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Open Letter to the Editor of UKIP Daily

Dear Editor

On returning home this New Year from the festive holiday season and going through the collection of post accumulated on my doormat which had arrived just a little too late to reach me before Christmas, I came upon the latest edition of ‘Independence Magazine’. As I made my progress through the magazine, I swallowed hard, held my nose and braced myself to read the address by our erstwhile “Interim” Party Chairman.

He couldn’t resist making a triumphalist sideswipe against the significant proportion of party members who had voted for Anne Marie Waters in the leadership election. I didn’t vote for Anne Marie Waters but still felt alienated by his remarks. That wasn’t the major issue though. The major issue is:

Why is he still there?

In the last issue of Independence in August, prior to the leadership election, Oakden stated:

“Before the end of the year UKIP will have a different Chairman – and it will do so with my absolute blessing. Contrary to popular belief, being Chairman was never an ambition of mine, and having now done the job for a year I can tell you it’s even less of an ambition to keep it!”

Let’s remember, Paul Oakden was only ever supposed to be an Interim Chairman. He was appointed following Steve Crowther and Nigel Farage’s resignations after the referendum, on the understanding he would stand down on the announcement of the new party leader – that would have been the election of Diane James. He was insistent back then that he didn’t want or relish the job. 18 months later he’s still there!

Readers may remember – this is the man who used the Independence Magazine to brand contributions to this site as

“the ill-informed rantings of rather lonely doom-sayers, sitting at home in their underpants, frantically tapping away at their laptops.”

It was a stunningly unprofessional outburst. What a media frenzy there would be if the Chairman of the Conservative Party made comments like about his internal party critics or contributors to the Conservative Home website! The Chairman is effectively the party’s Chief Operating Officer. Can you imagine a senior executive of a big company using such unbefitting language?

He particularly targeted his ire at those spreading rumours that he earned over £100K. Following this, a contributor to this site calculated, based on the limited amount of information publicly available, that Oakden had earned somewhat closer to £200K in the previous 12 months from his various party-related incomes. Indeed, it was Oakden’s employment by Roger Helmer while at the same time being a party officer, contrary to EU law, that forced Helmer’s resignation as an MEP. Oakden appears to have been very handsomely remunerated while the party was in a dire financial situation and staff in Newton Abbott were losing their jobs or being forced to take pay cuts!

I have only had the briefest personal encounter with Paul Oakden. At the 2016 second leadership hustings in Newport, I noticed him chatting with a female member of the Bridgend branch, so walked over and introduced myself. He responded with a sniffy “We’ve met”, (which was peculiar because we never had) and immediately turned his back and high-tailed it across the room. I was left quite speechless and sad that it seemed to confirm the suspicions that I had about the kind of a personality he was.

I wouldn’t be so bad if he were talented, energetic and highly effective in the role. Oakden has done nothing to professionalise the party. He has only sent us glib emails telling us the party is in great shape and nothing’s wrong – even though it’s blatantly obviously not the case – or used his position to have a sneering dig at critics of the leadership. The organisational work which Henry Bolton is doing now is that which a good party Chairman should have a done a long time ago.

Oakden’s tenure has coincided with a catastrophic collapse of the party and its fortunes – though the blame for that cannot entirely be placed at his door. He was left effectively in charge of the party following the simultaneous resignations of the Leader, Deputy Leader and previous Chairman, with all the gravitas of the office tea-boy and commanding about as much respect. Witness him at conference and at conference and hustings, trying to raise his voice to declare, “That’s not how we do things in UKIP”, while the assembled members chatted among themselves, moved around and headed to the bar.

So why has a new Chairman not yet been appointed? It can’t be that we’re waiting for the NEC to meet. It’s been over 3 months since Bolton was elected. Are they wrangling over Oakden’s golden handshake? Can Bolton not find anyone willing to do the job? How’s about Ben Walker, who proclaimed his desire to sack the Chairman to loud hustings cheers and told us he didn’t need to draw a salary from the party?

