Anti-racism campaigners have isssued a warning over the anti-Islam views held by Anne Marie Waters, a former UKIP member and far right candidate in the forthcoming Lewisham East by-election.
After she lost against Henry Bolton during last year’s UKIP leadership election, Waters set up the new far-right party For Britain.
She is one of 14 candiates in the by-election due next Thursday. It has been called because the former Lewisham East MP, Heidi Alexander, was appointed Deputy Mayor for Transport, which demanded her to resign her seat in parliament.
The full list of candidates can be found here.
Stand Up to Racism campaigner Harold Wilson said: “The Times newspaper has described ‘For Britain’ as replicating the role of the British National Party (BNP).
“Anybody who remembers the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence will recall the presence of the BNP ‘bookshop’ in Welling and the associated spike in racist attacks.
We can’t let Anne-Marie Waters spread views that threaten Muslims in our community today”.
Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham said: “Lewisham’s diversity is our greatest strength. From welcoming migrants from the Commonwealth after the war, to welcoming refugees fleeing war-torn countries and poverty today.
“Our community is not just diverse – it has great solidarity. We have always stood up against intolerance and oppression: from standing up to the National Front in the Battle of Lewisham 40 years ago to tackling anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all other forms of hatred today.
“There is no place in Lewisham for the hate of For Britain or any other fascist or racist group.”
In 2016, Anne Marie Waters was leader of the official PEGIDA UK branch (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West), an anti-Islam organisation originally founded in Germany.
She was supported by Tommy Robinson, ex-leader of the EDL and former member of the fascist BNP, recently sentenced to 13 months in prison for being in contempt of court.
Waters has a history of being criticised for her anti-Islam comments.
The only "evil" we have legalised is Islam.
— Anne Marie Waters (@AMDWaters) September 12, 2016
The group warns that Waters’ candidacy would be a “threat to the Muslim community” and has appealed for people’s support to oppose the far-right party: “There should be no platform for Waters’ and For Britain’s racist bile in this election for Lewisham’s new MP”.
The group is supported by David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham.