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A letter on party finances

Ed: UKIP Daily was forwarded a copy of the following letter sent by John Bickley to branch treasurers on 10th February. On reading this letter we are of the opinion that members should be able to read it as well since there won’t be many branch meetings between now and the EGM and their branch treasurers may well not have the time to inform them. Therefore we publish the full letter, unredacted, below:

Dear Treasurer,

1. The Party’s finances:

When I took on the party treasurer’s role in November 2015 the party’s finances were in a parlous state: almost £4 million was spent in the six months leading up to and including the 2015 General Election, following which the party was left with a £800,000 shortfall. The NEC had not been made aware of the extent of the overspend in the general election campaign and we spent the remainder of 2015 working with donors to repair the financial hole, sufficiently to keep the party afloat as the EU referendum came into view in early 2016.

Through tight financial controls, which were not always popular with the leadership, and further generous support from donors, we managed to play our part in the EU Referendum, to historic effect.

In reality though, the party, which prior to the European elections in 2014 had built up a substantial cash reserve, has been living hand-to-mouth since 2015 and today our finances are again under great pressure. Despite our running an extremely tight ship, the ‘job done’ feeling following the referendum, plus the party’s repeated leadership problems over the past 18 months have significantly impacted our income.

Two weeks ago when articles about Mr Bolton appeared in The Sun, Daily Telegraph & the IB Times he appears to have informed the public (inaccurately) that the party is losing £20–30,000 a month. This is a serious error of judgement for any senior party officer and director to make, since it sends a clear message that the party is in severe decline, so discourages members from renewing their membership or making donations.

Unsurprisingly, some suppliers are now looking for early payment or asking for payment in advance. Mr Bolton has yet to explain why inviting such damaging public coverage about our finances is in the Party’s best interests.

2. Donations and expenses paid to Mr Bolton:

Within the same newspaper articles the impression was given that the party is failing to support Mr Bolton financially:

* The Sun (23 Jan): “The party Treasurer is one of those trying to get me out, so he has stopped me receiving any salary. It will not work, because I am determined to do this job out of public service not personal advancement.”

* Telegraph (23 Jan): One friend told The Telegraph: “He is paying for everything. Tickets from Folkestone to London. Everything. He doesn’t get a bean.

However Mr Bolton said the party’s ruling National Executive Committee refused to agree to pay him the stipend at a meeting on Sunday when the NEC’s members voted 14-1 that they had no confidence in him.

Henry Bolton, the embattled leader of the UK Independence Party, has admitted he is running out of money after the party refused to cover his expenses.

* The Times 24 Jan: Henry Bolton says he is struggling financially, partly because the Ukip party he leads does not cover his expenses.

At best this coverage is misleading and cannot stand uncorrected. Mr Bolton knows there was never a leader’s salary on offer, in fact I believe he acknowledged the same when interviewed shortly after being elected, stating that he might have to sell his house to fund his leadership.

Here are the facts:

1. Expenses paid by the party to Mr Bolton: £3,329.78

2. Donations/payments to Mr Bolton for his personal use: £11,672.52.

The latter includes £6,076.00 paid directly to Mr Bolton by branches and members, which I have only recently received details of. There are very strict Electoral Commission rules about donations to party officers. Any donation given to any party officer, irrespective of whether it is reportable, has to be approved as permissible by the party treasurer. The party treasurer is held accountable by the Electoral Commission for doing so.

Being conscious of Mr Bolton’s financial plight, some months ago we set up an ‘Office of the Leader’ bank account, into which any member or other third party could make direct donations (or give benefits in kind) to the party leader in compliance with Electoral Commission rules. The NEC finance committee also, at its January 8th meeting, raised the payment of a stipend with Mr Bolton, but he stated that he did not, in the circumstances, expect to receive one at this time.

I hope this clears up claims in the media that he is not receiving financial support from the party. I believe that in the interests of transparency, and to counter damaging and negative media coverage of the party, these facts should be made available to the members.

Regards,

John Bickley, Party Treasurer, UKIP

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About Vivian Evans (324 Articles)
Vivian is a UKIP patron, Vice Chair of UKIP Cardiff and Editor in Chief of UKIP Daily

72 Comments on A letter on party finances

  1. Dear Viv. The point I was trying to make is that every Ukipper has made up their minds who they are going to vote for, and all this slanging match goings on, will not get them to change their minds. I am not trying to stifle opinion, or stop members from communicating, but it is too late for people to change their mindset, and the slanging match here is not helping the party. As farage told the American people, if you want change, get off your backsides and vote. Let’s all calm down, and wait for the. Result on Saturday. Many will be pleased, many will resign the party, but this is democracy.

