Sajid Javid has praised Nigel Farage for ignoring ‘thugs and racists’ in a speech against extremism.
Speaking at a ‘Confronting Extremism Together’ event, the Home Secretary said while the Brexit Party had not made his life any easier, “they are not extremists”.
The move is seen by some as an effort by Mr Javid and the Conservative Party as a whole to extend an olive branch to the Brexit Party and woo back some of the support they lost to Mr Farage’s party.
Mr Javid said Ukip had “floundered” since it had moved further right and accepted advice from EDL founder Tommy Robinson.
Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was last week jailed for contempt of court after live-streaming footage of defendants in the trial of sexual grooming gang in 2018.
Mr Javid added: “And we must give credit where credit is due. So I applaud Nigel Farage for walking away, calling Ukip ‘thugs and extremists’.
“Even though his Brexit Party has not made my life any easier, I want to be clear - they are not extremists.
“Because it doesn’t help to exaggerate the problem, to demonise anyone with a different view and to see danger when it is not there.”