How Farage’s Campaign Colluded with Putin to Weaponise Hate and Islamophobia
Following Channel 4’s revelations that Nigel Farage’s Leave EU campaign faked inflammatory photos of sexual attacks and staged videos about migrants, Byline Times has evidence of more racist propaganda sourced from the Kremlin.
As uncovered last year, leaked emails from Andy Wigmore, Arron Banks and Leave EU officials revealed numerous clandestine meetings with the Russian Embassy in London in the run up the EU referendum. Among these emails is also an exchange about “weaponising migrants”.
In the spring of 2016, as the Syrian refugee diaspora was reaching its crisis, and just as the referendum was entering its final days, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the head of the US European Command NATO accused Russia of intervening in Syria to deliberately displace populations that were seeking asylum in Greece and Macedonia.
Evidence from Leave EU websites shows that they were relying heavily on racist Russian misinformation throughout their campaign.
“Together, Russia and the Assad regime are deliberately weaponising migration in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve,” General Philip Breedlove said. His condemnation was followed up by other European leaders, including the then Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond who
When the Russian Embassy responded to Hammond’s accusation of intervening in the Brexit debate, the Leave EU team leapt in to defend Putin’s stance. Arron Banks asked for the following press release to be composed:
“We’ve heard a lot about Russia weaponising migrants in recent days, but the bigger problem has been Cameron weaponising Russia in the EU referendum”, said Leave.EU cofounder Arron Banks. “Russia has been built up into this great, looming threat which only the EU can save us from. It’s ridiculous – what has its attempt to expand Ukraine at Russia’s expense achieved besides an ugly civil war? What has its trade war against Russia achieved besides ruining British dairy farms?”
The Leave EU team then discussed sending a letter of support to Ambassador Yakovenko and debated whether it was “too overtly Russophile”. But, evidence from Leave EU websites shows that they were relying heavily on racist Russian misinformation throughout their campaign.
Overtly racist Pro-Putin Propaganda
In 2014, Nigel Farage told Alastair Campbell in GQ Magazine that Vladimir Putin was the statesman he most admired: “The way he played the whole Syria thing. Brilliant.” He had met Ambassador Yakovenko the year before and started a series of almost monthly appearances on RT.
Together, Russia and the Assad regime are deliberately weaponising migration in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve.General Philip Breedlove
By the time of the EU referendum, Russian news agencies like RT and Sputnik were clearly pushing a pro-Brexit agenda, particularly focusing on (mainly false) allegations of rape and criminality by asylum seekers and migrants.
One of Leave EU’s most popular videos was mainly sourced from Russian propaganda and deliberately portrayed foreign migrants as sexual predators.
Four weeks before the referendum vote in June 2016, Leave EU created a video called ‘Worrying Scenes in Europe’, mainly based on clips from RT.
One disturbing sequence in the video is all Leave EU’s creation. It apparently shows sexual assault by dozens of men (alleged to be refugees). But, the clip is actually of an assault that took place in Tahrir Square in Egypt in 2013.
There’s little doubt that Leave EU knew the real source and deliberately doctored the contents to make them ‘disturbing scenes from Europe’ rather than Egypt. The original footage from Lively has been pixelated and cropped the original video to disguise the real location.
As Britain faces possible European elections at the end of May, Farage’s new Brexit party is leading in the latest EU election polls.
The Leave EU/RT video has been viewed 1.4 million times and is still available on its Facebook page, which is now devoted to promoting Farage’s Brexit party.