    • Thanks for your reply.
      I doubt very much that ‘every Kipper has made up their minds’, so publishing the opinions from Kippers and e.g. NEC members, members of the shadow cabinet etc is, until the deadline for registration, very much needed – and here is the only place where they can do so.
      Regarding ‘slanging matches’: Curtailing ‘slanging matches’ is stifling free speech – which is a big no-no. Even if these ‘slanging matches’ are uncomfortable for some, we’ll allow them, provided they don’t overstep the limits of normal courtesy.

  2. It was once said by the actor and comedian robin Williams that “ the body has enough blood to sustain the brain and an erect penis, but NOT at the SAME TIME. Clearly Henry Bolton has proved this true. Someone on here said that basically, any publicity is good publicity, but please, do you think the public or the press will ever let this go.
    For the good of the party, I feel that this site should shut down until after the EGM to stop itself from internal self destruction. It’s nad enough for outsiders wanting to bring the party down, without doing it ourselves. Alan bayley

    • Hi Alan –

      this is a strange suggestion – to shut UKIP Daily down until after the EGM. Do I understand you correctly that this would stop the Party from internal destruction?
      In other words, as long as we Kippers don’t talk about our internal affairs amongst ourselves, nobody else will and all will be well? May I draw your attention to the social media, especially Twitter, which is our current leader’s preferred way of communicating with us? That is public for all o see, and for many people, not just members, to leave their remarks.
      UKIP Daily is run by members for members – shutting us down, depriving us from communicating with each other and making our views known would be akin to having a totalitarian Party. We had those in the last century, one in Germany, one in Russia. We remember how they ended …
      So with all due respect, allow me to say that shutting UKIP Daily down to ‘save the Party’ would be more destructive than anything anyone here says.

    • Fond as I am of the late Robin Williams (an actor one thinks one knows through his acting), could you provide some clinical citation to prop this up?

      Will the theory stand up to scrutiny?

      Please be upstanding about this.

      This sort of nonsense will continue until and unless a radical change is made.

  3. The NEC and the cowboys running it need to go! The NEC is a main concern for me, as a whole they have shown themselves to be completely incompetent in running the party for a few years now. Nigel and Dianne stood down because of them and Bolton with his agenda for change is coming under the same pressure. Just electing a new leader will not change UKIP! The NEC must go and the party effectively restructured, Bolton can only do this with the help of the members I’ll be supporting him to remain and reform UKIP.

    • The NEC are elected by the party. To be fair quite a lot of them are coming out ( esp. Liz Jones ) and facing Bplton down on video’d debate.

      Bolton is , unfortunately for him, smitten by a girl less than half his age. She’s probably the best looking and most interesting ( but flawed ) girlfriend he has had. From a weedy moustachioed and hardly-promoted corporal to leader of a political party ( yes, there was a precedent in history ) he has finally managed to get laid without the aid of the internet or a bag of chips behind the NAAFI.

      One must give him credit for that. Good shout Henry…. But please just go away with your prize and drop the idea that you can survive politically.

    • Sorry, Shaun, not true: Diane refused to meet us even once, cancelling at 24 hours notice – I’ve posted the correspondence in another thread.

  4. Just received an email from the interim leader (oh he`s subsequently corrected it to interim chairman)
    He was pointing out that grass roots people 3 from each side are invited to speak.
    I did wonder who would be arguing the case for the NEC – I don`t think it should be the Interim Chairman as I assume he is the organiser and presumably non-voting (?) meeting chairman.
    Does anybody know? I`m sure he will be collecting additional evidence

    • The case for the NEC will presumably be made by the NEC chairman, Steve Crowther. He said as much in his letter to branch chairmen which we published in UKIP Daily.

  5. Yet another loaded and deliberately misleading missive from dear John, so ably abetted by our dear editor Viv who is highly prejudiced on this issue and making maximum use of her position as editor. Not to mention the treasurer, you remember the one who went bust owing nearly half a million quid, but not before filling his own pockets, using the party database for his own brand of propaganda. It seems the NEC can breach rules with impunity, no wonder the party is ungovernable.
    A failed businessman as treasurer, you couldn’t make it up.

    • David – that is an offensive slur on my work as E-i-C. There are numerous articles for Bolton we’ve published, as you very well know, not least your own. Accusing me of being ‘highly prejudiced’ when your own articles and especially your comments are full of personal invective against other comment posters is way over the top.
      Why don’t you come out and declare that the huge majority of those commenting on UKIP Daily are ‘highly prejudiced’ as well?
      Let me warn you officially: one more ad hominem post from you and I’ll bin the lot.

