LISTEN – Quick Fire Kassam: Gaunty Grills Raheem on UKIP Leadership Bid

Raheem Kassam joined radio host Jon Gaunt who grilled him on a whole range of topics related to his bid for leadership of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).

Breitbart London editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam recently touched down in the UK and announced his bid for leadership of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). Mr. Kassam spoke on the radio Friday with host Jon Gaunt who grilled the Breitbart London editor about issues from radical Islam to party unity and the proper role for the BBC.

According to Mr. Kassam UKIP is currently undergoing an “existential crisis” a sentiment he has repeated often since announcing his bid for the leadership. Mr. Gaunt asked whether he thought that UKIP had a purpose for existing now that the referendum had been won. Mr. Kassam told him that the party was needed to both make sure that Brexit happened but also to be the real opposition party because of the failings of the Labour party.

Mr. Kassam’s comments on Twitter have also become a source of some controversy as he often takes to the platform to confront those in the media and on the left, usually with colourful language. Kassam said that, “Twitter is Twitter, it’s fun, it’s tongue in cheek. It’s a place to vent. Not who I am as a person.”

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of UKIP was also brought up by Gaunt who asked Kassam if it should be scrapped. The NEC courted some controversy after refusing to allow UKIP member Steven Woolfe to run for a leadership bid after Nigel Farage stepped down. Kassam said that it was up to the NEC to decide, but said under his leadership the group would be reformed in order to serve the party members better.

The left and right spectrum means very little to Kassam, who told the radio host that the real battle wasn’t between two ends of the political spectrum, but rather between elites and the average man. He said he was saddened by the fact that the average British person’s only aspiration was to “pay the bills” rather than have a similar idea to the American dream.

On the subject of devolved parliaments and the threat of another Scottish referendum for independence, Kassam said that the more politicians you have the more corruption you get. He blasted Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon saying on the subject of another proposed referendum, “we’ll fight her on the beaches Jon.”

The BBC and the role of a government funded media with a clear bias came up and Kassam said that the BBC must be reformed and that they could stand to lose much of their news staff who he claimed weren’t adding any value. Kassam was optimistic about the future of the broadcaster saying that if a UKIP government was in charge the BBC could be put to use in a much better fashion.

On Islam and the burka Kassam kept his long standing opinion that radicalisation must be countered and that he would ban foreign funding of mosques from countries like Saudi Arabia saying that he’d fought the Saudi government before and wasn’t afraid of them. The full face veil, the burka or niqab, would perhaps be banned by Kassam who said that they are both barriers to integration and assimilation. He floated a policy of having a national referendum on the issue.

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