germany and the rest of Europe] have to decide what sort of migration we want to accept.”[9] She has said, “Deciding about who’s migrating and who’s not, who’s going to be part of a new country is, in the end, a question of borders, whether you see them, or whether you don’t. When I go to France, I don’t see the border, but I know it’s there and I accept it, be it in terms of speed limits, or be it in terms of laws and legislation.”[9]

Wolfgang Schäuble

Iceland’s national team lineup in a 2012 match

On 3 June 2016, Petry tweeted in mockery of German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble; “Schäuble’s nightmare: the ‘incestuousIcelanders in the quarter-final.”[14] Iceland‘s football team had made it to the UEFA Euro 2016 quarter-final and Schäuble had made a remark in June that if Europe were to isolate itself, this would cause Europe to degenerate into inbreeding.[15][16] Iceland is largely homogeneous in terms of demographics.[17][18] The Icelandic national team, which was drawn from a tiny pool of 330,000 Icelanders, had sent shock waves throughout the football community when it upset the English national team in June with a 2-1 win.[19] The Guardian reports that all of the members of the team “were brought up in the Icelandic club system.”

Frauke Petry has emerged strong in Germany. Calling for Islamic reform, workers rights and a strong clamp down on Islamic terror within the EU. (See : Frauke ‘Adolfina’ Petry: the anti-immigrant, anti-Islam threat to Merkel

4.
Matteo Salvini

Far right italian leader


Matteo Salvini (Italian pronunciation: [matˈtɛːo sɑlˈviːni];[1][2] born 9 March 1973) is an Italian politician and member of the European Parliament who has been the leader of the Lega Nord political party since December 2013 and of Us with Salvini since December 2014.

Early life

Matteo Salvini was born in Milan in 1973, the son of a business executive and a housewife.[3] Salvini studied at the classical lyceum Alessandro Manzoni of Milan and later attended the University of Milan studying Historical Science; however, he never graduated.[4]

In his youth Salvini became a member of the left-wing social centre Leoncavallo, which strongly influenced his political orientation before becoming the main representative of the right-wing faction of Lega Nord, the Padanian party.

Political career


Early career

Salvini has been a member of Young Padanians Movement, Lega Nord’s youth faction and deputy secretary of Lega Lombarda, along with Marco Reguzzoni. At the 1997 Padanian elections he was a candidate of the list Comunisti Padani (Padanian Communists).

From 1993 to 2012 he was a member of the Milan City Council.[5]

European Parliament

Salvini during a Young Padanians rally in 2006.

He was elected a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the North-West region in 2004 and participated in the European Parliament as a part of the Non-Inscrits. He switched to become a member of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group in 2009 before switching back to the Non-Inscrits in 2014.[6] In June 2015, he was part of the creation of a new group, the Europe of Nations and Freedom, with parties such as the French National Front and the Dutch Party for Freedom; he is also the vice-president of the Italian delegation.

He sat on the European Parliament‘s Committee on Culture and Education, and was a substitute for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and a member of the Delegation to the EUChile Joint Parliamentary Committee. He stood down from the European Parliament in November 2006.

After he was re-elected in 2009 as an MEP, he sat on the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and is a member of the Delegation for Relations with India, and the Delegation for Relations with the Korean Peninsula. He is a Substitute on the Committee on International Trade and the Delegation for Relations with South Africa.[6]

Head of Lega Nord

Matteo Salvini speaks during a Lega Nord rally, in 2013.

On 7 December 2013 Salvini, who counted on the support by Roberto Maroni and most of the party’s bigwigs (including Flavio Tosi, who had renounced a bid of his own), trounced Umberto Bossi with 82% of the vote in the “primary”.[7] A week later, his election was ratified by the party’s federal congress in Turin.[8] Under Salvini, the party embraced a very critical view of the European Union,[9] especially of the Euro, which he described a “crime against mankind”.[10] Ahead of the 2014 European Parliament election, Salvini started to cooperate with Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front, and Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom.[11][12][13] All this was criticised by Bossi, who re-called his left-wing roots,[14][15] and Tosi, who represented the party’s centrist wing and defended the Euro.[16]

In April 2014 Salvini presented the party’s logo for the EP election, with Basta Euro (“No more Euro”) replacing Padania,[17] to emphasize the new political trend, focused on Euroscepticism and the exit from the Eurozone.[18] The party included in its slates candidates from other anti-Euro and/or autonomist movements (hence Autonomie, meanining “Autonomies”), notably comprising The Freedomites, a right-wing populist and separatist party active in South Tyrol (whose symbol was included too).[19]

In the EP election the party obtained 6.2% of the vote and 5 MEPs.[20] The result was far worse than that of the previous EP election in 2009 (–4.0%), but better than that of 2013 general election (+2.1%). The LN arrived third with 15.2% in Veneto (where Tosi obtained many more votes than Salvini, showing his popular support once for all and proving how the party was far from united on the anti-Euro stance),[21] ahead of Forza Italia (FI) and the other parties emerged from the defunct PdL, and fourth in Lombardy with 14.6%. Salvini was triumphant, despite the party had lost Piedmont to the Democrats, after Cota had been forced to resign, due to irregularities committed by one of its supporting lists in filing the slates for the 2010 election, and had decided not to stand. Moreover, Bitonci was elected mayor of Padua, a Democratic stronghold.

