UKIP has pledged to join forces with Steve Bannon’s new Foundation to boost the European far right movement.
Steve Bannon, the former Chief Adviser to President Trump, announced plans to launch a foundation for the far right in July 2018, as a direct counter-balance to the Open Society Foundations, giving the clearest indication of the potential for philanthropy in Europe to be politicised and ‘weaponised’.
Though UKIP MEPs will not be able to participate directly in the parliament because of Brexit, a spokesperson pledged that the party would share experience with Mr Bannon’s project to give it a leg up, stating they expected the group to have a ‘large impact’ on European politics and hoped for ‘a new army of eurosceptic MEPs’.
The foundation, which Bannon said would be called The Movement, will offer polling, advice on messaging and data targeting and research to a network of rightwing parties across Europe. In the past 12 months Bannon has met rightwing politicians across Europe, including UKIP’s former leader, Nigel Farage, members of Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National in France and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán. He recently told the Daily Beast that he envisioned a ‘supergroup’ within the European parliament that could supply as many as a third of MEPs after next May’s Europe-wide elections.