This may seem like an obsessive rant about just one man, but to me Paul Oakden is a symbol of the malaise – a representative of the small cabal at the top of UKIP, appointed by patronage and cronyism, doggedly hanging on to control, while the party sinks into irrelevance and dies a slow death; looking down their noses at those pesky little members who want to actually have some input in how the party is run rather than just cheering at conference; who regard any criticism as back-stabbing and do everything in their power to see off the threat of any challenger or ideas from outside their group – because it’s their party.

When Henry Bolton got elected, I wrote to my Branch Chairman listing the things I would need to see change in UKIP for me to renew my membership when it comes up in April. One of those things was a new Chairman. At this rate, I won’t be renewing.

Kind regards, Comrade K

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About Comrade K (38 Articles)
Part of the London diaspora, Comrade K. now lives in exile in Cardiff, where he is active in his local UKIP branch. He has come a circuitous political route from enjoying winding-up leftists at school, but then, because he thought the ‘60s seemed really cool even though he wasn’t there, indulging revolutionary socialist fantasies during his student years, even going so extreme as becoming a Labour party activist for several years. K. however eventually came round to sense and, despite being seduced by some green philosophies which he still hasn’t entirely repudiated, realised that free-thinking, intelligence and individuality is something entirely different to mindlessly repeating what all his trendy friends and celebrity icons told him … plus he found that going along with feminism didn’t get him girlfriends after all.

59 Comments on Open Letter to the Editor of UKIP Daily

  1. This may seem somewhat trivial although I feel it relevant. Mr Oakden had regularly promised a proportion of member’s subscriptions would be paid to local branches. This promise was initially made before my time as chairman but the promise guarantee was kicked into the long grass whenever anyone queried when this promise would actually be honoured.

    Now we have a £5 rise in membership with £3.50 of this possibly be returned to branches! I feel they must think those who have been promised monies from renewals are idiots and we won’t see through this cunning ruse!

    Furthermore they still haven’t refunded my candidate’s half deposit from June despite being asked numerous times. It was the last straw for me and when I formally quit at the branch AGM I will ask the branch to refund with pretty much the last 250 we have as it is a point of principle.

    • Count yourself lucky you got any funding for deposits at all! I had no funding from central, no funding from branch, and no thanks from either when I lost the £500! Of course candidates’ own campaign funding doesn’t count as part of party donations, so if you donate £1,000 to the central party you are a hero, get to be a patron, go to dinners with the big shots, if you pay £1,000 to fund a campaign as a party member you get nothing, no credit. I always thought this was really dumb, surely they could collate all the electoral spending returns and add them up to see the real extent of party financing activity. But no, it is only people who curry favour with HQ that get any credit or thanks.

  2. This whole debate is extraordinary.

    The longer Oakden remains in post the bigger the questions become. Now Bickley has put his oar in and in his usual combative style, has fallen over himself to cover up Oakden’s remuneration by ramming the rulebook down everyone’s throat. Although he can argue he is legally correct this does nothing to stop the rumour mills about everything.

    If Henry Who is still trying to figure out why so many longstanding Kippers have been quitting, he might want to have a word with his Treasurer about his pugnacious bedside attitude.

    Please don’t shoot the messenger, but while surfing UKIP related info just before Christmas I stumbled on a report that seemed to suggest Oakden is a member of Common Purpose. Unfortunately I carried on following links without taking note where that original report came from, so if anybody else saw it I’d love to know from where. Surely with all its other problems UKIP doesn’t need THAT one.

    • If you look in your browser history for that date, you should find your link, and if you do, please share!
      I tried googling for this earlier, and apart from Suzanne Evans and Jane Collins unfortunately sharing the same name as Common Purpose graduates (and thus suffering from mistaken identity), couldn’t see anything about Paul Oakden.
      Common Purpose is a real threat to the stability of our country, if not the world. The more I have been reading about it today, this organisation is probably more of a threat to our way of life than Islam is at present.
      I note with interest that in my google results there were a couple of articles here on UKIP Daily dating back to 2014 and 2015, where commenters agreed that this should be something for UKIP to take up and challenge. Yet here we are in 2018 now, and I do not recall UKIP doing any speaking out about this organisation or acknowledging that something was wrong.

