Richard North, 03/02/2005  

Already the "knocking" has started, with The Guardian taking a tilt at the emergent "Veritas" party. In today's edition, it singles out one Anthony Bennett – better known as Tony – who is described as "a key member of Robert Kilroy-Silk's new political party."

Bennett, it appears, co-founded an organisation called "the People's Campaign to Keep the Pound" with Ian Anderson, a former chairman of the National Front. This is the same Bennett, the Guardian says, who was fired from the UK Independence Party last year after publishing a pamphlet describing the prophet Muhammad as a paedophile – a story that was run in September by the Sunday Telegraph.

Bennett has been working as a researcher for Mr Kilroy-Silk after being banned, last year, from holding any UKIP office for two years because of his writings on Islam. Kilroy, however, has defended Bennett's remarks about Muhammad, saying that they had been part of a "reasoned, academic exposition" aimed at explaining the reasons behind the September 11 terrorist attacks.

However, Bennett may not be Kilroy’s only or even main problem. Prominent at the launch of his party yesterday was another person who is known to this Blog as being a holocaust denier, a virulent anti-Semite and an Islamophobe par excellence. With colleagues of a similar persuasion, these people have been very active in the setting-up of Kilroy's new party.

Whatever Kilroy’s personal beliefs, therefore, he is attached to some very dubious people. And, despite the obvious hostility between Kilroy and UKIP, in a perverse sense, he may have done UKIP something of a favour. Unwittingly, no doubt, he has cleaned out some of the rubbish from its ranks, that some UKIP members were very happy to see depart.

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