Key UKIP members including Young Independence South West Chairman Reece Coombes and fellow Kipper Central contributors Darrell Goodliffe, Damien Heads and Richard Inman of Veterans Against Terrorism found their Facebook accounts suspended today without any explanation from the social media platform.
These bans come on the same day that political activist Tommy Robinson had his Facebook and Instagram accounts taken down. Mr Robinson posted a documentary entitled Panodrama which alleges a link between the BBC series Panorama and far-left campaigning organisation Hope Not Hate. The documentary also features an undercover recording of BBC reporter John Sweeney.
It is understood that the documentary reached over one million views on the platform before the page hosting it was taken down.
UKIP Leader Gerard Batten said,
"Without any explanation whatsoever, the personal Facebook accounts of key UKIP members and Tommy Robinson have been removed. I am sure it is no coincidence that this is happening within 24 hours of the release of the Panodrama documentary.
"I would expect critical media outlets to be shut down in tin-pot dictatorships, not the United Kingdom. If anything, it is a sign that UKIP and other voices are causing a stir on social media which deeply concerns the political establishment.
"I call on Facebook to reinstate all of the accounts as soon as possible and I wish to re-state UKIP's commitment to freedom of speech and expression. UKIP is the only party interested in genuine free speech and countering the politically correct MSM narrative. We are moving into a dark place in our national life, and if people are concerned, they need to support those who defend their traditional rights and freedoms."