  3. Lawyers.
    Rule books.
    Dictators manage without them. Leaders usually walk over them.

  4. To think that I once had faith in UKIP, where now I feel shame. Mr Bolton is not fit to run an ice cream van let alone a political party. As a Christian I am ending my membership with this ridiculous leadership and the party. Farage should never have left the Brexit battlefield, but at least UKIP can be put out of its misery with the latest shameful episode. Bolton, you are a creep and hopefully the last of the last of the latest UKIP ‘leaders’

  5. This excellent article is spot on, particularly the line “The major issue is: Why is he still there?” Many, many members I know share the view that their membership renewal, when it comes up, is conditional on Oakden being gone by then. May I add, though, that when the then NEC members (several of us reluctantly) voted to ratify Oakden’s appointment as Interim Chairman, and expressly in a way which made his appointment expire the moment Diane James was elected, Oakden did not merely say that he did not want the job. He categorically assured us that even if the new Leader (who then turned out to be Diane James) asked him to take on the job after his 6 week Interim period expired, he would absolutely not be prepared to take it and would decline. The appointment of the Chairman is in the gift of the Leader, with the consent of the NEC. Whether appointments made by the Leader subject to the consent of the NEC can be terminated by either the Leader or the NEC unilaterally withdrawing their respective consent, or whether they have to be terminated by both the Leader acting and the NEC consenting, has in practice been a treated as a gray area, rightly or wrongly. But the initiative invariably comes from the Leader. So the ball is in Henry’s court. I suspect that Henry’s latest troubles have likely strengthened Oakden’s position due to his propensity to say with a straight face that everything is OK when it obviously isn’t, and others near Henry less likely to be sugar coating it.

    • I suspect there is no other candidate willing to do the job who Henry wants?

      • Henry was so critical of the “mess he found” when he became leader (if you believe him then there was nowt but a wasteland, UKIP HQ looked like Wall Street on 9-11, devastated and barren), so critical of the infrastructure and inability to communicate. He pointed out that “interim means what it says on the tin”. Apparently not! Isn’t the chairman the chief operating officer responsible for all that awful infrastructure? I think Henry should at least explain his about-turn as it is such an extraordinary reversal for no apparent reason.

    • Dear Tomaz,

      There is no ‘grey’ area: the chairman’s role is in the gift of the Leader. The NEC would need to have solid grounds on which to reject the Leader’s recommendation which would result in a very messy EGM. Rejecting the Leader’s chairman would be seen by many as the NEC rejecting the Leader, so it’s a potential minefield should the NEC believe the Leader’s recommendation is ‘suspect’.

      Personal opinions about individuals cannot cloud what needs to be an objective, evidence based assessment of someone’s suitability for a given role. In respect of the Chairman position the Leader is in the driving seat:

      7.3.1 The Party Leader:

      b) shall, subject to the approval of the NEC, appoint a Party Chairman; in the event of a refusal to approve the appointment, the Party Leader may request that the matter be referred to an EGM of the party;

      • The Constitution is very clear and states as you have quoted “The Party Leader shall, subject to the approval of the NEC, appoint a Party Chairman”. The appointment is within the gift of the Leader, but this is subject to the approval of the NEC, which is within the sole gift of the NEC. The NEC can give such approval, or not, as the NEC sees fit. The Leader can then go to an EGM if he wants to, or not. If he does (and he does not have to, indeed in practice, he would do so only in the most exceptional circumstances, he would be much more likely to look for a more mutually acceptable candidate instead), the EGM can then approve the appointment, if it wants to, or not.

        The rest of your derivation is speculation with which I do not agree.

        NEC members are company directors and have to exercise independent judgment. They are not only not required to rubber stamp the Leader’s proposals (as you imply), they are required not to.

        The claim that rejecting the Leader’s proposal for Chairman is the same as rejecting the Leader is manipulative tosh. It is perfectly normal for supervisory bodies to reject executive proposals if the proposals are bad and to ask the executives to try again, that is what they are there for. The executives would be expected to respond professionally and not take personal offence or take a such refusal as personal rejection.