      • Hi Vivian

        I’ve tried all day, using 3 different devices, to access up to date content on this site since the change to the new server.

        I finally succeeded to be faced with…..further abusive posts from D Allen towards those who contribute articles and those who comment here.

        I would inform you, and all who use this site, that he is being just as abusive on Kipper Central – particularly reprehensible in my view since it is run by the youth of the party who deserve encouragement rather than insults.

        Can you just bin this bloke anyway and have done with it. He’s spoiling it for the rest of us.

        Many thanks and kindest regards.
        Brenda

      • It`s a sign of desperation.
        Haven`t you noticed as the evidence against HB has gathered pace and stability so have his pathetic utterances become wilder.
        If he examines his own position of unenquiring support for HB, he might realise that he runs the chance of becoming vicariously associated with the opprobrium that HB has attracted with his continued association with Jo(ker) which he had earlier sought to shed when he said they were finished with each other.
        By HB`s actions UKIP has become a laughing stock.
        I wonder if next Sunday morning he will reflect that he and his boss will inherit the mantle.
        Well done Viv, you must be getting something right, the truth always hurts.

    • Yes, Viv is so prejudiced she has published your articles and your comment. Can you not see the absurdity of your claim?

      It is noteworthy, and revealing, that you do not contest anything factual but resort to ad hominem attack.

    • Dear David,

      Do you not realise how counter productive your posts are, both here and elsewhere?

    • David – As a hypocrite, you take the biscuit. When you started publishing your support for Bolton, although I disagreed with you I nonetheless admired your loyalty and any issue as to why you are, was of less importance.

      You have now become mindlessly abusive to those who want the leader to be gone. You accuse people of the basest reasons and if I was some of the people you’ve gone after would take your comments as approaching libellous.

      I have to tell you that UKIPDaily’s Editor in Chief has proved to be doing her job in the utmost professional manner, even allowing ex-Kippers such as myself to join in as long as we remain respectful.

    • A gentleman would apologise for an unwarranted slur on the integrity of UKIP Daily’s editor-in-chief. One of UKIP Daily’s defining features is that it publishes all (legal) points of view, that it does not exercise any political censorship, and is possibly unique in that respect. It is to be valued not denigrated and all the editors, who are volunteers, merit respect. Your articles have been published and so contradict your pronouncement. The editor does not control the articles she receives. That more may be critical of Bolton than for him is nothing to do with her. She can only publish what is submitted.

      I have waited to see if you would apologise. It is easy to make foolish remarks in the heat of debate but we should withdraw them or apologise for them once the cold light of publication is shone on them. That you have not withdrawn a patently absurd remark, Mr Allen, does not reflect well on you at all.

    • Dear David,

      If, as John writes (and I unlike you I do not doubt), it is a fact that Henry has received circa £15,000 from the party (in the wider sense) in the last four months I welcome the introduction of such facts into the debate. I think even if you disagree with the use another makes of a fact the fact itself is innocent. It is a fact that as party Treasurer John has a legal duty to report such matters accurately to the Electoral Commission. Moreover, you can verify the quotation from the Sun newspaper yourself. If you doubt its accuracy, however, a better bet would have been to have attacked the Sun for inaccurate quoting (which all papers are prone to). But in the absence of proof that this was never said by Henry I think the combination of the quote and the facts make a very powerful argument in themselves about Henry.

      I take you to be an honourable man. I think the honourable thing to do is to recognise that your sense of honour has now put you in an awkward position. I sympathise with this as someone who took a more positive view of Henry at the end of the election campaign than I do today. I would admire you for acknowledging it (I realise you might prefer to rebut the assumption here).

      Elaborating one of John’s points Henry certainly understood that there was no salary long before the end of the leadership campaign since in the course of it I can testify that he stated (at a hustings) that he would not be able to afford the job something that I think some voters might have wanted to know.

      Finally, I really dislike your reference to John as a “failed businessman”. Frankly, if he was ever a failed businessman I am grateful for any lessons he thereby learned since it is evident that he has not failed in his role as Treasurer for us and even if he had done it would not be because he made mistakes hitherto if he did. I recognise that we only study the past to learn for the present but I am perfectly sure you are not a party to the details of John’s business past sufficiently to pass any judgement at all on it. Moreover, a business that goes bust necessarily does owe money so your half a million quid is pure and unhelpful rhetoric while it is possible, though I know nothing about it, that if John was paying himself while a business he directed was going bust that he was unaware of the pace and timing and options prevailing sufficiently well to make perfect judgement calls. Who knows? Not me and not you either I imagine.

