Ex-Ukip leader backs candidate who once said homosexuality should be illegal and whose Republican Senate run-off opponent is backed by Donald Trump
Nigel Farage will speak in Fairhope, Alabama on Monday night, in support of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
The Guardian has learned that the former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party( Ukip) will join former White House advisor Steve Bannon and Duck Dynasty TV star Phil Robertson at an election eve rally.
Moore, a fierce opponent of gay wedding who denounced “sodomy” in prepared statements in a televised debate, is in a tight race against appointed incumbent Luther Strange, for the Republican nomination for a Senate seat formerly held by Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump's attorney general.
Farage is a longtime Trump ally. He appeared with Trump in an August 2016 rally in Jackson, Mississippi and appeared in the spin room in St Louis after the second presidential debate in October, touting Trump's performance. On the campaign trail, Farage regularly compared Trump's capture of the White House to the successful effort to push the UK out of the European Union. In return, Trump has urged “ministers ” Theresa May to construct Farage ambassador to the US.
However, Trump has endorsed Strange, with whom he appeared in Huntsville on Friday night. Trump sang the praises of “Big Luther” but conceded that his endorsement “may have been a mistake” and promised to campaign with Moore if the controversial former country supreme court chief justice wins on Tuesday.
The race has pitted Trump against much of his support base. Moore, who has the support of Sarah Palin and former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka , among others, is a profoundly controversial figure, twice removed as Alabama chief justice. A vocal foe of lesbian rights, he has even suggested that homosexuality should be illegal.
In March, he told the Guardian the US could be described as” the focus of evil in the modern world” because” we promote a lot of bad things “. He specifically named same-sex wedding as one such” bad thing “.
In contrast, Strange has been seen as a dependable vote for Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and has benefited from more than$ 9m spent on his behalf by a Super Pac tied to the Kentucky senator.
Farage is expected to say his appearance is “pro-Trump” and an attempt to help the president deliver on his campaign promises and avoid the traps of the Washington ” swamp “. As one Farage ally said:” Nigel has lots of experience in repulsing establishment figures who have tried to take over his populist nationalist agenda .”
A source close to Bannon described this as” the next iteration of the war against[ the] political class and establishment” and said the Alabama special election was the next stage of” the international revolt by the working class and political upper-clas”, following Brexit and the 2016 US presidential election.
The Bannon ally said a win in Alabama would define the stage for primary fightings in 2018 in states including Nevada, Mississippi, Tennessee and Arizona.
Farage's appearance was brokered in part by a former aide, Raheem Kassam, who now works in the US for Breitbart, the Bannon-led rightwing website.
Read more: www.theguardian.com