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Turning Point UK

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Turning Point UK is a right-wing activist organisation formed by Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, and is currently chaired by George Farmer, son of a prominent Conservative Party donor.[2]

Its funding is anonymous and mysterious: backer John Mappin said "Well, the whole idea is to stay anonymous. That's how they do it in the United States. It actually doesn't matter who funds it because it’s about the ideas."[2]

History[edit]

Turning Point UK, as well as being the British sister of Turning Point USA, was founded as an attempt to capitalise on youth dissatisfaction with political parties in much the same way that Momentum and Moggmentum took off. The group's aims were to shape the next generation of Conservative Party politicians with Trump-style nationalist ideals; support for a hard Brexit and fostering distrust of a "socialist bias" in university education and the media among teenagers dissatisfied with Theresa May's Premiership. Among its early sponsors were former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and 19th-century demagogue Jacob Rees-Mogg.[2] Soon after its founding, however, the group began to suffer from internal divides, as its ideals were found to be unpopular among many teenagers, who began setting up so many convincing parodist accounts Turning Point UK inadvertently condemned its own legitimate accounts.[1] In addition, the domain tpointuk.com was registered (the real domain is .co.uk) and turned into a page advocating for anarcho-communism and situationism, and as of July 2019 it is on the first page when "tpointuk" is searched for. A further hit was from Conservative Party members, who objected to Farage's involvement in a time where right-wing activist groups were already becoming an issue.[3] Already faced with increasingly-aggressive right-wing activism throughout 2018 and fearing a right-ward push would doom them in the next election, the Conservative Party banned its members from associating with the group, leading to Farmer criticising them for wanting to "control the narrative about right-wing politics in the UK".[2]

Personnel[edit]

  • Charlie Kirk of its American parent organisation Turning Point is closely involved in setting up the UK operation.[2]
  • Candace Owens, Kirk's American business partner, has spoken at a Turning Point UK event.[2]
  • Tom Harwood of Guido Fawkes's blog briefly featured in videos for the organisation, then decided to dissociate himself from the campaign.[2]
  • Darren Grimes, previously fined £20,000 for campaign finance irregularities during the Brexit referendum campaign, is on the social media team.[2][4]
  • Oliver Anisfeld, chief executive in the UK; his father owns a salmon smokehouse.[2]
  • George Farmer, UK chairman, son of Lord (Michael) Farmer, a "devout Christian" and commodities trader who has give over £8m to the Conservative Party.[2] He is a member of upper-class students dining club the Bullingdon Club, whose past members include David Cameron and Boris Johnson; he was social secretary and later treasurer of Oxford University's Conservative Association, at the time when the group was suspended from association with the university after another candidate asked members their favourite racist joke and least favourite minority; it is rumored that George's father bankrolled the association during its separation from the university. Owens' fiancé.[5]
  • John Mappin, who is involved in some unspecified way: he is a 54-year-old scientologist who awarded Trump an honorary knighthood (generally it's only the British monarch who can award knighthoods) and in 2018 declared his support for the QAnon conspiracy theories, saying "Q IS 100% VALID".[2]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Wired - "How an army of farcical fakes ruined Turning Point UK's big day".
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Buzzfeed — "Days After Its Disastrous British Launch, Turning Point Has Already Lost One Of Its Star Recruits".
  3. Independent - "Far-right 'yellow vest' Brexiteers chase Anna Soubry shouting 'traitor' and 'Hitler'".
  4. Darren Grimes: the pro-Brexit student activist fined £20k, The Guardian, 17 July 2018
  5. Who are the students of Turning Point UK? The group FINALLY taking uni back from lefties, Greg Barradale, The Tab, 5 Feb 2019