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19 Jan, 2017 13:16

Britain’s answer to Breitbart? UKIP donor launches ‘Westmonster’ website

Britain’s answer to Breitbart? UKIP donor launches ‘Westmonster’ website

Multimillionaire UKIP donor Arron Banks, who bankrolled one of the major Brexit campaigns, has launched a right-wing ‘news’ website called Westmonster, which is expected to peddle his 'anti-establishment' agenda.

The site is co-owned by Michael Heaver, a former press adviser to ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage. It launched on Wednesday night with a welcome message stating the establishment had “taken one hell of a beating” in 2016 and encouraging readers to “stick around.”

The website is expected to echo the provocative tone of US far-right site Breitbart and publish some original news content as well as enlisting celebrities and backbench MPs.

In its first posting, a page titled ‘Welcome to Westmonster’ states: “What an incredible year 2016 was! Seismic political change swept the world, first with Brexit, followed by the election of Donald Trump as US president. The establishment took one hell of a beating.

“The pundits got it wrong. The polls got it wrong. 2016 truly was a victory for ordinary people. 2017 might just be even bigger.”

It says Westmonster is “part of a growing movement in the UK and right across the world that wants to see radical political change.”

Its first “exclusive,” an article written by Farage, accuses the British government of being “flat footed” following the results of the Brexit vote and the US election.

Other articles on the site include one headlined ‘Brits want Burka banned’, and ‘‘Fake News’ BuzzFeed miss the mark with lame UKIP story’. Another is about Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech on Tuesday which condemns “remoaners” for trying to subvert the will of the people.

Banks has donated millions to Brexit campaigns and is expected to use the 800,000 Facebook followers from Leave.EU, which he co-founded, to boost traffic to his new site.

By Thursday morning, Westmonster had accumulated almost 5,000 followers.

The website’s launch comes a day before the inauguration of Donald Trump, an event likely to be attended by Farage and Banks.