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UKIP donor Arron Banks: ‘Merkel might as well have driven the lorry herself’


‘Merkel might as well have driven the lorry herself’: UKIP donor Arron Banks sparks fury with tweet laying blame for Berlin massacre with German leader

  • Brexit figurehead Arron Banks made the controversial remark day after attack
  • He said Merkel ‘might as well’ have been driving lorry used to kill Berlin revellers
  • Comes amid growing anger among populist and far-right groups across Europe 

A key UKIP donor has sparked anger by suggesting Angela Merkel ‘might as well’ have been driving the lorry that ploughed through a Christmas market in Germany.

Brexit figurehead Arron Banks made the controversial remark as populists across Europe rounded on the German chancellor over her open-doors immigration policy.

Banks also said he was ‘fed up with diplomacy’ as he backed former UKIP leader Nigel Farage who said the attack that claimed 12 lives, was ‘no surprise’ and would be part of Merkel’s ‘legacy’

During an exchange on Twitter, one user reminded the insurance tycoon that ‘Merkel did not drive the lorry’ to which he responded: ‘She might as well have.’

Brexit figurehead Arron Banks (pictured) made the controversial remark as populists across Europe rounded on the German chancellor over her open-doors immigration policy
Brexit figurehead Arron Banks made the controversial remark as populists across Europe rounded on the German chancellor (pictured) over her open-doors immigration policy

Brexit figurehead Arron Banks (left) made the controversial remark as populists across Europe rounded on the German chancellor (right) over her open-doors immigration policy

 Will the lorry killer strike again? Police and the security services are hunting the terrorist behind the Christmas market attack

 Will the lorry killer strike again? Police and the security services are hunting the terrorist behind the Christmas market attack

During an exchange on Twitter, one user reminded the insurance tycoon that 'Merkel did not drive the lorry' to which he responded: 'She might as well have'

During an exchange on Twitter, one user reminded the insurance tycoon that ‘Merkel did not drive the lorry’ to which he responded: ‘She might as well have’.

The comment sparked anger online with one Twitter user asking the 50-year-old: ‘How do you sleep at night?’

Merkel has been criticised over her decision to let in around a million migrants – many of them fleeing war-torn Syria – over the past two years.

Populists and far-right groups across Europe have seized on the truck attack in Berlin as a way to criticise Germany’s immigration policy – but key players have held back on jumping to conclusions as the investigation continues.

A 23-year-old Pakistani asylum-seeker was arrested immediately after the incident on Monday after reportedly fleeing the scene but was released on Tuesday without charge.

Police said on Wednesday they were now on a manhunt for a new suspect, identified as Tunisian Anis Amri who applied for asylum in April and had a temporary residence permit.

Merkel’s policy has been polarising, not just in Germany.

On Wednesday Farage faced a backlash after linking the widower of British MP Jo Cox, who was assassinated by a neo-Nazi, to groups he labelled as ‘extremists’.

The row started on Tuesday when Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), blamed Monday’s deadly truck attack in Berlin on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

A wanted notice for a Tunisian suspect in the truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin says the man should be considered armed and dangerous

A wanted notice for a Tunisian suspect in the truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin says the man should be considered armed and dangerous

An aerial view shows the recently re-opened Christmas Market on the Breitscheidplatz square at the landmark Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin

An aerial view shows the recently re-opened Christmas Market on the Breitscheidplatz square at the landmark Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin.

‘Terrible news from Berlin but no surprise. Events like these will be the Merkel legacy,’ he said following the arrest in the German capital of a Pakistani asylum-seeker who has since been released.

Brendan Cox, who has called his wife’s killing an ‘act of terror’, responded pointedly on Twitter saying: ‘Blaming politicians for the actions of extremists? That’s a slippery slope Nigel.’

Asked about the retort in an interview on LBC radio, Farage responded by lashing out at Cox.

‘He would know more about extremists than me, Mr Cox. He backs organisations like Hope Not Hate, who masquerade as being lovely and peaceful, but actually pursue violent and undemocratic means,’ he said.

Cox gave no response but tweeted a Taylor Swift song with the line: ‘Haters gonna hate’.

Tracy Brabin, who replaced Jo Cox as MP in her northern English constituency, tweeted: ‘Beggars belief. A new low for Farage.’

