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The Leadership Contest

The leadership contest is in its last throws, “thank goodness”, I can hear you all say. Yes, it has been a lengthy process, some would say ridiculously too long.

Most commentators have this as a two horse race between Anne-Marie Waters and John Rees-Evans. I declare now that as the campaign manager for Ben Walker, and now Ukip United, I have of course a vested interest in the process and the outcome.

I have some questions:


  1. Given your potential success, how are we to address as a party, the internal troubles with the NEC and apathy within the branches throughout the country? What, if anything, are your plans to re- engage these members? You have regularly not dodged, but not fully answered, these questions.
  2. What, if any part, will Jack Buckley your campaign manager/launch facilitator play in the Party? He is/or was a member of a proscribed group (BNP), his tweets and posts leave me and most of my fellow members cold. He is a vile young man in many people’s opinion.
  3. Same question regarding Mr. Tommy Robinson.
  4. If we are to follow and adopt the adage that “Islam is evil” or “Islam is not compatible with our culture”, what policies will be drafted from those mantras? Can you as leader come with me onto the streets of Bradford and sell them in our wards next May for the town council elections?
  5. Who will be your chairman? One expects Mr. Agnew would be your deputy. Will you allow members of proscribed groups to now join the party en masse?
  6. What changes will be made to the infrastructure? Will you keep the regions as they are, RO`s etc.?
  7. Finally, what will you do if, on day one of your leadership we have, as expected mass resignations, (the entire Bradford Branch have stated they will resign and form an independent group, as has Richmond in Yorkshire and others)? What will you do to keep the party solvent and how will you protect those members of the NEC that are by definition Directors of the company that is Ukip? If bankruptcy looms, they will hold some financial accountability.


  1. Where will the server and IT suite be housed, stored and maintained to hold all the information from the four programmes you are asking us to vote for? It will be vast.
  2. How many staff will be needed to maintain, full time, seven days a week these programmes? The information submitted to them, especially in the early days will be simply enormous in volume.
  3. Who will own DD? Will it be licensed to Ukip? If so, for how long and at what cost? You have said that you would hand it over entirely to someone who is willing to fully adopt your idea, so if you`re voted leader, would that be a large enough endorsement or will you hold ownership over the party’s head.
  4. As a guide, a friend of mine who designs and implements IT systems for medium to large companies looked at this (he is nothing to do with Ukip). He estimated start- up costs in excess of £250,000 and onward going costs of maintenance, staffing, offices and ongoing development of £350,000 per annum. He also did not understand how this would work, but that is another topic.
  5. Why would you not publish the feasibility studies? Why would you not make clear what happened between yourself and the NEC at the original conception, with regards to who paid the initial bill for the system to be developed and how much that bill was?
  6. Again, on day one how would you keep the party solvent should our creditors pull the plug? How will you deal with the potential problems stemming from their action and assist the NEC with their responsibilities?
  7. On day one and thereafter, we will have many disenfranchised members not attending meetings. How quickly will they be able to access your programmes, and how quickly will the new manifesto that we need for next May be developed?
  8. How quickly do you think we will become the government? How quickly will we take back power from the elite and transfer it back to the people?
  9. Please expand on your idea that people will vote on issues using lottery machines in Tesco’s etc.
  10. How will I, and my members, sell those ideas on the doorstep in Bradford.


Some readers may take the view I am being facetious, let me assure you am I not. I am being pragmatic. I am a realist, a down to earth ex-copper from Bradford who knows just what is happening in that, and many other cities. I also know, having stood for Parliament in June, just what we are up against with regards, particularly to Labour and Hope not Hate, and Momentum, but also the Tories. A dose of realism here is needed.

Plainly speaking, as recent council bi- elections have proven, and with the defections almost daily of councillors, we cannot even get a parish councillor elected right now.

We have not got a hope in hell next May unless we fix the party and its woes; and at the same time have some serious support, finances, training, and mentoring and some serious vision and direction.

Neither of these candidates have ever addressed the real down to earth nitty gritty of this party and its problems. John has produced a glossy timetable for the next May elections: it is pie in the sky as it does not reflect individual branch problems. It is an overarching, umbrella programme that relies on everyone towing the line. Those branch chairs reading this know first-hand this is impossible; and without funds to hire rooms, produce materials, and for the candidates to find the time for the many meetings it requires, it is about as much use as a chocolate tea cup.