      • Well said, Aidan!

        The last “successful” businessman who was our public-facing treasurer, left us with substantial debts! So in that sense, maybe a “failed” one is actually BETTER for the party? 🤓

    • Dear David, A bit like how all AMW voters were Nazi’s, right?

    • EXPELLIAMUS! 🧙🏾‍♂️

    • You’re getting desperate now David.

      Another classic switch & bait play. Instead of addressing the facts in the piece posted by Viv you attack Viv then me. Try playing the ball rather than the woman or man.

      As you’re so close to Henry, allegedly, can you tell us has he ever been a branch officer or Parliamentary candidate for UKIP?

      Do you agree that as he’s still in a relationship with Marney he can no longer be leader as he has stated such a relationship is incompatible with him being leader?

      Looking foward to your contorted answers.

      Btw regarding my business background: most of the stuff out there was propagated by Labour rags to try & undermine my candidature in the 2014 Wythenshawe & Sale East by-election. It’s sad to see a so called Kipper being taken in by it. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      • Dear Mr. Allen,
        You’re unquestioning loyalty to Henry Bolton is a complete mystery to me. Will you please enlighten me? Bolton is everywhere on the media at the moment, Any Questions on Friday evening, the Andrew Marr show, LBC this morning. His ineptitude as a politician is acutely embarrassing. His habit of coyly giggling is totally in appropriate. Even a sixteen year old school girl would not behave in such a fashion.

    • David,

      I think you have finally ‘flipped’, go and get help.

    • David,

      If I were you I would give up this hopeless cause of constantly trying to convince us that Henry is in the right, especially by slandering other people.

    • Viv,

      you have been even handed in publishing all the comments.

      Yes this one in particular by D Allen offers no insight, apart from a glimpse of the mind set and the raw nature of the people lined up against the NEC.

    • Meow…..

  6. Are the rules different now. Does the second post now get obliterated ( Like Henry )

  7. Continueing my last comment ( I’m not yet sure of UKPD )

    Therefore, £3K+ for three months for a leader, is chicken feed for a good worker.

    However as a leader you still have to work, and crucially achieve something, even if it’s only a thought. In your head if nowhere else. All I hear is nonsense generalities. We can all produce those.

    For these expenses and living costs ( taxed ), not in themselves excessive. For wasting valuable time.

    You’re fired.

    • Dear t g spokes,

      Your are right the issue is not the amount in the sense the amount of £12K per annum is relatively modest. However it is not modest as against the party’s finances.

      Moreover, the contributions from members went to Henry the man.

      The primary issue, in any case, is that Henry did not campaign on the basis he would be paid (except by implication see next but one clause), in combination with the fact that he stated at a hustings, that he could not afford the job. This failure to square a circle is understandable but it is not reassuring.

      In a recent article (to be published here on Tuesday and Wednesday) I suggest that a leader’s pay could be performance linked (after the event) to party net income raised.

      Some leadership candidates did campaign on the basis that they would expect a salary. Anne-Marie, for example, mentioned at a hustings that £40,000 or £50,000, I forget which, would be appropriate so openly underlining her admission that she could not afford the job although owing to the generosity of her partner she thought she could cope if her favoured amount was not forthcoming. This was in the same hustings where I said the amount should be £10,000 or £15,000 which the party could better afford and which (as a person with some assets) I could have managed on.

  8. I recall my dismay when we found out about the shortfall, and how some people like Comrade Facebook were totally unconcerned… 😡

  9. From someone who has been involved in representing union members in the past I can only say that Henry should not be revealing any of UKIP financial matters to the press.

  10. The last two paragraphs in section 1 are particularly concerning. They illustrate Bolton’s lamentably poor judgement. A company employee who wilfully damaged relationships with suppliers would be guilty of gross misconduct and could be justifiably dismissed and most likely would be.

    But it is also illustrative of Bolton not truly caring about the party at all only his position in it. I very much doubt that he has true loyalty to and belief in UKIP. His poor judgement (if not actually deliberately destructive and so perfect judgement to that end) appears to stem from using the party and its members merely as adjuncts to a pathological ego. It is morally corrupt to engineer the party into a position of `if I have to go then I am taking you with me’. That is moral depravity and the profoundest contempt for the members who built the party over the years. It is almost an inevitable corollary that such a person would be capable of dumping a wife and children over Christmas, a further illustration of an amoral person with no real concept of dignity and an inability to put others before self even for a few weeks.

