Russian President Vladimir Putin is more worthy of respect than mainstream British politicians, according to controversial right-wing U.K. politician Nigel Farage.
The leader of the UK Independence Party, who has spoken of his admiration for Putin and dislike of European Union actions in Ukraine in the past, clarified his position at an event at London's Chatham House.
"I don't like him, I wouldn't trust him and I wouldn't want to live in his country, but compared with the kids who run foreign policy in this country, I've more respect for him," Farage said.
Putin has been criticized by many in the West after Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine. In recent weeks, the threat of sanctions which could damage the Russian economy, if further action against Ukrainian sovereignty is taken, has been wielded by Western powers.
Farage, who campaigns on an anti-EU platform has previously said that the region had "blood on its hands" over Ukraine, Syria and Libya.
He was criticized by Laura Sandys, a Conservative Member of Parliament facing a strong UKIP challenge to her seat in 2015's general election, for his support of the Russian President.
Farage and his party, derided for years by the established British political classes as right-wing "fruitcakes" and "closet racists" (in the words of Prime Minister David Cameron) have emerged as potentially the party with the third-largest share of the vote in the UK. This may not mean that they win any seats in Parliament because of the U.K.'s first-past-the-post system, although Farage is confident they will do well enough to get at least one seat. Under the first-past-the-post system, a candidate simply has to gain more votes than any rival in his or her constituency to become a Member of Parliament.
Polls suggest they may even be the largest party in this year's European elections. They havecapitalized on those who fall into the category of "the three Ds: dissatisfied; distrusting and disapproving," according to Joe Twyman of polling company YouGov.
"They are tapping into those left behind, mainly white, old men," according to Matthew Goodwin, co-author of Revolt on the Right: Explaining Public Support for the Radical Right in Britain.
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