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TAKING THE RED PILL – UKIP LEADERSHIP Q&A

1. Why do we have leadership elections?

By law all political parties are required to have a leader. This is governed by the Political Parties, Elections and Reforms Act 2000 (Section 24) which states that all political parties must have a leader, a nominating officer and a treasurer. The leader may be the nominating officer and the treasurer or combined and a party may have an overall leader or choose a leader for a particular purpose. Without a leader we are not legally a party and cannot stand in elections.

2. Why is the EGM being held in Birmingham?

Birmingham is in the middle of the country, thus it is deemed the most accessible. As the constitution currently stands, the vote to remove the leader has to take place at a meeting and cannot be conducted by postal ballot. This causes a great deal of inconvenience to members who may have prior arrangements and are unable to make significant travel arrangements or are not prepared to pay the travel costs. I consider it to be undemocratic and unwieldy and this is in urgent need of reform. In January 2000 the NEC, chaired by Nigel Farage, convened an EGM in order to remove the then leader Michael Holmes who was subsequently replaced by Jeffrey Titford. Around 900 members assembled in Westminster to hear the respective debates and arguments. The EGM rules will have to be brought up to date and due consideration given to members’ needs. The reason why the EGM is set up in this manner is to ensure maximum protection to the leader and place significant hurdles across the path of people seeking a change in leadership.

3. If I vote for Henry Bolton, will the NEC swamp be drained?

No, not at all. In the event that Henry Bolton wins in Birmingham, the current NEC members will remain in place until the next round of NEC elections which must be called within three months of the EGM and all existing NEC members are allowed to stand in those elections. Current NEC members may simply reload and stand again. Of course, the NEC elections will be open to all members to stand and of course one cannot predict or guarantee who will win the elections.

4. Henry Bolton says that he is going to make big reforms. Is this achievable? What are they?

I do not know what Bolton’s reforms are, albeit I understand that he wants to convert the NEC members from directors into trustees. He has not presented any paper to the NEC confirming his proposed reforms. I am therefore unsure as to what he means. However, if he wishes to change the constitution there must be a postal ballot of all the members to seek their agreement and changes will only be made if two thirds of the membership support those amendments. It is a high bar. The reason why it is such a high bar is to protect the status quo which was designed to protect the leader.

5. Why do Steven Woolfe, Diane James and Nigel Farage complain so bitterly about the NEC?

That is very simple. Steven Woolfe complained because the NEC would not indulge his incompetence in filing his leadership application after the deadline.  This situation was caused solely by him and he must shoulder sole responsibility for his inaction. Diane James kept delaying her first NEC meeting as leader and made an arrangement to meet all NEC members for a 15-minute one-on-one coffee. An excellent idea; the gentle touch. Alas, the day before the coffee meetings were to happen, she cancelled and then later resigned as leader. It is my frank view that her resignation may have had more to do with the fact that her husband was exposed in the Panama papers. She has been skittish in the past. She pulled out of standing in the 2015 General Election. Farage is of course a world class orator and is the best political speaker in contemporary politics. We were blessed to have him as a leader and main spokesman. However, all top performers have a mix of bravado and insecurity. Alas, the downside of Farage is his need to be the lead singer of the opera, and also the conductor. Farage has never explained why he considers the NEC unfit for purpose. My view is because the reasons are entirely personal:

Reason 1:

Douglas Carswell and the Short money in 2015: Carswell was awarded £600,000 of Short money. Matthew Richardson and Nigel Farage wanted that money to employ about 15 people. Many of us may be aware of Farage’s choice of “specially able staff” whose main talent is loyalty to him. Carswell refused to cooperate and considered £600,000 for one constituency was taking advantage of the taxpayer and he then agreed to take half the Short money and Farage’s promised jobs did not materialise resulting in a loss of face. Thereafter, the NEC was regularly asked to expel Carswell and the NEC had to balance the needs of the party, the views of the members and the impact upon the referendum campaign. On balance it was decided that retaining an MP was of strategic importance. What decision would you come to?

Reason 2:

National Assembly for Wales election, 2016: Farage wanted his “special friend” top of the Wales list and that the Wales campaign would be focused upon his “special friend” who had no campaign history and limited connection to Wales. The members in Wales stated that they would close down branches if the “special friend” was foisted upon them.  The compromise sought was to give the members in Wales a free ballot to decide the list rankings. The members did not vote the way Farage wanted. Farage was unable to gift his “special friend” a five-year term taxpayer funded non-job. Farage’s anger has never left him and this is the main reason for his attacks on the NEC. Simply put, it is the loss of his ability to dole out paid jobs to friends.

6. Is the NEC unfit for purpose?

No. As stated above, Farage’s anger towards the NEC is because his ability to control list rankings and dole out paid jobs has been curtailed. From 2012 to 2015 the membership base was smaller but after 2013 with the local election successes the membership base increased significantly and with it a far greater choice of people standing for the NEC. Maintaining any form of old boys’ network was diminishing. The financial debt and Jane Collins’ costs issue arose during Farage’s leadership and he was present at NEC meetings when these items were discussed. Wonder what he said and how he voted on these issues?

7. Henry Bolton says that it was the NEC who increased the membership fees. Is that correct?

No. Bolton laid the blame at the feet of the donors and the NEC. However, he was the driving force behind this in an attempt to raise more income for the party. Please note that his duties as a leader are to secure new sources of funding, provide political direction, and develop policy. A decent leader would not be seeking to offload blame for such decisions on donors or onto the NEC which comprise elected grassroots activists.