    UKIP has always been subject to hostility from the media and political opponents, and members have endured much abuse, but we coped. There are ways of dealing with it and hostility to us, the grossly unfair misrepresentation, did not stop us getting 3.88 million votes in 2015. But ridicule, being a laughing stock, is far deadlier politically than hostility. Bolton’s behaviour led to derision from all quarters.

    For that reason alone the NEC were completely justified in reaching a conclusion of no-confidence in him. But his subsequent behaviour has confirmed just how necessary it is to be rid of him, how undeserving he is of UKIP. It’s not your party Bolton, not yours to destroy. On 17th February, I hope there will be a clear majority of members who like me will travel to Birmingham to give him that message.

    If Bolton stays then UKIP is surely finished. If we succeed in getting rid of him then we survive and no matter how precariously, and no matter that it may take several years to rebuild, there will be hope that the several million people who feel disenfranchised, who once placed their trust in us, will again have a party to speak for them.

    • I too will be travelling Stout Yeoman. I hope all who travel in the name of UKIP Daily will assemble together and make ourselves known to each other.
      I am anticipating that HB will have his henchmen marshalling his known and invited devotees into an unruly and intimidating phalanx hoping to influence the vote.
      For that reason alone and not just for a once in a lifetime putting a face to people I have corresponded with, for in some cases the last 8 odd years (there`s still some of us left from the old Forum)
      Anybody producing Badges? I think I can still drum up a vote Leave one, perhaps I could paste over that

    • Perhaps, you also ought to peruse the background of those whose word you take as absolute truth.
      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ukips-great-business-tycoon-john-3068492

      • You are falling into the fallacy, most commonly associated with left wing thugs, of discounting something solely on the basis of who said it. You need to address what is said.

        John’s very reasonable point is that Bolton “… appears to have informed the public (inaccurately) that the party is losing £20–30,000 a month. This is a serious error of judgement for any senior party officer and director to make, since it sends a clear message that the party is in severe decline, so discourages members from renewing their membership or making donations. Unsurprisingly, some suppliers are now looking for early payment or asking for payment in advance. Mr Bolton has yet to explain why inviting such damaging public coverage about our finances is in the Party’s best interests.”

        So what is the explanation or excuse for Bolton’s highly damaging remarks in the public media? I cannot see any and is one of the reasons I want Bolton gone.

      • David, perhaps the logical fallacy into which you have fallen is ‘poisoning the well’, a form of ad hominem.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_the_well

  11. Thisis most instructive.

    The kind of person who often becomes a treasurer, is usually ( a good Trait ) one who is most concerned about money and its accounting. As someone who is slapdash, and more concerned with different issues, and leaves these factors in other capable hands, to clear up. I have some sympathy ( Not a lot ), with our ( however acquired) Henry but also our Treasurer ( A position too easily maligned ).

      • So what? What if John was one of the directors counselling the board but got overruled? You know nothing about why the business failed.

        Failed marriages – a series of three for example – are far more indicative of poor judgement and moral and personality flaws.

      • Such a squalid attempt to put down John Bickley that does you no favours. I sincerely hope that when Bolton loses the vote on Saturday that you disappear with him into the mists of time. I heard you speak at those leadership meetings and thought what a load of waffle and wondered how you had been allowed to participate in such an election. Since you continue to unload your contempt and vitriol on those in the party that have done their best to serve the party I realise that you are no longer fit to retain your membership of UKIP and should resign forthwith.

  12. I’d be combing through every single invoice and bill looking for inconsistencies if I were Treasurer.
    Just find one dishonest one and Bolton can be out on his ear.

    • Well if you can`t catch him for cooking the books straight away, isn`t saying he got no expenses a fraudulent statement, or a statement designed to enable a fraud (see Times 24th January – presumably they are reporting his words to them)
      Anyway if that fails – he cooked his CV with intention to mislead, he says he called an NVQ Level6 from Sandhurst a degree, because the French wouldn`t understand it – that in my book is intention to deceive.

    • Perhaps you should also comb through a few other people’s backgrounds, such as dear John.
      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ukips-great-business-tycoon-john-3068492
      And while your at it maybe look up to see how many other agitators in this attempted takeover have a string of insolvencies to their name. Or is that not part of the script?

      • I suspect Rob Pearce’s comment at 5.45pm reflects the view of most people reading this article’s comments. You embarrass yourself more than you appear to realise.

        Bolton’s supporters, if any there be other than you, should submit reasoned articles. I am confident they would be welcomed by the editor-in-chief. Indeed, I would be intrigued to read a rational explanation as to why Bolton should be allowed to stay. Instead, we get the nasty, wholly unjustified personal comment you made about the editor. It does not reflect well on you, and by association your boss Bolton, and you really should apologise.

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