The right-wing populist UK Independence Party, or UKIP, recently defended one of its Members of the European Parliament for telling its youth wing to emulate Adolf Hitler's oratory style.
According to the Daily Mail, Bill Etheridge, an MEP from the West Midlands, described the infamous Nazi leader as a "magnetic and forceful public speaker who achieved a great deal," specifically citing Hitler's rhetorical technique at the Nuremberg rallies as a good example of captivating public speaking.
"When Hitler gave speeches, and many of the famous ones were at rallies, at the start he walks, back and forth, looked at people - there was a silence, he waited minutes just looking out at people, fixing them with his gaze," Etheridge is quoted as saying.
"They were looking back and he would do it for a while. And then they were so desperate for him to start, when he started speaking they were hanging on his every word."
A spokesman for the UKIP defended Etheridge's comments, according to BBC, saying that "Bill Etheridge gave a seminar on public speaking and highlighted great speakers of the past, like Churchill, Blair, Martin Luther King and Hitler as people whose style, not content, could be studied."
The controversy surrounding Etherege's admiration of Hitler's public speaking is the latest red flag associated with the UKIP. The UKIP was founded in 1993, whose platform was dedicated to removing Britain from the EU. Current British Prime Minister David Cameron once described the party as "fruitcakes and closet racists."
However, the party began entering mainstream British and European politics under Nigel Farage's stewardship, beginning in 2006.
In May 2013, UKIP candidates won nearly a quarter of the vote in Britain's local council elections and received the greatest number of votes of any British party in the 2014 European Parliament elections.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now