UKIP leadership candidate Raheem Kassam has pledged to boost UKIP’s People’s Army if he’s elected to the post, promising to grow the party’s membership to 100,000.
Appearing on Newsnight Monday evening, the Breitbart London editor-in-chief also revealed that as leader, he would appoint Nigel Farage as honorary president of the UK Independence Party (UKIP).
Speaking with Evan Davis, Kassam explained that “there’s a lot of appetite within the party” for its popular former leader who led the country to Brexit, adding, “so I think it needs to retain him in some way, shape or form. UKIP is Nigel, Nigel is UKIP”.
Asked by Davis about a recent tweet by Patrick O’Flynn which suggested the party must choose between acting as “the patriotic party of the common sense centre of UK politics” or “go Trump/alt-right”, Kassam dismissed the UKIP MEP’s comments as a “silly false dichotomy”.
“I think everybody in UKIP is a common sense patriot,” he told the BBC presenter, adding “and we need to come together as a party”.
“I want to make the party great again, and I’ve told the people how I’m going to do it. 100,000 people, members, if I am leader,” Kassam concluded.
The cost of UKIP’s membership currently stands at £30, and there are 30,000 members. The Breitbart London editor believes that cutting the price to £10 would boost the party base to 100,000.
Each member currently costs the party £17 annually, with expenses including the posting of a quarterly magazine, among other frills. Kassam has said he will bring the cost of servicing members down to “almost zero”, asserting that the benefits of growing UKIP’s official support far outweigh any net income differentials.
He told Breitbart London: “There may not be a huge difference in funds raised from membership between the two rates, but there would be a massive growth in the People’s Army, as well as an increased database for us to run campaigns, fundraisers, and action days off the back of it.”