        It is high time for the Party to have a suitable permanent Party Chairman, indeed this is well overdue.

    • Do your really ( I mean REALLY !? ) think that UKIP’s problems are more attributable to Paul Oakden than to Henry Bolton ?
      Whatever the infelicities of management arrangements which hamper UKIP may be ~ they are surely no different / greater now from what they were during Nigel’s tenure as Leader.
      Nevertheless as Leader he commanded the headlines and the debate – you could say from 2013 to 2016 he actually commanded the British political scene.
      How ? Because he possessed clarity of mind and purpose about what he was attempting to achieve.
      And he had clarity of expression, and argument.
      Remember his debates on TV with Nick Clegg ?
      Where he was universally acclaimed as having wiped the floor with the Deputy Prime Minister ?
      Was his ability to do that in any way hampered by the management issues / NEC issues real or imagined at Head Office ?
      If you have clarity of MIND about what you wish to do with your Leadership position, rôle, pulpit whatever you like to call it ~ then you can do it.

      Concentrating your fire and your attention on Paul Oakden seems to me to be deckchair re arranging of an high order.
      rhys burriss
      ( UKIP Candidate Bishop Auckland 2015 [ 17% ] ).

      • I do believe that until his Marney-gate fiasco, Henry Bolton was not responsible for any of UKIP’s problems. He became Leader from obscurity not a very long time ago. So had this scandal not taken place, there was really not much to blame him for. At worst, we could have accused him of being too slow to move; on the other hand, one could have said that he was taking his time to make carefully considered decisions, which isn’t a bad thing.

        Unfortunately, I think we can now safely conclude that he does not, in fact, necessarily make important decisions with careful consideration!

        So yes, unfortunately, now I believe that he is damaging the Party by carrying on. The most responsible thing, in my opinion, for him to do would be to admit that in a moment of foolishness he made a fatal mistake, accept responsibility and resign immediately with effect at some date in the medium term future (perhaps a couple of months) to provide the Party with some stability during the transition period to a new Leader. And then provide responsible interim stewardship and avoid further scandal! Normally, this is the job of the Interim Leader, but the Interim Leadership period is very time limited and the Party needs more stability than that – at least until after the local elections in May. The last Leadership election was immensely destructive to the Party and the next one will be too. It would not be ideal to have a Leadership election campaign before May. Stability is also needed in order to fight for Brexit (unfortunately, Henry’s credibility has been critically wounded by his scandal, so he is in my view hampered from being the one to champion this). It is a real shame that he has damaged himself so badly for such a silly reason.

        Oakden, on the other hand, has been Crowther’s right hand man for years, and as such, he has a lot to answer for. If there is one thing Henry could do to repent for his sin, it would be to replace Oakden with a suitable Chairman immediately.

    • Oakden; a true carpetbagger who was only ever in it for the money.

      Now there is a scandal involving Henry; UKIP needs to be more careful about vetting its officers.

  6. I’m happy to wait and see what happens; I’m hanging in to get us out of the EU. That’s all that matters, and UKIP together is the only way it will happen.

    Paul Oakden has done a good job in difficult times, his comments in the magazine show he still has much to give.

    • Agreed. Paul, like Steve before him, is making the best of a poisoned challice job.

      • But Rob, who is pouring the poison into the chalice if it isn’t the leader or chairman? From whence does this mysterious power emanate?

        • The NEC and the Leader may frequently have differing points of view, e.g. Halal slaughter under Nigel. Both are validly elected by the membership. The chairman has to attempt to reconcile both factions, which can often be near impossible. I have written at length on this before…