Hard graft case working, getting involved in local issues, driving the agenda, and raising individuals profiles are the only way forward, and we need to start this now. In fact, we needed to start this in June for any chance of real success next Election.

Let`s get real, the single issue of Islam kills us dead by November. Whilst awaiting computer programmes to do their stuff, and awaiting the funds to pay people, as stated we will be lost by Xmas on that route.

This party needs hands on fire fighting, hands on bottom up fixing and engagement on all issues, we simply need to get together to talk, in policy forums and at regional meetings. Communications within the party need fixing.

Talking, discussing, coaching, and training are doable within a very short period of time. We could have a new manifesto up and running in a matter of weeks, a rolling one, always available. All this is at little cost too. A new website that all can access is in place; it simply needs a day`s work to update it and make it look less amateur. Within the package we have through nation builder, we have a further ten websites we have never utilised!

A team to put this right is in place, ready to land running. Ukip United under the leadership of Jane Collins, implemented and managed by Ben Walker, supported by current financiers and with a new full-time fund raiser who has a fabulous proven background in this area.

Do the right thing on your voting form….

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About Stephen Place (28 Articles)
I am the Chairman of the Ukip Richmond (Yorks) branch. I am also deputy chair of North Yorkshire.

36 Comments on The Leadership Contest

  1. Bradford is already a lost cause as are many other former wool and cotton towns unless drastic action is taken, so hardly relevant to the rest of the country.

  2. Re: Tommy Robinson

    It is only after reading his excellent book “Enemy Of The State” that I can truly understand who and what he is, and why he is the way he is.
    I fell into the trap of believing the MSM narrative of him (and the EDL) being a ‘far-right neo-nazi extremist’, which I now know simply isn’t true.
    He is not racist; he recalls in his book how he did join the BNP but left them before attending his first meeting, when they wouldn’t let his two black friends in with him. He also recalls how he tried really hard to keep out the ‘far-right extremists’ from the EDL. He despises the BNP now, and doesn’t have many good things to say about Nick Griffin or Britain First for that matter.
    He admits that he spends a lot of time tweeting, but he is just commenting on things he has seen or heard, and is just expressing his opinion. They may leave you ‘cold’, but a lot of ordinary people out there do agree with what he is saying. And these people are the ones that UKIP need to tap into, if they want any hope of future success, the people who are utterly disenfranchised by all our political parties, and either vote tactically, or not at all.

    I have observed, chilling comparisons between the current UKIP leadership election, and the previous Labour leadership elections. Corbyn was voted in by the grass-roots in droves, yet the Parliamentary Labour Party has never really taken to him, hence the numerous leadership challenges and bitter in-fighting.
    I can sadly see the same happening to UKIP if Anne-Marie Waters (or whoever else that is not Peter Whittle) wins; popular and voted in by the grass-roots, yet villified and challenged by those in the upper echelons of the party.

    UKIP is very quick to challenge Remainers about ‘respecting democracy’, so all I am urging is that whoever wins, please respect the outcome, and don’t become a whiner complaining about the result because it didn’t go their way.

  3. “Most commentators have this as a two horse race between Anne-Marie Waters and John Rees-Evans.” Really? I’d be very surprised if either won. For sure, they are very prominent online, but so was Raheem Kassam.

    • The bookmakers have it as a contest between Peter Whittle and Anne Marie Waters. They are usually more accurate than the polls.

  4. My final post yesterday didn’t make it past the moderator but it was really only to repeat something I had said earlier together with an observation, perhaps, that was a little uncomfortably close to the truth.

    So it delighted me this morning me to note on Twitter that AMW speaking at the West Midlands Hustings observed, as I did here, that only now are fellow candidates having the conversation, or as Jason calls them, Johnny come latelies re the Islam issue. An important step forward, not in making it the agenda but in having it on the agenda at all.