The party’s federal congress, summoned in Padua in July, approved Salvini’s political line, especially a plan for the introduction of a flat tax and the creation of a sister party in centralsouthern Italy and the Isles.[22] In November the Emilia-Romagna regional election represented a major step for Salvini’s “national project”: the LN, which won 19.4% of the vote, was the region‘s second-largest and far ahead of FI, paving the way for a bid for the leadership of the centre-right.[23] In December Us with Salvini (NcS) was launched. The party’s growing popularity among voters was reflected also by a constant rise in opinion polls.

Matteo Salvini in 2015.

A December, 2014 Ipsos poll showed that his approval rating had increased by 5 percentage points, from 28% to 33%, “cementing his position as a rising political force in Italy”.[24]

On 28 February 2015, Salvini led a rally in Rome protesting against illegal immigration.[25]

In March 2015, after a long struggle between the two main Venetian party’s leaders Flavio Tosi and Luca Zaia, backed by Salvini, over the formation of the slates for the upcoming regional election in Veneto, Tosi was removed from national secretary of Liga Veneta and ejected from the federal party altogether.[26] However, the 2015 regional elections were another success for the LN, especially in Veneto, where Zaia was handily re-elected with 50.1% of the vote and the combined score of party’s and Zaia’s personal lists was 40.9%. The party also came second in Liguria with 22.3%, second in Tuscany with 16.2%, third in Marche with 13.0% and third in Umbria with 14.0%. The LN had never polled so high in those five regions before.

After the 2016 local elections, in which the party ran below expectations in Lombardy (while doing well in Veneto—thanks to Zaia, Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany) and the NcS performed badly,[27][28][29][30] Salvini’s political line came under pressure from Bossi, Maroni and especially the recently elected leader of Lega Lombarda Paolo Grimoldi, who criticized the party’s right-wing turn and its focus on the South, while reclaiming the federalist and autonomist identity of the LN.[31][32][33]

However, by the end of 2016, Salvini looked focused on becoming the leader of the centre-right[34][35] and, possibly, changing the LN’s name by ditching “North”.

Salvini is not alone when it comes to attracting negative attention due to his far right political views, On February 5th he angered the Pope himself by meeting with one of his cardinals Raymond Burke in the Vatican. (See: US cardinal Raymond Burke stokes papal tensions by meeting nationalist in Rome

5.
Paul Nuttall
UKIP leader paul nuttall.


Paul Andrew Nuttall (born 30 November 1976) is a British politician who has been the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) since November 2016. He has served as an MEP for North West England since 2009.

Nuttall was a Conservative Party candidate in a council election in Sefton, before joining UKIP in 2004. He was the UKIP candidate for the the Bootle constituency in general elections in 2005, 2010 and 2015, as well as being UKIP’s candidate in the 2011 Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election. He was elected in 2009 and again in 2014 as an MEP for North West England.

From 2008 to 2009, he was the secretary of Young Independence, and in September 2008 succeeded John Whittaker to the role of UKIP Chair. Nuttall became Deputy Leader of UKIP in November 2010 and the party’s Spokesperson for Education, Life Skills and Training in July 2014. He did not stand in the September 2016 leadership election, and stepped down as Deputy Leader. However, he was a candidate in the November 2016 leadership election, at which he was elected leader.

A prominent Eurosceptic, Nuttall supports the observation of a British Independence Day.[1] He favours a ban on wearing burqas in public places,[2] has shown support for the reintroduction of the death penalty,[3][4] and opposed Labour‘s 2015 plans to include LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education in schools.[5] He is an outspoken climate change denier[6] and has during his political career both supported and opposed the privatisation of the National Health Service.[7][8]

 

Political career


Early political career, 2002–2009

Before joining UKIP, Nuttall was a member of the Conservative Party. In the 2002 local government elections, he stood as their candidate in Derby Ward on Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council, where he came second winning 11.4% of the vote.[15][6]

In 2004, he left the Conservatives and joined the UK Independence Party (UKIP). He founded its South Sefton branch in 2005 in order to contest elections in north Merseyside.[2] He was UKIP’s candidate for Bootle in the 2005 general election, where he won 4.1% of the vote.[16] At the 2008 local elections, Nuttall again stood as a candidate for Derby Ward on Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council, but this time as a UKIP candidate. He won 38% of the vote, behind the Labour Party candidate.[17]

