Anti-Brexit campaigners have registered thebrexitparty.com — a website domain Nigel Farage intended to use for the new party.
The Brexit party was launched 20th January by former UKIP economics spokesperson Catherine Blaiklock, and registered with the UK Electoral Commission the next month — it can run candidates in any English, Scottish, Welsh and European Union elections as a result. However, its members evidently forgot to register a corresponding web address, and anti-Brexit Led By Donkeys seized the opportunity to ridicule the new venture. The group has a history of Led By Donkeys using political billboards to taunt the former UKIP leader.
The website also invites visitors to support the group by paying a £25 annual fee. The stunt is especially embarrassing for Farage, who quit UKIP in December 2018, as in March — when he took over as leader of the new initiative — he claimed the party was "virtual" and just "a website".
Tarnishing the Brand
Farage claims the endeavour is attracting sizeable support and has raised £750,000 in small donations over April alone.
He's also pledged to not let controversial figures "tarnish the brand" — although the ‘Brexit Party' has already run into some issues in that regard. Farage became leader in March after founder Blaiklock resigned, following widespread media criticism for posting messages some believed to be Islamophobic on social media — she also retweeted messages by controversial right-wing political figures such as Tommy Robinson, former BNP spokesperson Mark Collett and US talk show host Joe Walsh. During her brief spell as chief of the "virtual party", Blaiklock alleged the party raised £1 million in donations, and over 200 people approached her offering to stand for the party at the May 2019 European Parliament elections if the UK has not left the European Union by then. However, Private Eye has suggested many individuals who actually opposed Brexit had applied online as "candidates, activists or donors with false details" to waste the party's time.
Still, at time of writing The Brexit Party boasts nine MEPs — Tim Aker, Jonathan Bullock, David Coburn, Bill Etheridge, Nigel Farage, Nathan Gill, Julia Reid, Paul Nuttall and Diane James. All originally elected as UKIP candidates, they quit the party in protest over Gerard Batten's leadership, and continue to sit in the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group.