Rebel Staffer Helping Run Campaign Of “Extreme” Anti-Islam Figure Trying To Take Over UKIP

Jack Buckby is the latest former luminary of Britain's white-nationalist movement to work for The Rebel.

A far-right figure who identifies himself as a Rebel Media writer and researcher is helping run the campaign of the “extreme” anti-Islam activist seeking to lead the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).

Jack Buckby has been working for The Rebel’s U.K. operation since early July, writing teleprompter scripts and fundraising emails at the same time that he has been helping steer the leadership campaign of Anne Marie Waters, the bookies’ favourite to win the UKIP leadership contest concluding at the end of the month. Other current and former Rebel personalities have also been actively aiding the campaign by Waters, a co-founder of Pegida UK, about whom The Times has asked “Is Anne Marie Waters too extreme even for Ukip?” and who the New Statesman called “too extreme for Nigel Farage.”

Buckby helped organize the launch of her bid to lead UKIP when she officially announced her candidacy on July 1 in Rotherham, a town infamous as the base of a child sexual-exploitation ring predominantly run by Pakistani-British men that is estimated to have involved 1,400 children. At the launch, Buckby promoted Waters’s campaign manifesto — the PDF metadata of which credits the author as a “Jack B” — before introducing Waters to the crowd. Waters then thanked Buckby for “organizing all of this and for keeping me together and sane through this. We’ve only just begun… so I hope you’ve got lots of energy.”

She then went on to thank Caolan Robertson, a Rebel personality at the time, for helping to film as he “always” does. Buckby was given The Rebel’s full recording of the event by Robertson to use in Waters’s campaign, including some of the same footage used in a Rebel report that also includes Buckby described as a “campaign volunteer” talking about Waters.

His name is on the registration for her campaign’s web domain.

Waters is an Irish-born anti-Islam activist and founder of Sharia Watch, an organization claiming to be “concerned only with the criminal and political elements of sharia law.” Waters began her political career running for the (then centre-left) Labour Party, losing a pair of bids to become a parliamentary candidate but representing it in a local race. She then joined UKIP in 2014, although even a rival UKIP politician has accused her of being the “Joan of Arc” for the U.K.’s fascists. Waters, who is openly gay, considers herself a staunch LGBT activist and feminist who believes that Islam is “evil” and inherently incompatible with and intolerant of women and gays. Many in the party establishment are concerned that if Waters wins the race, she will reduce it to a single-issue party, focusing, like her campaign, on the supposed Islamification of the U.K.

Buckby is a 24-year-old former member of the far-right British National Party (BNP), and just recently left Liberty GB, another far-right ultranationalist party. In 2012, he founded the National Culturists, an organization opposed to Muslim immigration that asserts that Muslims “cannot mix well in a country like the U.K.” In a now-deleted National Culturists’ blog post from 2012 — pointed out by TellMama UK — Buckby called for the “immediate de-islamisation of Great Britain,” which would include social services doing regular inspections of Muslim families to “protect” women and children from honour killings and “abuse from religious parents,” banning the burqa, reconverting any mosques that were previously churches back into churches, and changing school curricula “to include the truths of Islam.”

Excerpt from an early-August Rebel email seeking donations to purchase a wheelchair for a British veteran.

Through racist and anti-Islam antics, Buckby has continued to rise in notoriety as a far-right political activist; he’s called an “extremist” in a new report by the British charity HOPE Not Hate. On a U.K. news show earlier this year, he dared a woman to take in a Syrian refugee, saying, “I hope you don’t get raped.” He also once shared and defended a racist post on social media that read, “Don’t catch AIDS! Don’t have sex with: 1. Intravenous drug abusers 2. Bisexuals 3. Blacks (heterosexual Black males are 14 times as likely as Whites to be HIV carriers).” In a BBC interview, he showed visible disgust when walking through an ethnically diverse market. “It’s a completely different world … to England,” he said to the host, also telling her she wasn’t British because of her ethnicity, despite being born in the U.K.

Buckby is also well-known in the U.K. for being the only person to run against the Labour Party’s candidate in the by-election to replace murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, who was killed by a right-wing terrorist; all other parties declined to put forth a candidate out of respect. In that by-election, Buckby represented the aforementioned Liberty GB, a fringe party which The Guardian has reported holds repugnant views such as calling transgender people “freaks” and immigrants “savages.” Buckby was also mysteriously expelled from the University of Liverpool in 2013.

CANADALAND has learned that in June, Buckby moved in with then-Rebel employees Caolan Robertson and George Llewelyn-John, sharing a Bedfordshire house that last month became the centre of a very public dispute with Rebel head Ezra Levant. Robertson and Llewelyn-John have said that Levant agreed to help pay the lease for the house to serve as a homebase for Rebel UK operations.

Buckby and Levant did not respond to requests for comment on the affiliations, and Waters could not be reached by phone.

