Farage rallies US conservatives with anti-multicultural message

UKIP chief tells Republicans to appeal to moderates

Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, addresses the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, addresses the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

 

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, was warmly received at a major US conference of conservatives with a message denouncing EU immigration policies and multiculturalism and defending “Judeo-Christian culture”.

The UKIP leader appeared on a stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference just hours after Republican speakers including former vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin and presidential hopefuls, New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal.

Small crowd

Mr Farage

“We must make it clear that we believe in common law and not Sharia Law,” he said, to applause and cheers from a few hundred delegates in a ballroom that holds 5,000 people.

“And we must stand up and fight, and we must stand up and fight for liberty, for freedom, for democracy and not to be cowed by political correctness, not to be cowed by fear of being criticised.”

Every year CPAC attracts a motley collection of evangelical Christians, highly vocal anti-Obama activists, abortion opponents and gun rights advocates at America’s biggest gathering of conservatives. They meet a huge Gaylord National Resort and Convention Centre in National Harbour, Maryland, about 10 miles south of Washington DC.

This was the first opportunity for US conservatives to hear in person from Mr Farage. Some in the crowd appeared to know him from YouTube video clips of him haranguing European politicians, responding when he referred to them. His politically incorrect cigar-smoking persona appealed to the free-living libertarians in the audience.

Crossed class divide

White House

“The Republican Party needs to get the kind of people voting for it that we were voting for it 30 years ago. Do you remember the Reagan Democrats?” he said.

“These were people who worked hard, these were people who were patriotic, these were people who aspired and wanted to get on. I don’t think the Republican Party is actually attracting those kind of people.”