  5. A few questions for you Stephen:

    1. Have you read JRE’s 38-page manifesto?

    2. Have you read JRE’s 22-page document on the Islamification of Britain?

    3. Can you point me towards policy documents of similar detail that have been produced by UKIP United?

    4. Are you suggesting that JRE, with all his internet involved, international business success, has not put the same attention to detail into his plans for Direct Democracy?

    5. Did you hear Henry Bolton say at the London hustings that, if elected, he would ask JRE, David Kurten and Aiden Powlesland to join his team?

  6. Jane Collins need to explain why she has chosen such an utter failure as a deputy?
    David Coburn has been a complete disaster in Scotland. Membership is down to about 300, no MSPs and only a paltry 10 candidates at the general election. Yet he claims that UKIP has stopped the SNP’s Named Person – no its NO2NP Campaign and likewise with the Leave Vote in Scotland again nothing to do with him and useless idiots that run UKIP in Scotland – it was the all the Leave activists.

    Any “team” with David Coburn prominent in it is basically a discredited incompetent crony team.

  7. Dear Stephen
    Thank you for those questions directed towards AMW.
    I’m sure she will work all this out with her team as time goes on, these questions are for any of the potential leaders, I think.
    Question for you.
    As “campaign manager” for ben walker, why do you think it is suitable to try and smear other candidates?
    Why did you back someone, such as ben walker, who had no new points to put across to the members?
    Why did he come across as aggressive?

    I could go on but feel the time now is to vote, wait for the result and back our new leader, who ever they are, and build a bright future together.

  8. Thanks, Steve. The technical and financial sub-committees of the NEC asked pretty much similar questions – and more, which I won’t detail here – of JRE, but answer came there none ?

    • When did that happen Rob?
      Was it before or after the conversation below?

      ‘In spite of John having designed and overseen the implementation of the system without cost to the party, and John’s then being willing to sign over the intellectual property rights for the programme to the party, John was subsequently informed by the party treasurer that, in effect, the former leader had been functioning ultra vires in placing this request with John, and that the project did not actually have the backing of the NEC and could therefore not be funded.’

      • Wow. So it is clear, if the leader does anything the NEC doesn’t like it will simply declare those actions ultra vires and refuse to stand behind any committments made by that leader. Feel sorry for PN and also JRE for wasting their time and effort on this.

      • After. Once the relevant committees found out, we reviewd the system and raised questions. We expected a prompt respinse to clarify matters. John Bickley was correct: Paul Nuttall had to have this approved by the NEC, and our questions and concerns were entirely reasonable.

      • In the light of that Rob, I don’t think JRE’s attitude was unreasonable.

        ‘John has secured funding independently for the Direct Democracy system, the developer has been paid for the work done, and the system is ready to go live as soon as key decision-makers within the party are able to convince John that doing so is not an empty gesture to placate the membership, and that the platform will indeed be supported and publicised by the party, and used in the way that it was conceived to be used.

        However, as from early July 2017 John has come to be of the opinion that these circumstances will not materialise until such time as UKIP has a party leader that fully understands and is committed to the principles of Direct Democracy, and until either there is an NEC that likewise fully supports these principles, or else a means of imposing the will of the membership on the NEC – or on whichever organisation replaces the current structure – has been achieved.’

        For the full picture:-

  9. UKIP’s dismal showing in the GE should have given the party the clear signal that the electorate viewed it as a one trick pony. As soon as May committed the Tories to a clean(ish) exit and Corbyn sprayed his (false) promises too UKIP had their legs cut from underneath them.

    In the event of Brexit backtracking it won’t, in my honest opinion, be UKIP that mounts the fightback it’ll be a broader Brexit movement be it Vote Leave, Leave EU or a new grassroots, cross party campaign particularly as UKIP has lost some of its big hitters.

    So if it’s not Brexit what is UKIP’s new big issue? Democratic reform, fighting for free speech and the end of PC nonsense won’t get mass traction but dealing with the problem that shall not be named ~ Islam ~ around which arguments about culture, tolerance, safety, free speech revolve may.

    I’ve voted for AMW as she’s the only one who has a proven record of standing up and speaking on the issue whereas the others, with the greatest respect, are johnny come latelies. I expect UKIP to go through a tough patch and accept there’ll ne a need for senior members committed to the party to polish her roughest edges and broaden her platform but the upside it’ll once again be UKIP trailblazing.

