We have received permission to publish this statement by our UKIP members in the House of Lords, Lord Malcolm Pearson of Rannoch, Lord David Stevens of Ludgate and Lord David Willoughby de Broke. Their statement was first sent to the NEC. It is published jointly by Kipper Central and UKIP Daily. The importance of the UKIP Peers’ proposal is self-evident:
To the UKIP NEC.
Dear NEC members,
As you will know, ahead of your emergency meeting on 20th January, we wrote to NEC chairman Paul Oakden indicating that, as the three UKIP Peers in the House of Lords, we had lost confidence in Henry Bolton as Party Leader.
We now write to suggest that, ahead of the EGM on 17th February, you resolve to immediately appoint Gerard Batten MEP as Interim Leader in the event that Henry Bolton loses the vote at the EGM.
Further, we suggest that you publicly announce ahead of the EGM that it is your intention to appoint Gerard in the event that Henry Bolton loses, so that UKIP members will know as they vote that you have a plan of action around the party leadership and that there will not be any demoralising vacuum at the top. This will be helpful for members up and down the country and is especially necessary in view of the local elections just over two months away on 3rd May.
If possible, you might even make plans to introduce Gerard as Interim Leader at the end of the EGM at Birmingham if Henry Bolton loses the vote, in order to demonstrate continuity and forward vision.
Gerard will be well known to you as one of the founding members of the party. At our request we met with him recently, and are confident he will make a competent Interim Leader with a clear idea of what he would like to do with and for the party.
We note that former Deputy Leader Margot Parker MEP and former Assistant Deputy Leader Mike Hookem MEP, both of whom recently offered to step in as Interim leader, have both now withdrawn their offers and instead are backing Gerard for the post.
We also see that the UKIP leader on the Welsh Assembly Neil Hamilton AM, and the UKIP leader of the London Assembly Peter Whittle AM, have both come out in support of Gerard as Interim leader.
We believe that Gerard Batten has what is necessary to unite the party and see it out of the present crisis.