President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist has announced that he is launching a new foundation aimed at supporting Right-wing populist causes across Europe.
Entitled The Movement, the group led by Steve Bannon will aim to lead a revolt across the continent starting with the European parliament elections next spring.
Mr Bannon, the former editor of Breitbart and a close ally of Nigel Farage, confirmed the news to The Daily Beast.
Since being forced out of the White House in August 2017, Mr Bannon has been travelling around Europe supporting Right-wing political groups.
“I’d rather reign in hell, than serve in heaven,” he said, paraphrasing John Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost.
In March he flew to Italy ahead of elections that saw populist parties claim about half the vote. He then spoke at a nationalist rally in Zurich, where he also reportedly met Alice Weidel, one of the leaders of Alternative for Germany, a far-right party that now is the largest opposition faction in Germany’s parliament.
In France he spoke in Lille and attended the party congress of the far-right National Front, where he delivered a keynote address, throwing his support behind Marine Le Pen.
In May he was back, speaking in Hungary after the re-election of Viktor Orban, the country’s right-wing leader.
Mr Bannon’s new non-profit organisation will be a central source of polling, advice on messaging, data targeting, and think-tank research, he told the website.
He said he wants his organisation to rival George Soros’s Open Society, which has given away $32 billion to largely liberal causes since it was established in 1984.
Mr Bannon said he envisions a Right-wing “supergroup” within the European Parliament that could attract as many as a third of the MPs after next May’s Europe-wide elections.
A united populist bloc of that size would have the ability to seriously disrupt parliamentary proceedings, potentially granting Mr Bannon huge power within the populist movement.
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