    • Nice that you got your ballot paper. I’ve only been a member since July. Too soon? Maybe I’ll vote for the “wrong” candidate?

  10. Again (file under AMW-or-bust) we have the problem of, I believe, the extreme difficulty of overcoming misrepresentation of people and denial of reality. It may well be that reality is unelectable. The forces of misrepresentation are certainly legion.
    I would point out that Tommy Robinson is widely liked, probably at Brexit levels, and the state has thrown Everything at him. So there definitely is a large constituency to be won over.
    Now I know little about Jack Buckby except media vilification. I didn’t know he was involved here. He may be full racialist alt-right, or maybe not. I notice he’s written a book about the crazy leftwing apologetics for Islamism. Good for him. I notice his book classed on Amazon with Douglas Murrray’s, Milo’s, and one titled “the Conscience of a Young Conservative”. This readership is the one to win over. It is out there. Whether it can be bound together, as platforms like YouTube start to draw the shutters down is another matter. (I heard Whittle say the party ought to be running an active video channel, like the Rebel or Rubin – the door’s closing on that one!)
    Anyway I’m suggesting, just as a thought experiment, that what Douglas M called Oikophobia, fear and contempt (and morbid fascination with) the great unwashed, which has driven much domestic policy in recent years, which saturates the media and Remainers, is also present in Ukip? Or at least fear of oikophobia..

    • Chris, what an excellent summary (under the same file category). I don’t understand why so many people don’t get it – I fear enough won’t, but I very much hope they do.
      I also think we would find that reality is tremendously electable!

      • AMW should get endorsement from Tommy, Paul Weston, Pat Condell, Kathy Hopkins and Douglas Murray.
        2-3 minute youtubes would be ideal.
        anyone who can facilitate, please do.

  11. Sorry all,
    Stout yoeman has just chucked a bomb under AMW’s campaign.against FGM. It seriously looks like an establishment trap by the civil service, aided and abetted by the PM. We need answers quick.

    • @tgspokes (Re SY’s piece on Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor)
      I know, and I lobbed a hand grenade back at him. What I really wanted to say was likely to get chucked by Viv as too rude. As I made clear to SY, I don’t believe a word of all the statistics and reassurances of any authority that deals with the penchant of muslims and other ethnic minorities for interfering with little girls to make them more marriageable to sick perverts. And I doubt I’ll ever believe another word uttered by the authorities whose job it is to protect the defenceless, considering their complete failure for years to expose and arrest thousands of racist muslim rapists.
      It’s all of a piece: muslim men breaking our laws, misogynist FGM, misogynist muslim grooming gangs, islamisation of our society to the extent that PC cowards dare not challenge or punish muslims who commit the most wicked, atrocious crimes against girls and women.

      • Good points Panmelia. I agree and, based on real observation of treatment of a Muslim girl and failure of social services in a small sample of the Muslim population, simply do not believe those statistics.

  12. A few points here for my Place to respond to:

    1. I don’t think you need to concern yourself much with Bradford. As you know, we haven’t EVER come close to getting into contention there in a GE by a margin of 20,000 – 30,000 votes. There was one councillor once upon a time. Something in your current strategy isn’t working, the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and hoping to get a different result. What do you think it is about UKIP United’s message (Vote Janet, get John) that will suddenly change this record of utter failure? With a more radical message, could you not find support from those wards with high native population? More of the same isn’t going to cut it.

    2. I have no idea why you think the race is AMW v JRE, the leader is PW. I am no great PW fan but you should at least accept that he is the bookies’ favourite with PW 6/5 ON and Jane Collins 6/1, JRE 11/1 and falling. Aren’t you doing Jane a disservice by not mentioning she has come up fast on the rails and is far ahead of JRE?

    3. I don’t understand your logic, TR has almost the exact same views as AMW, yet one is allowed to stand for leader of our party and receive your respectful questions, whereas the other is banned. TR has 373,000 followers on twitter, UKIP has 25,000 ish members…. don’t you think that by bringing popular people like TR and Raheem back into UKIP we could actually become relevant again? Seems TR is dong something right whereas we seem to be only going one way….