  7. Beverley Roberts // January 5, 2018 at 5:58 pm // Reply

    I too am wondering why Paul Oakden is still in post as Interim Chairman. I remember, as if it were yesterday, a meeting which took place at Lakeside, Frimley, Surrey on the 11th March 2017. The meeting was for all Branch Chairmen in the South East. As I’m not a Branch Chairman, strictly speaking I shouldn’t have been there. However, as we have two dysfunctional branches in Berkshire, I went along to represent those branches. In my view it was a mistake to restrict that meeting to Branch Chairmen. Some Branch Chairmen are activists, but the majority are not. UKIP is nothing without its activists, and often the activists are people who do not hold official positions. UKIP officials present at the meeting were Tim Scott (Regional Chairman), Paul Oakden (National Chairman) and Norman Matthews (N.W. Organiser).Paul invited questions and comments from the Branch Chairmen. Whilst over twenty questions were asked, and all were assiduously written down by Norman Matthews, remarkably few were answered. So while ostensibly the meeting was to answer questions and comments from Branch Chairmen, in effect it was a pre-prepared monologue, over an hour long, by Paul Oakden,
    on why nothing was going to change. Douglas Carswell wasn’t going to be expelled from the Party. He couldn’t be expelled because he hadn’t broken any rules.Paul Nuttall was going to continue as Party Leader. UKIP wasn’t going to take up the offer made by Arron Banks to fund the Party properly and have it professionally run, because there were strings attached to the offer. One of those conditions was that Arron Banks should be appointed as Party Chairman. Paul Oakden played down the amount of money that Arron Banks had given to the Party, and said that Alan Bown had been the biggest donor. Events moved on. Douglas Carswell left UKIP. Paul Nuttall resigned as Party Leader. So in spite of Paul Oakden’s lengthy monologue on why nothing was going to change, things did change. The only thing which is left as unfinished business is Arron Bank’s offer. Every activist that I know would welcome the opportunity to play their part in a political party which is properly funded and professionally run. The Party Leader appoints the Party Chairman, but that the appointment must be approved by the NEC. The Party Leader does not have the power to get rid of the NEC. I am no fan at all of the NEC. Paul Oakden uses a spurious argument when he says that the NEC has been elected by the Party members. Many Party members do not vote, and those that do have little or no knowledge of the people they are voting for. When Henry Bolton was appointed I was worried that he was in a similar position to that of Donald Trump. He’d got the top job, but would be unable to implement the changes which are needed because of the way that the constitution is written. If Arron Banks being Chairman is too much for the NEC to swallow, perhaps someone else who is endorsed by Arron Banks could be made Party Chairman? Nigel would be able to advise. I believe he was quite good at bamboozling the NEC. I reiterate, every activist that I know would welcome the opportunity to play their part in a political party which is properly funded and professionally run. It isn’t possible to win in politics without money. Beggars can’t be choosers and UKIP is financially broke. We need Arron and his money if we are to get anywhere. Before the Leadership Election I was told which would be the candidates which would bring about change, and which would be the ones where it would be business as usually. Henry was not mentioned, as at the time he was a rank outsider. I’m beginning to fear that we’ve got business as usual.

    • Chairman Mao had a truck to deal with criticism of his regime. He had the newspapers launch a “hundred flowers bloom” campaign encouraging everyone to speak up their criticism. After everyone had said their piece, he had them round up and disappear to the gulag. I wonder if that is why ukip daily is tolerated….

      • Dear Graham,
        Surely you can’t be right? I thought UKIP was the champion of free speech? I thought I was cynical, but your cynicism is in a different league. I can only aspire to be more like you!

    • Alan Bown has indeed, by far, been the oarty’s most generous behaviour.

      As for Aaron, I will not break NEC confidentiality, but if yiu look at his press statements, he seems a tad too volatile.

      • Oops ed please correct –

        “Alan Bown has indeed, by far, been the party’s most generous donor.

        As for Aaron, I will not break NEC confidentiality, but if you look at his press statements, he seems a tad too volatile.”

    • Dear Beverley,

      It’s simple. No party member, elected rep or officer (including the Leader) has the authority to run the Party outside of the rules of the constitution, the members’ approved constitution.

      If the members want the Party to be run by a Leader who unilaterally appoints an unelected, unaccountable to the members oligarchy then go for it (sounds like the EU commission though doesn’t it and I thought UKIP wanted to be bring democracy back to the UK).

      Any member in ‘good standing’ can stand for NEC election – how democratic is that. No other party allows ordinary members to be elected like UKIP does to run the party.

      When there are elections all members receive an Indy Mag wherein the candidates set out their stall. The party can take the horse to water………!