In 2008, Nuttall also became the founding secretary of Young Independence, the youth wing of UKIP for under 35-year-olds. He held this position until UKIP’s spring conference in 2009 when Young Independence held their first internal elections. Nuttall was appointed as Chairman of UKIP in September 2008.[18] At the time, he was also employed as a political advisor to the Independence/Democracy group in the European Parliament.[19]

First term in the European Parliament, 2009–2014

In the 2009 European Parliament election, Nuttall was selected to head the UKIP list for the North West England constituency. Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, he said “The Euro-election next June will give people the chance to express their views about the European Union. It is really the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty that they have been denied. A vote for any other party is a vote for the EU. If people do not like having 80% of our legislation emanating from unelected bureaucrats in Brussels the only party to vote for is UKIP.”[19] He was subsequently elected.[20]

Nuttall became a member of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group in the European Parliament, as well as a member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) and a substitute member of the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT). His first speech in plenary was on 7 October 2009, on the “underhand and undemocratic way in which the incandescent light bulb has been banned across the European Union.”[21]

Nuttall opened an office for his European Parliament work in Bootle in March 2010.[22] Nuttall again contested Bootle at the 2010 general election, coming fourth with 6.1% of the vote.[23] In July 2010, it was found that, on average, British MEPs had the worst European Parliament attendance records, and that Nuttall, alongside David Campbell Bannerman and Godfrey Bloom, had the worst attendance records of British MEPs, with an average of below 63%.[24] On 8 November 2010, Nuttall was confirmed by UKIP’s NEC as Nigel Farage‘s choice for Deputy Leader. At the same time, he stepped down as Chairman. He said, “This is a great honour which I was happy to accept, particularly at such a very exciting time for UKIP.”[25]

Following the general election, a High Court ruling found the result in Oldham East and Saddleworth null and void after Labour‘s Phil Woolas was found to have made false statements in campaign literature.[26]Nuttall was selected as UKIP’s candidate in the 2011 by-election held in the constituency to replace Woolas. Speaking to local media, he said that the by-election was “built on a pyramid of lies”: “Whether it’s Labour lying on their own election literature which has caused this sorry scenario, or whether it’s the Liberal Democrats lying over tuition fees and reneging on their manifesto pledges, or whether it’s the Tories lying over our relationship with the EU, or immigration, or crime.”[27] Nuttall came fourth in the election, winning 5.8% of the vote.[28]

During the debate over a possible electoral pact between the Conservatives and UKIP, in September 2012 Nuttall said “You never say never in politics” when asked about the possibility of them working together.[29]However, in November 2012, Nuttall said there would be “no deals with the Tories while David Cameron is leader”, blaming Cameron’s previous claims about the party, including that it was one of “closet racists”.[30]

In February 2013, Nuttall visited Bulgaria at the invitation of independent MEP Slavcho Binev. He visited the largest Romani quarter of Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, and later commented that such slums should not exist in Europe and that minorities should be integrated. He took part in a joint press conference with Binev, during which nationalist politician Volen Siderov interrupted proceedings to accuse UKIP of racism. This led to “an angry and rude exchange of words between him and Binev.”[31] During the conference, Nuttall said: “There are obviously a large number of Bulgarians who are looking to come to Britain for a better life and they can’t be blamed for that. Bulgaria is going through serious problems, endemic corruption, an economy that has flat-lined, and I suspect their youngest and brightest will try to find work.”[32]

Nuttall predicted that the UK “will probably be out of the EU by 2020” in April 2013.[33] His speech to UKIP’s 2013 conference was praised by some, including Isabel Hardman of The Spectator, who wrote: “Nuttall’s speech was more impressive and powerful that the slightly sweaty offering his boss gave a few minutes after him. The question is whether this northern MEP can become a brand in his own right in the way that Farage has managed to.”[34]

Second term in the European Parliament, 2014–present

In 2014, Nuttall was returned to the European Parliament at the European election and is currently one of two UKIP MEPs representing the constituency of North West England. In 2015, he once again contested Bootle, and came second behind Labour, with a 10.9% vote share.[35]

He announced in July 2016 that he would not stand in the September 2016 UKIP leadership election following the resignation of Nigel Farage and that he would step down as Deputy Leader of the party.[36][37] In October 2016, Nuttall announced that he would run in the second UKIP leadership election of 2016, triggered when Diane James, leader for 18 days after the first 2016 leadership election, announced she was to stand down.[38][39]

On 28 November 2016, following the second 2016 leadership election, he became leader of UKIP with 62.2% of the vote.[40]

Nuttall is standing as a UKIP candidate for the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election, 2017. He has been investigated for possibly fraudulent claims that he was living in a house in Stoke on Trent, which was discovered to be empty and still advertised to rent, when he filed his nomination papers.

Paul Nuttall is no stranger to criticism from the far left, just four days ago his press officer Lynda Roughley resigns amid controversy. (See: Paul Nuttall’s press officer Lynda Roughley resigns amid Hillsborough controversy

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