    4. Your questions for JRE are second-tier questions, there are much more important questions about the integrity of the CV he has presented, his army ‘career’, his tax position, his ‘ugandan mission’, indeed whether he has been a missionary (he attended a religious seminary). Also I think you have greatly overestimated the cost of implementing a DD system, but you are right that it would be very slow to get off ground at a time when party is already nearly dead due to inactivity. Based on his first great idea of offering repatriation to hard-up corner shop owners, it would probably degenerate into everyone’s chance for 15 minutes of hate. I don’t see many positive ideas emerging from it.

    Having a well-run party would help, but still not solve the core question – what does UKIP stand for?

    • To try to answer two of your queries, assuming that by TR you are referring to Tommy Robinson.

      Firstly, as a one time member of BNP and also founder member of EDL, he is not eligible for membership of UKIP.

      Secondly, you mention ‘bringing him back into UKIP’. To my knowledge, he has never been a UKIP member (for the reason given above) and, therefore, cannot be ‘brought back’.

      I cannot comment in respect of Raheem Kassam as I do not know his current status.

      • Brenda, after reading Tommy Robinson’s book ‘Enemy Of The State’, I now understand why UKIPs membership policy regarding former BNP and EDL members is strange.
        TR joined the BNP (very briefly) out of frustration, and formed the EDL not wanting it to be a ‘racist’ organisation, and tried to stop far right BNP and National Front activists from being involved. But of course, the MSM don’t like to inform people of sch things, so the EDL was branded as ‘far-right’ and ‘extremist’, and TR was of course hounded and persecuted by the police, just for speaking his mind.

  13. I will take issue with Stephen Place. Firstly, I disagree with his analysis. I do not consider JRE a serious contender. He is unknown outside social media, he is rather eccentric and attracts some really weird supporters who all seem to share a rather skewed view of the party. He also came last in the previous leadership election.

    Anyone who has viewed the hustings in Belfast and West Midlands cannot fail to see the star that Anne Marie has become. She gets better all the time. This girl is electric and is inspiring audiences wherever she goes. If she wins it will be quite a ride for UKIP, it will be an exciting roller coaster and one I relish.

    Threatening to resign is the last resort of the desperate. I have seen it happen so many times in UKIP. All I can say is I wish people would just do it. I react badly to threats and if people feel this way I cannot understand why they feel their threats will make a difference. If the whole Bradford branch resigns, well fine, they will quickly be replaced. Bradford may well be a lost cause anyway.

    If Anne Marie wins we will gain thousands of new and enthusiastic members. Never mind that we may get a hard time from the left and the media, isn’t that what UKIP is about. If people have not got the bottle for the fight we are probably better off without them and they can go and campaign on some safe central ground where they will be quietly ignored. UKIP is not in the business of being ignored, at least not until a year ago.

    I also cannot see Jane Collins doing much. She started the rot when she tried to get Anne Marie’s launch stopped, what does that say about the woman? She is a pitiful media performer and openly states she does not want to rock the UKIP boat. Rocking the boat is just what we need and she is not the one to do it. Just as JRE has taken Bill Etheridge on board, Jane has taken David Coburn. Who on earth thought these were good choices, the party would be well rid of both these toxic people.

    It is unfortunate that the people who will decide this election will be those members who never go to branch meetings, never mind hustings; who are not on social media and hence have little measure of the candidates. They will rely in the Independence magazine which was again used by the party hierarchy to try influence the outcome.

    I look forward to a big clearout at the top when Anne Marie wins. I have a little list!

    The future is exciting, like it used to be.

    • Couldn’t agree more.

      • Another couldn’t agree more. I also voted wholeheartedly for Anne Marie and look forward with relish to the much needed shakedown of the party, and then the resurgence, that I’m sure she’ll bring.

    • @ UKIP’s Conscience
      Bradford a ‘lost cause’?! I’m surprised anyone had the guts to set up a UKIP branch in Bradford anyway, and I’m not going to take up Stephen’s challenge to knock on doors there, unless they’re in certain safe areas. Isn’t it vying with Leeds, Bolton, Leicester and Luton to be the First City of Islamic Culture 2018?
      It might be useful to film in Bradford and feature it along with other places in a UKIP Party Political Broadcast to help get the message over when Anne Marie wins. If she doesn’t win, I hope Peter Whittle has the sense to make her his Deputy or Chief Adviser.