      If the Leader want to appoint Arron as chairman then he can propose it to the NEC. However, the chairman’s role is a full on, full time role. No one believes Arron has either the bandwidth or interest to do that.

      And if you want an individual to bankroll the party then good luck with expecting that person to not run it in a way that doesn’t suit them. They will call the shots, even telling the Leader how high to jump. And what happens when they tire or get bored of being the party’s sugar daddy – collapse!

      Henry’s appointment (his unique CV and ‘man of substance’ moniker) was the new start the party needed. Others have commented on recent events so there’s nothing to say. The party is bigger than any one individual and one way or another we have to stay in the game as the tide will turn in our favour at some point.

      • Beverley Roberts // January 6, 2018 at 5:08 pm // Reply

        Dear John,
        I agree completely with your last sentence. The tide will turn at the end of March 2019, when Nigel returns to front line politics in the UK. Nigel is a household name. No one else in UKIP has achieved that. The four million people who voted UKIP in 2015 were voting for Nigel. Now that Nigel has been working as an LBC presenter for a year, his personal following will be much bigger than just 4 million people. There is no one better than Nigel for long term strategic thinking. Nigel will return to front-line politics in the UK in fifteen months time. Recently an EFDD leaflet was sent out by Royal Mail. As far as I can ascertain it went to every household in Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. It was also sent to the whole of Wales and the North East. It was a Nigel and Ray Finch initiative, and will have had a far bigger impact than anything UKIP can achieve. UKIP does not have the money for that sort of action. I reiterate, you cannot get anywhere in politics without money.

  8. John, as an NEC member, as you have already confirmed that the GE17 manifesto was properly approved, can you also confirm that therefore the leader cannot simply roll back to the GE15 manifesto without getting NEC approval to do so, and as we don’t have access to minutes of NEC meetings, has such approval been given? Thank you.

  9. Purple Potty Mouth // January 5, 2018 at 12:52 pm // Reply

    Have heard on the grapevine that more than one person has been asked if they would take on the role of chairman and declined. It’s in the leaders gift remember. I really don’t know if Ben is one of those, I agree with you he’d be good, as would Henry have been if say David Kurten had won and appointed him.
    If true then Paul is chairman by default, not malign design.

    • You are absolutely right, in my view. The job is now full time, unpaid, and as of recently, involves handling the public circus of the leader’s mid life crisis. Sound attractive? No, I thought not..

    • As Ben is openly calling for Henry’s resignation, my guess is he’s out of the running…..

  10. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,
    the question is, will heaven direct it ?

  11. The constitution is clear:

    7.3.1 The Party Leader:

    b) shall, subject to the approval of the NEC, appoint a Party Chairman; in the event of a refusal to approve the appointment, the Party Leader may request that the matter be referred to an EGM of the party;

  12. Crikey, another most interesting letter on UD !

    In my experience Comrade K, troubles like these, to which you also are commenting upon now, can be answered by “following the money”.

    Henry’s media issues with his attractive young blonde are the least of his worries. I suggest his lack of income linked with the safe and sound gravy train income of the 20 MEPs is where the real story is. I was only a member for 3 years, but this was long enough for me to smell where the problems emanated from, but brief enough for me to not waste to much time on studying all the gory details.

    Maybe future comments on here from others will reveal more.

    We will see.

  13. One way or another, I predict that it will be “new Year, New Party”.

  14. Say what you like about Oakden and personally I’m no fan but he did hold the party together under circumstances most of us felt to be hugely embarrassing and whilst we were all acting like headless chickens. The sainted Nigel did that by dumping us immediatly after the referendum. He is certainy a great man but that hurt.
    I doubt Ben Walker would serve or be much better if he did. Having unpaid leaders is not a good idea, Chairman and leader should at the very least get a living wage. Unless they are rich, in which case they could “buy” the party, they can only be part timers at best.

    • “but that hurt.” Not as much as his back did, I bet! He needed his R’n’R…

      • Yes, but what was Nuttall and Crowther’s excuses then? Nigel was in a plane crash and hurt his back, they weren’t. Having all three bale at same time was the worst possible signal.

