New Ukip leader Richard Braine claims media is controlled by ‘traitor class’ conspiring against Brexit

Newly-installed UKIP leader Richard Braine speaks at a press conference at Church House in Westminster, London Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

New Ukip leader Richard Braine has claimed the press are being controlled by a “traitor class” which is “conspiring with foreign powers” against Brexit.

Mr Braine, who took the helm of the Eurosceptic party last week, said there was an "EU federalist class" controlling the media, as he lashed out at the "bias" in Brexit reporting.

Speaking at a press conference in Westminster, Mr Braine cited the change of editor at the Daily Mail and appointment of former deputy prime minister Sir Nick Clegg at Facebook.

“In the last three years we have seen a concerted effort in the media – we’ve seen Geordie Greig installed at the Daily Mail to make sure that it starts to toe the Remainer line,” he told reporters.

“The same thing has happened to some extent at the Express and we’ve seen Sir Nick Clegg getting a very, very well-paid job at Facebook to make sure that nobody can get away with saying what they shouldn’t say on Facebook.

"And we are seeing the press being controlled. You have a duty to be impartial and objective as journalists, so do that because the reporting of Brexit has been so biased for so long now.”

Pressed on who he thought was controlling the media, Mr Braine said: “I think they are being controlled by an EU federalist class – I mean I would go so far as to say a traitor class – people who are conspiring with foreign powers against the people of this country.

“If you look at, for instance, BBC Question Time panellists over the last three years… statistically it’s way off the scale in terms of bias. They hardly ever put real Leave supporters on that show.”

Mr Braine insisted he did not mind being called “Dick Braine”, after former chancellor George Osborne ridiculed his name.

“Keep it coming, I don’t care,” he said, despite admitting earlier this week that he was a “bit fed up” of the mocking.

In reference to Islamophobia, he called on communities to integrate.

“You can’t do that unless you actually have dialogue and address the differences in opinion, the differences in culture, the fault lines between the Balkanised areas, so that’s what we have to do,” Mr Braine said.

“It doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything. You can love someone without agreeing with them.”

Asked if that was how he felt about Muslims, he replied: “Yes.”

Mr Braine was also pressed on his previous claim that there are places in the country which are no-go areas for non-Muslims.

He said: “We know that, for instance, Savile Town there is almost nobody living there who isn’t Muslim, and I’ve heard and seen footage, on YouTube actually, of people being made to feel very uncomfortable in certain areas of east London.”

Mr Braine was elected as the new leader of Ukip on Saturday after taking more than half the vote.

In a ballot of members, the chairman of the party’s West London branch received 53% of the vote – more than double that of his closest rival.