The leader of far-right group, the English Defence League (EDL), has urged supporters to vote for the UK Independence Party in the next election, arguing: "they are saying exactly what we say, just in a different way".
Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who goes by the name Tommy Robinson, told the backbencher blog he was endorsing Ukip because the electoral system was set against them, whereas Ukip had a chance to get into power.
He said the group shared a platform with Ukip both on Europe and Islam, adding that although it was disappointing Nigel Farage didn't speak out more on the issue they were similar because: "their party starts on Islamic immigration and the fact that Islam is a threat to this nation."
He said "I officially back Ukip and I would vote for Ukip."
Robinson, who was recently released from prison after being jailed over a passport offence last year, later said it was not the party's official line and he was not urging his supporters to vote Ukip but was merely stating his personal view.
His endorsement will come as a blow to Ukip, who have attempted to shed their image of merely being "the BNP in suits." Much has been made of an interview David Cameron gave to LBC in 2006, when he described members of Ukip as being "a bunch of fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists."
EDL's Facebook page shared the above
The founder and former leader of Ukip, Professor Alan Sked told Huffington Post UK in November the party he launched in 1993 had become "extraordinarily right-wing" and is now devoted to "creating a fuss, via Islam and immigrants. They've got nothing to say on mainstream issues."
He said: "They're not an intellectually serious party. Their views on immigrants and on [banning] the burqa are morally dodgy."
Ukip strenuously deny having anything to do with the EDL and ban anyone from the EDL from joining their party. In fact their site specifically states they are "non-racists."
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