  15. Even Henry Bolton said that PO was only to be Interim, and it must gall him that Oakden gets paid whilst Henry has to do the job that the chairman is supposed to do, so what happened? How did Oakden continue in the role? I think it is quite obvious, he who pays the piper calls the tune. The people who provide the money to the party want him in that position so they can control the party through him. The members mean nothing, it is all about a little boys in blazers club at the top, in fact many of these people don’t even hold official positions, but they do provide money or are friends of the people who provide money, and they want to know that those who spend their money will follow their agenda. What is galling to members is that it is the party that pays the chairman’s remuneration, coming out of member subscriptions. The NEC are the directors of the company. So the NEC could take a decision to stop paying him. But they won’t, because they are so cowed by the money men and so in fear of collapse if the money dries up that they meekly go along with things. I dare any member of the NEC to come on here and justify their position. As an example, Paula Jones Waters; she was a “Woolfe Pack” member, she ran for NEC on a ‘represent ordinary members’ ticket, and what have we heard from her since? Nothing, except somethings on animal cruelty unrelated to UKIP. The list goes on, the NEC members are totally failing in their role as the guardians of members interests. Without them playing their role, the entire governance structure of the party is shot to pieces. And with no minutes being published for six months, we can’t see what they have or have not discussed.

    • I can tell you categorically that during my two+ years tenure as treasurer no donor has had any material influence over the party, particularly in relation to staff appointments or salaries.

      If members want to make allegations about X, Y or Z then please go ahead but make sure you provide the evidence to back up said allegations. Unsubstantiated allegations are not acceptable and damage innocent individuals and the party.

      • You cannot possibly know, living far from London or Brussels, who has influenced who. You may be categorical only on your own ignorance.

        Lack of transparency is what is not acceptable. Details of contracts and salaries are withheld from the NEC (see Slivnik’s resignation letter). It is keeping secrets that is damaging.

        • I couldn’t agree more: lack of transparency and above all keeping secrets has been hugely damaging and is still hugely damaging.
          At a time when huge corporations, Big Business and indeed Government knows all about us and wants to know more (“there’s nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide”) then surely we ordinary members who after all pay for this should be entitled to know!

          • Dear Viv,

            Please be specific about what secrets are being kept from the members. Generalised non specific comments that seek to disparage party members or the party do just that. Ask a specific question or produce an evidence backed allegation and party officers/NEC members can respond.

        • Wrong.

          The NEC via the treasurer have the ‘finance & remuneration’ (F&RC) sub committee, chaired by the treasurer. It NEC members are the party’s largest donor Alan Bown, Mick McGough & Fiona Mills, both chartered accountants.

          The NEC/directors have the legal right to see any company papers they care to. Tomaz Slivnik visited Lexdrum House in 2016 (unannounced, as was his right to) and was shown any information he requested. He also served on the F&RC and was given any information he requested.

          Maybe you can try asking a specific question rather than resort to cheap ad hom insults-pathetic!

          • Can you please let us know Paul Oakden remuneration. In the accounts last year there was a £50,000 item for Chaitlrnans remuneration. He was in post August to December. It was a half- time job for him. So was all that 50k for him for 5 months half-time, or was part of it for his predecessor? Thank you. I also raised another question as to whether Henry as Leader has authority (without NEC agreement) to roll back to GE15 manifesto as it amounts to a change of policy. Thanks again.

          • The staff at Lexdrum House did provide me all the papers I requested AND that *they*had*access*to. I never said Lexdrum House staff withheld any information – that they had – from me. Indeed, they were quite co-operative.

            But it is completely untrue that I was shown all the information (including relevant financial information I was entitled to) I requested.

            To understand the big picture financial situation of the Party it matters not how much the Party spends on pencils, which information I am sure is at Lexdrum House. One question and one question only is most relevant, and that is what is the amount, nature and legal basis for the financial flows between the Party, the various European pots of money (ADDE, IDDE, EFDD, MEP budgets) and our staff are. The total sums of money that flow this way far exceed what you see if you look at the financial summaries that were shared with the board.

