A general election candidate for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has been forced to quit after HuffPost UK highlighted a string of “Islamophobic” messages he posted on social media.
Prabhjit “Bob” Dhillon stood down as election candidate for Warwick and Leamington (near Birmingham) after HuffPost UK approached the party with posts in which he called for Britain’s border to be closed to Muslims and suggested moderate followers of Islam were complicit in terror.
The Brexit Party is a UK political party that campaigns for the British exit from the European Union without a withdrawal agreement.
In posts shared with HuffPost UK by Twitter user @matesjacob, who monitors Islamophobia on the right of British politics, Dhillon also criticised Chancellor of the Exchequer aka Treasurer Sajid Javid’s record on immigration as a “Muslim home secretary”, suggesting it would allow followers of the Islamic State terror group into the UK.
Nigel Farage promised to be “deeply intolerant to intolerance” after leaving the UK Independence Party (Ukip), a pro-Brexit right-wing to far-right political party, to set up his new outfit.
Now the Brexit Party has made clear to Dhillon his posts did not fit with its code of conduct. A Brexit Party spokesman said: “Thank you for flagging these posts with us.
“They do not fit with our code of conduct and have been raised with the PPC (prospective parliamentary candidate) concerned.
“Mr Prabhjit maintains no wrongdoing on his part but has offered his resignation to the Brexit Party and our internal procedures will now be followed.”
UK anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate said the revelations showed that the “nasty, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic odour” of Farage’s former party Ukip had followed him since he quit over its associations with anti-Islam activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson.
It questioned how Dhillon had passed through the Brexit Party’s candidate vetting procedures.
The charity’s campaigns director Matthew McGregor said: “Nigel Farage is desperate to distance himself from the far right baggage of Ukip, but it’s clear that so much of the nasty, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic odour of that movement has followed him to the Brexit Party.
“Dhillon’s comments about Sajid Javid show that this dangerous and divisive party continue to attract figures with ugly discriminatory views, and it’s telling that this candidate was vetted as suitable by the Brexit Party.”
Dhillon was writing Islamophobic posts on the Facebook group “Bob Dhillon -PPC Warwick & Leamington” as recently as December 2018.
In one, coupled with the image of mainly brown-skinned migrants from Farage’s controversial ‘Breaking Point’ 2016 EU referendum poster, Dhillon wrote: “Conservatives lose control of our borders to rejected Arabs from France.
“Only a matter of time before Isis carry out (an) attack as most come from states (where) they were active.
“So much for (a) Muslim home secretary protecting us.”
In another Facebook post on May 24 2017, two days after the Manchester Arena terror attack during an Ariana Grande concert, Dhillon said “many people” were wondering why the “Muslim family, friends, colleagues and neighbours had suspicions of the jihadist but did nothing to report him”.
He goes on to share a post describing “munafiq”, or hypocrites in Islam, which suggests that “moderate Muslims... sit back and look the other way, while jihadists fight”.
It also accuses moderate Muslims of being complicit in the Boston marathon bombings and the attack at Westgate mall in Nairobi.
In March 2017, Dhillon shared on Twitter a quote from US President Donald Trump, and wrote: “Time to be friends with Russia and deal with real enemies from radical Muslim countries.
“Believe in a Great Britain, close the border like Trump.”
In 2015, Dhillon unsuccessfully ran as a Conservative candidate in Washington and Sunderland West (south of Newcastle upon Tyne) before defecting to Ukip in 2016 in protest at David Cameron’s “scaremongering” Remain campaign in the EU referendum.
He later joined the Brexit Party and was fighting to unseat Labour MP Matt Western in Warwick and Leamington in the next election, before his decision to quit.
It comes after Farage was urged to sack a second Brexit Party candidate, John Booker, who shared and liked a series of “racist” posts.
The party has yet to comment on Booker’s case.