Yesterday, on the 4th of December 2018, Nigel Farage told the Nation that he has left UKIP. Watch the clip of his LBC show where he announced his resignation embedded here, and see his article in the DT here.
The UKIP Leader Gerard Batten later that day sent out a note to members. This is the full text:
“Dear Fellow UKIP Member,
Nigel Farage resigns from UKIP
I’m always sorry when a member leaves UKIP, however I have to say that I think that Nigel left the party in spirit after the Brexit Referendum in 2016.
Earlier this year he stated that he was dedicating “100% of his efforts to Leave Means Leave”, a cross-party organisation. Sadly that left 0% for UKIP.
Nigel and I were founder members of UKIP in 1993 and I have always given him full credit for the part he played in bringing about and winning the Referendum. The part that he played in UKIP in achieving the Referendum result was truly historic, and I have always been happy to acknowledge that.
The Party stood on the edge of destruction in February 2018 and Nigel chose to play no part in rescuing it. That was his prerogative.
I am pleased that I was, with the members behind me, able to save the Party. Under my leadership, the Party has been saved financially, recruited thousands of more members, and we have risen in the polls. We are now going from strength to strength.
Nigel has chosen to relentlessly attack me in recent weeks. I am not going to return like with like in this instance and instead wish Nigel well in his media career – even though I doubt he will be asking me to appear on his show.
The Party will be asking Nigel to honour the charter he signed in 2013 and return his seat in the European Parliament to UKIP. It would be a sad end to his political career if he joined the ranks of those dishonourable MEPs who left UKIP but kept their seats, despite their solemn undertaking to return it.
UKIP will now continue its mission as the only party committed to achieving a true Brexit. I am now looking forward to speaking at the biggest pro-Brexit event of the year this coming Sunday at Whitehall.
Gerard Batten MEP
Incidentally, yesterday also saw the most significant defeat for Ms May in the House of Commons, reported thus in the Daily Telegraph:
- Ministers found in contempt of Parliament
- Government caves in, will publish legal advice
- Theresa May suffers three humiliating Commons defeats
- MPs secure right to greater control over Brexit process
Also yesterday the whole Brexit process has been crucially endangered thanks to this legal advice given to the ECJ (reported here):
“Britain can unilaterally cancel Brexit, without getting the EU’s permission, a senior legal advisor has told the European Court of Justice (ECJ), if the Article 50 process is revoked before the 29 March 2019 deadline for leaving the bloc.”
Brexit is in dire peril. It may even be killed off altogether.
Kippers up and down the country have been out for weeks manning stands and handing out leaflets and bags to show that UKIP is still fighting for Brexit (see their reports in UKIP Daily), without much help from the Leadership which in the last months has been more concerned with admitting Tommy Robinson to the Party. That issue, rather than Brexit, has been of more interest to the more vocal members than Brexit, as the debates in the comments section on UKIP Daily document. It is perhaps not too much hyperbole to say that, collectively, the Party has lost the plot.
It is significant that UKIP, the “Brexit Party”, has vanished from the public discourse. To insinuate that this state of affairs is Nigel Farage’s fault is unfair and misses the point: it should not have been necessary to resurrect a cross-party pressure group like ‘Leave means Leave’ to talk Brexit in the first place. UKIP should have been at the forefront of that pressure group. UKIP should have been running a national campaign ever since Chequers. In the absence of anything organised nationwide by UKIP since then it is disingenuous, to say the least, to blame Nigel for putting his efforts into this cross-party group.
Given the sometimes vicious comments on various platforms lambasting Nigel for his decision, often purporting to come from UKIP members, does not bode well for the future of the Party.
If it’s any consolation, let me close with these words of Enoch Powell:
“All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.”
That failure is now staring us in the face, for us members, for UKIP and for our fight for Brexit. It would be an irony of historical dimensions should we have lost both Brexit and UKIP, the Brexit Party, on March 29th 2019.