      • Panmelia,

        Don’t quote me but I do not think Peter Whittle and AMW’s get on as he refused to work with her, she on the other hand was a one time thinking of asking him to be her Deputy.

        Watching the West Midlands Hustings she said the only one on that panel willing to work with her would be JRE, but he has been endorsed by Bill Etheridge who has also said he will not work with her. I wish these people would put their party and therefore their country before their own interests and egos.

        Seeing thew small clips of that video I noticed that JRE was enthusiastically clapping AMW’s after she had spoken, so he must agree with a lot of what she says, all the others just sat their with long faces or looking just bored.

  14. Well, Mr Mainwaring, if it’s between those two then we really are doomed.

    I’m afraid there is no avoiding the fact that we are in this position because of a failed NEC. FPTP for a leadership election in which there were eleven… twelve?…one loses count… candidates creates a lottery, especially as the UKIP electorate as a whole will know little about the individuals who have self-selected as having the abilities needed to lead us through a very difficult period. The votes — placed with good intentions but with insufficient information — will be split between policies and personalities at random, with lots of little positives being divided to such an extent that the big negative will be ushered in by default. This is why primaries were needed and should have been put in place. Yes, I know one doesn’t expect three leadership elections in two years, but at the very minimum it should have meant that we had enough practice to get it right, or at least righter.

    Kudos to those who decided to back down from the fray, shame on those no-hopers who have contributed nothing but confusion to the process.

    Ho hum. We are where we are. It’s too late for Kurten and Bolton to form an alliance, too late for Rees-Evans to find a running mate, too late for Whittle to show his gentler, less waspish side. We are where we are and votes have already been cast.

    God help us all.


  15. Sorry, as a realist you should know that JRE or AMW will be smeared beyond recognition by the MSM, even if they were the best candidates and they are not, the election of either will quickly leave us dead in the water. All this talk of surges in membership with a controversial candidate is utter rubbish. It’s so not what the public want. Maybe Nigel could get away with it and had a sufficiently thick skin but these two won’t survive the onslaught. Bolton as leader and Kurten as deputy are our only hope. Elected members know this because they talk to people outside the party, that’s why they are leaving or threatening to do so,

  16. Stephen – you have some really good point here. I have an IT background myself and I’ve seen so many organisations crippled by badly budgeted, over-budgeted IT projects and crippling ongoing costs. Anybody campaigning with ideas like these should have these particular ideas ignored if they’re not properly and professionally budgeted.

    I certainly think there’s a place for Anne Marie in a senior position and UKIP is going to need her more than they realise.

    Unfortunately another thing most UKIPers don’t realise (this is just my opinion), is that the leader’s job is going to be far tougher than anyone imagined.

    I’m not in a position to vote in this leadership contest and have so far remained fairly unengaged, although I’m starting to form an opinion as to who should be leader, I’ve decided to stay out of it and keep my opinion to myself.

  17. Interesting that you begin with the Stormin’ Norman quotation. Was it supposed to be ironic, given that you then proceed to question the strategy of the two candidates you suggest are front runners?

    Or is it that you wish to move the discussion away from character, since you are supporting Jane Collins?

    My biggest puzzle though is why you think the party will be bankrupt by November. Have you deliberately ignored the prospect of thousands of small donations taking up the slack if/when the whales stop donating?

    I think the party under AMW might well be better-funded and more independent than we have seen over the past year of hand-to-mouth getting by.

    Incidentally, the bookies don’t appear to agree with your leader board.

    • Just for interest’s sake, I checked current Bet365 odds.

      To a common denominator (for ease of comparison), a bet of 10 units would return:

      13 Whittle
      18 Waters
      60 Collins
      90 Bolton
      120 Kurten
      120 Rees-Evans

      One might infer different odds from the constituency of UKIPD contributors, but in the wider world Peter Whittle is probably still the most (to some, the only) recognisable name.

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