Racial Equalities Officer candidate Sam Westrop has denied any connection with the UK Independence Party, despite claims from party members.
Several photographs and videos on the internet show Westrop socialising at party events with major UKIP figures, including Nigel Farage, founding member and current leader of UKIP. One photograph shows Westrop at the 2008 UKIP conference, a trip that he was sponsored to attend.
Speaking to Nouse, Westrop said: “I only agree with their decision to pull out of the EU. I firmly condemn their policies on immigration.”
When asked about Westrop’s involvement with the party, the UKIP Press Office told Nouse: “We’re not sure if he’s a member of the party, but he is a party sympathiser. He keeps in close contact with a lot of party members.”
The UK Independence Party advocates very strict regulations on legal immigration, going as far as to call for a “five year moratorium” on immigration in their latest manifesto. Previous manifesto documents have claimed that “The first responsibility of a British Government is to its own population, not to those who would like to settle here”, and that human rights laws must be different for people entering the country.
Westrop is the current chair of the York Freedom Society, which invited UKIP MEP Geoffrey Bloom to speak at their event on May 12. A statement on the Freedom Society website claims that the talk, on the need to withdraw from the European Union, was “warmly received”.
When asked about Westrop’s suitability for the role, YUSU Academic and Welfare Officer Charlie Leyland said: “I hope that all candidates have been upfront about their political views in order for the student population to make an informed vote. We ask all candidates for this reason to declare any affiliations to any political party.”
At the pre campaign hustings meeting on Wednesday, Westrop stated that if elected to the role of Racial Equalities Officer, he would serve to “eliminate all forms of positive discrimination” from campus.
Photo used under Creative Commons agreement by The Freedom Association.