Hope Not Hate was one of three charities chosen by Brendan Cox to receive donations in memory of his wife, who was shot and stabbed to death by far-right extremist Thomas Mair a week before Britain’s EU referendum in June.

Horror 2016: These are all the terror attacks carried out on German soil in the past year, claiming the lives of 22 people.

Mair, who shouted ‘Britain first’ before killing the pro-EU MP, was last month sentenced to life in prison for the killing.

Hope Note Hate, which aims to ‘challenge and defeat the politics of hate and extremism within local communities’, published a report last week about online hate speech following Cox’s murder.

It organises community meetings under the slogan #MoreInCommon, a phrase used by Cox in her maiden speech in parliament.

The organisation has begun crowdfunding for legal action against Farage, urging him to retract or apologise for the statement against them.

‘That Nigel Farage made his remarks in the context of a discussion about Jo Cox, who was so brutally murdered earlier this year, makes them all the more poisonous and hateful,’ the group said on its website.

Police said on Wednesday they were now on a manhunt for a new suspect, identified in German media as Tunisian Anis Amri

Police said on Wednesday they were now on a manhunt for a new suspect, identified in German media as Tunisian Anis Amri

Just hours after Monday's attack, far-right Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders sharply blamed European leaders for admitting asylum-seekers into Europe. Police are pictured at the market

Just hours after Monday’s attack, far-right Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders sharply blamed European leaders for admitting asylum-seekers into Europe. Police are pictured at the market.

Just hours after Monday’s attack, far-right Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders sharply blamed European leaders for admitting asylum-seekers into Europe.

‘Merkel, (Dutch Prime Minister Mark) Rutte and all the other cowardly government leaders have allowed in Islamic terror and an asylum tsunami with their open borders policy,’ he tweeted on Tuesday.

Wilders, who heads the anti-Islam Freedom Party (PVV), also tweeted a photo-shopped picture of Merkel with her hands, face and jacket spattered in blood.

The image was not accompanied by any words, but implied she had blood on her hands for the attack.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico on Tuesday said the Berlin attack had been ‘the last drop in the cup of patience’ in Europe’s migration crisis.

Matthew Goodwin, a senior fellow at the Chatham House think tank, said attacks such as the one in Berlin represented a ‘significant opportunity’ for the ‘radical right’ to emphasise the issue of security.

In Germany itself, the Islamophobic and anti-immigration populist party AfD wasted no time in laying the blame on Merkel

In Germany itself, the Islamophobic and anti-immigration populist party AfD wasted no time in laying the blame on Merkel.

‘Across much of Europe, the radical right is increasingly linking the migrant crisis to security,’ alongside their traditional anti-elite and anti-immigration campaign messages, he said.

Other populist forces have been more cautious, however.

In Austria, the far-right Freedom Party steered clear of making the link between Merkel’s policies and the attack.

France’s National Front leader Marine Le Pen also made no connection.

But the National Front’s deputy leader Florian Philippot told French TV that Islamic State group militants had infiltrated Europe along with migrants.

‘When there are Islamist terrorists who infiltrate themselves in a massive influx, we have the duty to stop the influx,’ he said, calling Merkel’s open-doors policy for migrants ‘irresponsible’.

In Germany itself, the Islamophobic and anti-immigration populist party AfD wasted no time in laying the blame on Merkel.

‘The milieu in which such acts can flourish has been negligently and systematically imported over the past year and a half,’ the group’s co-leader Frauke Petry said in a statement, in a clear reference to Merkel’s decision to let in refugees.

‘Germany is no longer safe. It should be the responsibility of the chancellor to tell you this. But since she won’t do it, then I’ll say it,’ Petry said, demanding ‘control over our territory, no ifs and buts’.

 

 

7 thoughts on “UKIP donor Arron Banks: ‘Merkel might as well have driven the lorry herself’

  1. Germany has had Merkel the UK had Blair. These 2 will go down in history as 2 politicians that changed the safety of the western world. They have both tried to change the way of life for the indigenous people just like hitler tried.

    Like

Published under FAIR USE of factual content citing US 17 U.S.C. § 107 fair use protection, Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 and UK Section 30(1) of the 1988 Act.

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