More than 5,000 Britain First members have joined the Conservatives, the group has claimed.
Around two-thirds of the 7,500 signed-up members of the far-right extremist group have joined the party since Boris Johnson won a resounding victory in the December election.
The organisation, whose leaders were jailed last year for hate crimes against Muslims, said the prime minister’s approach towards “radical Islam” had encouraged the majority of its membership to join the party.
Britain First’s spokeswoman, Ashlea Simon, who was among senior figures recently investigated by counter-terrorism police, said: “We will support a party that is willing to take a firm stance against radical Islam and it looks like the Tories are willing to do that.”
Inquiry into Islamophobia
Days after his election victory, Johnson dropped a promised inquiry into levels of Islamophobia within the Conservative party.
Simon added that Johnson’s hardline response to November’s London Bridge terror attack corroborated the notion he would be firm on the issue.
“The majority of our followers appreciate [home secretary] Priti Patel’s and Boris Johnson’s hardline approach,” said Simon, who was questioned under terrorism laws at Heathrow airport last October after a trip to Russia.
Last month the leader of Britain First said he had officially joined the Conservative Party.
An image was posted online of what is claimed to be an email from the Conservative membership team saying that Paul Golding’s membership was now “activated”.
Golding said in a statement that he intended to “help solidify Boris Johnson‘s control on the leadership, so we can achieve Brexit and hopefully cut immigration and confront radical Islam.
“Boris referred to Muslim women wearing the burqa and niqab as letterboxes, so he is obviously a populist nationalist under the surface, like the type of patriotism as promoted by Britain First.”
Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins
It comes after Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins were reported to have joined the party too.
Robinson told followers on online messaging service Telegram that he has become a paid-up member, saying:
“OK, I have just joined the Conservative Party.
“Good work everyone that went out and voted for the Conservatives today.
“We have just thwarted our country becoming a socialist dump.”
Meanwhile, tweets by Katie Hopkins – who was recently spotted at a Conservative party hustings – replied to a tweet by Conservative MP Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, saying:
“Your party? Hold on a minute sister. I think you will find it’s OUR party now. Britain has Boris and a blue collar army. Nationalism is back. British people first.”