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With much more important current affairs, UKIP’s latest “foreign jolly” on the European taxpayer has gone under the radar. ‘Pan-European party’, the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe (ADDE), which UKIP set up, has just co-hosted its annual get-together in Israel, the three day ‘Jerusalem Leaders Summit’.

True to form, UKIP and their extreme-right allies are never far from controversy and have even managed to find the wrong kind of press and draw negative attention in the confines of a private event.

It seems the presence of UKIP’s European Parliament ally, MEP Kristina Winberg, a member of the notorious Sweden Democrats, was not welcomed by their hosts. The Israelis reportedly refused to allow her into a key meeting with an American delegation that included a member of Donald Trump’s transition team due to her “neo-nazi tendencies”. 

Incredibly the entire delegation (including UKIP) decided to boycott the briefing as a result of Winberg’s exclusion and the meeting was cancelled.

The Sweden Democrats, a far-right party which promotes an end to multiculturalism and a ban on immigration, have attempted to soften their mainstream image in recent years. However, the party was parading in full Nazi regalia and SA uniforms as recently as 2007.

Sweden democrats.jpg
UKIP’s key European ally, The Sweden Democrats.

According to the Times of Israel:

“A senior member of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team and a delegation of US Republican and European lawmakers cancelled a briefing Thursday with Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely over a refusal to allow a Swedish far-right member of the group into the meeting.

As one of the high-level briefings organized for the group, the delegation was due to meet Wednesday morning with Hotovely in the Knesset.

Just hours before the briefing, the group was informed that Kristina Winberg, a member of the European Parliament for the Sweden Democrats, would not be allowed to join.

In protest, the entire group, including Dunlop, decided to boycott the meeting with Hotovely, according to a representative for the group.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry said the decision to exclude Winberg was made due to her party’s far-right and ultra-nationalist positions.

“The Swedish representative is a member of a party with neo-Nazi tendencies and therefore the Foreign Ministry decided not to include her in the meeting with Hotovely,” Emmanuel Nahshon said. “Unfortunately the entire group decided to cancel the meeting.”

It’s not ADDE’s first trip to the Jewish state, in fact just last year Roger Helmer led a delegation to Jerusalem. a botched affair that saw him produce a photograph of his “black assistant” during an interview with Haartez to prove he was not racist.

(L-R) Joe Jenkins, Bill Etheridge, Roger Helmer, Peter Whittle and David Kurten made up the UK delegation at the Jerusalem event. 

The event website describes the meeting as “co-hosted by the International Leaders Summit, Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe (ADDE) and strategic partners from Europe, India, Israel and the US will focus on public policy issues addressing the rule of law, economic freedom, technology and security. The audience for the summit will include international participants expected from Europe, India, Israel and the United States.”

ADDE is already in the spotlight as part of an EU Parliament investigation into embezzled and misused funds and has been asked to pay back a significant sum.

UKIP, who have famously made a point of boycotting official EU Parliament delegations to “save the UK taxpayer money”, strangely seem quite content to put on events and travel long distances to countries such as Israel and Somalia on expenses.

Quite what all this has to do with Brexit and leaving the EU we don’t know.