Arron Banks’ Leave.EU campaigners are reportedly planning to assist New Zealand’s First Party in its upcoming elections, claiming its leader is like a ‘more seasoned version of Farage’.
The Leave.EU campaign was fronted by then UKIP leader Nigel Farage, and was seen as the unofficial campaign for Brexit during the EU referendum.
The campaign played on people’s fears about immigration, with Farage unveiling the infamous ‘breaking point’ poster, branded racist and dishonest by opponents.
In recent years the group has used social media to stir up divisions, with some of the most notable divisive posts whipping up hatred towards Angela Merkel and Meghan Markle.
Now the Telegraph reports that Banks’ Leave.EU campaign is advising Winston Peters’ New Zealand party on its social media campaign, claiming that the pro-Commonwealth politician is like a ‘more seasoned version of Farage’.
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Peters, alongside the deputy prime minister, backed Labor Party leader Jacinda Ardern at the general election in 2017 and she has been credited with a strong response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The group is hoping for a six-figure sum deal with the politician to help increase the party’s vote share as high as 12%, which could hold the balance of power in parliament after the September election.
Banks has already begun characterising Ardern as ‘Jacinderella’, and branding her party ‘the ugly Sisters’.
He said: ‘Since 2016 we have known Winston, he is a huge supporter of the Commonwealth and watched first hand the referendum campaign.
‘He’s always been a more seasoned version of Farage with massive government experience. ‘He is one of very few current politicians that speaks fluent human and can relate to anyone, he’s in the same mould as Boris they speak truth on behalf of the ordinary people. He is always on the side of the people.
‘He has studied the way social media can be a useful channel when the mainstream media want to try and cancel what you have to say.
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‘His strength, like Boris/Farage, is he has a direct conversation with the public and social media is the perfect platform to do precisely that.
‘We have deployed our top social media team and data experts to do all the creative work. Andy and I are giving Winston strategic advice.’
Andy Wigmore, the Leave.EU communications director, added: ‘I’m going to be on ground in New Zealand causing trouble – mischief, mayhem and guerrilla warfare in the New Zealand election – the bad boys are back.’
Responding to the media reports, Peters has denied that he has signed a deal with Banks.
‘Not only have I not hired such a crew but it is impossible to see how they would even gain entry into the country,’ he said in a statement.
The party would make no further comment on ‘this rubbish’, he said.