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UKIP Campaigners Spotted Taking Pictures With Britain First Candidate In Rochester

Britain First claimed it was a gesture of support, but a UKIP spokesperson told BuzzFeed News "a mistake of this nature will not happen again".

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UKIP activists campaigning for Mark Reckless in Rochester were spotted posing happily for a picture with Britain First's parliamentary candidate.

Britain First / Via Facebook: britainfirstgb

The UKIP activists, pictured wearing the party’s purple rosettes, were campaigning for Mark Reckless ahead of next month’s by-election in Rochester and Strood when they stopped to take a picture with Britain First's Jayda Fransen.

Fransen, one of the far-right party's more active members, told BuzzFeed News she often received support from UKIP. She said: "They were expressing their support of us and saying that they support our work and think we're great and follow us online – so then someone said, 'Let's get a picture together.'

She admitted that Britain First was unlikely to win many votes, and said she was encouraging people to vote for UKIP because she believes it has similar policies.

"We were campaigning and they were doing a bit of campaigning that day as well so we were just having a chat about how our policies are very similar to UKIP's, in fact they almost mirror them," she said.

Britain First leader Paul Golding echoed Fransen, saying: "There's not much difference in policy, but we're much more street-activist orientated and they're more politically orientated."

"We face hostilities from the old parties, especially on Saturday in Rochester but we don't face hostility from UKIP," he added. "Every time we see them, they say, 'You're great."

But a UKIP spokesman told BuzzFeed News that the party's campaigners were misguided. He said: "We have no connection with Britain First and reject any association with them. A handful of our 200 campaigners on Saturday were photographed by Britain First without understanding the nature of the group and regret that very much.

"They were identified, contacted, advised, and accepted all the sensible undertakings we asked for. A mistake of this nature will not happen again."

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.

Contact Jamie Ross at jamie.ross@buzzfeed.com.

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