Robertson says that Buckby had materials for Waters’s campaign launch delivered to the four-bedroom rental property. He says that at first Levant was annoyed that they had decided to have Waters’s “campaign manager” as a resident of the house where they shot Rebel videos, but that in early July, Levant changed his mind and agreed to hire Buckby on the condition that he would stop working for Waters. Buckby’s Twitter bio describes him as a “writer and researcher at @TheRebelTV.”

During the several months that Robertson and Llewelyn-John were working for The Rebel, they did some flattering coverage of Waters and her campaign launch. Afterward, Robertson and Llewelyn-John prepared an exposé — ultimately spiked by Levant — on how the UKIP national executive was allegedly trying to stop Waters’s supporters from joining the party.

“We had recordings proving that UKIP head office were telling people it was too late to register as a member if you were doing it to vote for Anne Marie — while we had leaked documents that showed the national executive committee had voted 9 to 1 to allow new members to join for another month and be eligible to vote,” Robertson says in a message. Minutes of a meeting provided to CANADALAND by Robertson appear to show the committee voting 7 to 1 on that point.

Over a thousand new members joined UKIP at the time, which party insiders were concerned signalled a takeover of the party by right-wing extremists.

(Asked about Robertson’s contention that the party’s head office ignored an executive decision to allow new members to vote for the leader, UKIP’s press office explains in an email that the executive exceeded its authority: “Neither the party secretary nor the returning officer were at that meeting, and there was no one to point that the [National Executive Committee] has no power to overturn the constitution, but must act within it.”)

When Levant was presented with Robertson and Llewelyn-John’s report, he was not pleased, because of his contributors’ close connection to the Waters campaign and Buckby. In a July 5 email, Levant wrote in red letters, “Too many conflicts of interest here. Too much bullshit here. Not enough journalism here.” The piece was killed.

In his August video “Blackmail: Setting the Record Straight,” in which he explained why he fired Robertson and Llewelyn-John, Levant said, “They were doing side projects instead of our work. They were moonlighting for a political candidate that we were covering. It was just too crazy. So I sent an old trusted friend … to meet with them face-to-face to say goodbye.” (CANADALAND has confirmed that the “old trusted friend” was former Stephen Harper communications director Kory Teneycke.)

But the open campaigning for Waters by Buckby would seem to go against Levant’s former stance on employees engaging in political activities outside work.

In late July, The Guardian reported that Waters was “being assisted in her campaign” by Buckby but that he denied any “official role.” In August, The Times reported that Buckby was “helping to run her campaign press operation.”

CANADALAND has heard from multiple sources that Buckby is still heavily involved in Waters’s Campaign.

Anti-immigrant and anti-Islam journalist and activist Peter Imanuelsen (PeterSweden) says that at a dinner he had with Waters and Buckby in late July, he was “absolutely” under the impression that Buckby was Waters’s campaign manager. He also pointed CANADALAND to tweets he made at the time.

On top of Buckby apparently authoring Waters’s manifesto, registering her campaign’s web domain, and organizing her leadership announcement in Rotherham, Buckby and Rebel personality Lucy Brown have been attending marches and rallies with Waters. Both spoke with Waters at a rally in Bristol last week where Buckby told the crowd to support Waters, “because if she leads UKIP, she will change Britain forever.” Brown followed with a speech of her own.

Waters is also connected to U.K. Rebel personality Tommy Robinson, founder and former member of far-right extremist organization the English Defence League (which he has since disavowed), who last year co-founded the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (Pegida) U.K. chapter alongside Waters. Robinson has openly endorsed Waters for UKIP leader, and Waters has also recently said she would allow Robinson — currently banned due to his former BNP affiliation — to join the party if she becomes leader. Vice also reported that Robinson “tweeted a link to a video effectively launching her campaign, telling his then 200,000+ followers: ‘You are looking at the woman who should be the next leader of UKIP.'” The video, reportedly made by Robertson and Llewelyn-John, was later pulled.

UKIP is a Eurosceptic, right-wing populist party that was until a year ago led by prominent conservative politician Nigel Farage (a friend of Donald Trump, whose presidential campaign he helped). Farage stepped down as leader after winning the Brexit referendum in mid-2016. But his departure led to the party’s popular support — which had been the third highest in the country — drastically falling in the 2017 general election. Eighteen of UKIP’s 20 members of European parliament (MEPs), including Farage, have said they will leave the party if Waters becomes leader and her primarily anti-Islam platform is implemented.

Buckby is currently in Switzerland with Robinson, where the latter is recording Rebel videos.

Rebel staffers Buckby, Robinson, and Brown have been routinely tweeting their support for Waters on Twitter:

Here are tweets of Buckby arguing against Waters’s detractors and proclaiming his support:

And here’s Robinson promoting Waters’ UKIP candidacy:

None of The Rebel’s recent posts about Waters have disclosed any of the affiliations.

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