            I repeatedly asked for this information and was never given it.

            I think the question Graham asks about what Oakden’s total remuneration is (and has been during each of the past 5 years) is quite appropriate. Which Party-related sources have been paying him, and in what proportion? Who is paying the piper? Were his EU-related duties in proportion to the EU-sourced part of the remuneration? And the same information for other staff. I’m not necessarily saying publish this on here, but board members should have had access to this information, and we didn’t. I believe the current NEC is also being kept in the dark over this very question.

    • In HB’s new structure there is no place for the NEC to function.

      • He’s in for a shock, then! 🤣

      • The constitution and therein the NEC which exists to uphold the constitution can only be changed by the membership. The constitution stops any individual having unilateral power over the party. It’s what the members wanted in 2012 with Nigel’s full support.

        • You opine for specific questions and got two from Graham at 8.22pm. Result – silence.

          Get off your high horse Bickley. Did you learn nothing from your last visit to UKD?

          • I asked him the same question last time he came on here, with no reply then either. Tells you all you need to know.

            Also he makes these veiled threats every time he comes on, saying there is no evidence of donor influence. However in one of our earlier exchanges he admitted a candidate was parachuted in to the constituency I live in where the branch had decided not to run in order to satisfy a donor. He revealed that here! Then notice it is reported in Daily Mail that Henry introduced his girlfriend to the UKIP donors – so they only met a couple of weeks ago but he felt the need to parade her to his masters to seek their approval, or demonstrate his virility, or whatever.

          • What the Daily Mail actually wrote was:
            “Bolton is said to have been in the process of introducing his new girlfriend to Ukip party donors when news of their relationship broke.” – ‘is said’ = we don’t actually have proof, but never mind; ‘in the process of …’ it hasn’t actually happened. As this was during the days between Christmas and New Year when most everyone else is with their families (except HB), even the donors, this would be hard to actually do – or do you think “The donors” called for a meeting between Dec 25th and Jan 2nd to haul HB in front of, alternatively that HB called them to a secret location in London during those days to do so?
            Let’s criticise his behaviour by all means, but let’s do so based on facts rather than hearsay – the facts, pretty damning in themselves, are quite sufficient.

          • So Graham posts at 8.26pm on a Friday night and then you complain at 11.06pm that I haven’t replied. Which planet do you live on? I’m a volunteer & have a private life and will respond (i) when I’m ready and able to & (ii) if I can or wish to.

            I have responded to one of Graham’s questions this morning (happy?) & will respond to the other as soon as I can.

            I made it clear in an earlier response to you or Graham that during my tenure as treasurer no donor has had any ‘MATERIAL’ influence on the party. We’d be mad not to listen to generous donors, however that doesn’t mean we have to jump as high as they might request.

            In the last general election a particular branch couldn’t or didn’t want to stand a candidate (the seat was & will never be winnable in a month of Sundays for UKIP – Richmond). One of our members offered to be a paper candidate which pleased a particular donor. I’d say that was good ‘business’ as it had no ‘MATERIAL’ impact on the party or the election.

    • Dear Graham,

      There’s no reply option to your question re salaries.

      I cannot publicly disclose employees’ salaries-I’d be in breach of my fiduciary duties and the data protection act.

      No one is the party is paid a six figure annual salary, or close to it. No employee receives a bonus or any other allowance other than approved travel ex’s.

      • Depends what you mean by close. Would £77K or £84K count as close? You’d probably say not.

        Kindly confirm that no-one was paid a total of more than £75K at any time in the past year. Go on, put that lie in writing if you dare.

        • In a public forum I’m not willing to disclose salary information (I don’t even know if you’re a UKIP member). In 2015 when the party, before my time as treasurer employed/contracted c.80 staff a very small number were paid over £70k but less than £100k

          We currently employ 12 staff and three are paid what would be considered a decent manager’s salary but all less than what an MEP earns

          As you’re incapable of conducting a civil discourse with me, accusing me of the potential of lying I’ll no longer respond to you. Of course you can email me as a UKIP member, ‘Go on, if you dare’!

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