New UKIP leader Richard Braine: Media controlled by EU federalists and 'traitor class'

14 August 2019, 15:29 | Updated: 14 August 2019, 16:23

UKIP's new leader has claimed the country's media is being "controlled" by "a traitor class" who are "conspiring with foreign powers against the people of this country".

Richard Braine, in his first press conference since being elected the struggling party's new leader, hit out at "biased" reporting over Brexit.

He urged journalists to "stop calling people 'far-right' when they're not far-right" and to "stop stirring it up".

"Our establishment does the EU's bidding and wants to turn around the result of UKIP's glorious, glorious referendum," Mr Braine said.

"Powerful members of the EU cult in our establishment don't want more 'people power', they want 'them power'."

Describing a "concerted effort in the media" in the three years since the Brexit vote, Mr Braine highlighted a change in the editorship of the Daily Mail.

He added: "We've seen Geordie Greig installed at the Daily Mail to make sure it starts to toe the Remainer line, the same thing is happening - to some extent - at the [Daily] Express.

"And we've seen Sir Nick Clegg get a very, very well-paid job at Facebook to make sure that nobody can get away with saying what they shouldn't say on Facebook.

"You're seeing the press being controlled and you have a duty to be impartial and objective as journalists.

"So do that, because the reporting of Brexit has been so biased for so long now."

Challenged later over who he believed the press are being controlled by, Mr Braine replied: "I think they're being controlled by an EU federalist class, I would go as far as to say a traitor class.

"People who are conspiring with foreign powers against the people of this country."

He cited the balance between Remain supporters and Brexiteers on programmes such as the BBC's Question Time as "just one example".

Mr Braine, who is UKIP's sixth new leader in the space of three years, also addressed former chancellor George Osborne's recent observation on Twitter that "the new leader of UKIP is called Mr Dick Braine - really".

"I responded with good humour to these tweets, because you have to if your name is Dick Brain.

"I am like 'A Boy Named Sue', I have had to go through my life dealing with all sorts of situations."

Mr Braine added he had "developed a mentality" like Salem witch trial victim Giles Corey, who is said to have repeatedly called for more weight to be added as he was tortured with the use of heavy stones.

The UKIP leader, who has been accused of "virulent Islamophobia" for suggesting the distribution of the Koran in public could be outlawed, was also challenged over his claim there are areas of the UK where "you're simply not welcome" as a non-Islamic person.

He replied: "We know that, for instance, Savile Town [in West Yorkshire] there is almost nobody living there who isn't Muslim.

"I've heard and seen footage, on YouTube actually, of people being made to feel very uncomfortable in certain areas of east London."

But Mr Braine refused to name any specific areas of east London he was referring to.