8. What has Henry Bolton done to prepare for the local elections in May 2018?

Nothing. Bolton set up an elections committee headed by Andrew Charalambous, who has never won an election, overseeing Cllr Lawrence Webb, Cllr Tim Aker MEP, Lisa Duffy and others. At the first meeting Henry Bolton and Paul Oakden told them they were forbidden from discussing the new logo. Duffy has since resigned over the logo. No progress whatsoever has been made. Bolton’s way of providing direction is to offload responsibility for this task onto committees he set up of disparate people who rarely meet and produce nothing. Since being elected he has sourced no new donors, created no new income streams save for increasing the membership fee, given no political direction development policy and has not provided us with a post-Brexit economic political vision for the United Kingdom. This is the leader’s job. A party leader’s job is not to be involved in the back-office administration and tinkering with rules.

9. What is the NEC for?

Article 6.1 of the party’s constitution states: “There shall be established a committee known as the National Executive Committee (hereinafter “the NEC”) which shall function as the principal management and administrative authority of the Party, in particular for the purposes of company law.” The NEC is the managing board comprising 12 elected members, the leader and the chairman. It is the grassroots members’ eyes and ears and any member in good standing is free to put themselves forward.

The NEC gives the grassroots a stake in the party and it is this stake that Bolton wants removed to allow the peddling of influence and favours.

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About Elizabeth Jones (11 Articles)
Elizabeth is an NEC member, Chairman of the UKIP Lambeth branch and a 2016 leadership candidate. She has contested elections for UKIP at local, regional, parliamentary and European level since joining in 2010. She is a family solicitor of some twenty years standing.

76 Comments on TAKING THE RED PILL – UKIP LEADERSHIP Q&A

  1. Trying reading the constitution :
    PART VII
    THE PARTY LEADER

    Status

    7.1 Under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 all registered parties must appoint a Party Leader. The Party Leader shall give political direction to the Party and shall be responsible for the development of the Party’s policies with the agreement of the NEC.

  2. Well from what I have seen Elizabeth Jones has lied through her teeth at every chance to the members be it on social media, television or anywhere else she can spout her nonsense. Her favourite one that is echoed in every interview is how Henry Bolton has not provided any policies. It is not the party leaders job to develop policy as she has clearly stated in this article (that is a lie) you only need to check the UKIP constitution to see that all workgroup and subcommittees are set up by the NEC this includes the policy subcommittee. The reason there are no new policies at the moment is the fault of an incompetent NEC who is now trying to blame Bolton for that incompetence.

  3. Freddy.

    I look forward to seeing you ! I’m on the 1023 from Euston…! I don’t make trouble. I stick my neck out when others don’t.
    There were 2000 people in the French Resistance the day before D -Day, and 200, 000 the day after… I’m sure you get my point.

    Take care my friend !

    Kevin

  4. Dear Elizabeth
    It is helpful to get an alternative view from the NEC. The ongoing malaise has led many to look for scapegoats and some have suggested that declaring the NEC unfit for purpose will solve the problem.
    In Adam Richardson’s letter to members (31/01/18) it states that the twelve NEC members will be “removed ahead of fresh NEC election” if Bolton retains his leadership. Is this true, or merely a twisting of language to turn this into an anti-NEC vote?

    • If Henry survives the EGM, or stands for re-election and gets re-elected, then the NEC – en masse – are up for re-election.

  5. Purple Potty Mouth // February 12, 2018 at 3:16 pm // Reply

    Such a wonderful euphemism ‘special friend’ – I thought we were supposed to be straight talking, or might mistress invite a lawsuit?

    • The term “special friend” occurs only in Reason 2, wisely disregarding comments.

      The person referred to therein is male.

      In these gender-gaseous times I suspect he could indeed be a “mistress”, but his Boadicean spouse might disapprove.

      Still, in these troubled times, one is flexible about one’s position.

      • That’ll be a different “special friend” then to the one who influential persons in the party wanted to place at the top of the party list for South Wales Central. She certainly appeared female. Although in these times of gender fluidity …

        • The Welsh FON (friend of Nigel) was indeed female, and much discussed during my NEC tenure. But FONs can also be male, provided you don’t make the tactical mistake of hitting Michael Crick with your conference programme on tv cameras 😉

  6. Freddy

    I’m pleased to say that, contrary to the belief of some, that I will just happen to be in Birmingham at the ICC on Saturday, not inside of course, but outside, with the media pack. As I will not be a member until the mountebank either leaves or is forced out, that gives me a glorious 2 hours to go batsh*t nuts and spill my guts to all my old mates at ITV C4 and the BBC in the local hostelries.

    Or keep my big fat mouth shut.

    I haven’t decided yet.

    One way or the other… Bolton is history.

    Perhaps Bolton will take the whisky and Webley option before then. Honourable, he then escapes ignominy and can go on Celebrity Big Brother next year. He might even keep the girl. Good luck to him if he takes that option. It guarantees silence.

    For those of you out there who wish to either meet me ( Brenda, Roger, Ducky ) or punch me .. Here’s your chance !

    Kevin Baverstock ( Mr Bav )

    • Purple Potty Mouth // February 12, 2018 at 3:27 pm // Reply

      Mr Bav, Watch out for the woman in purple – do say hello. I have just had lunch with a fellow former (Tory) Cllr who is keen to introduce me to a group of fellow UKIP minded friends – how f-ing embarrassing is that until we get rid of the dud. Enjoy your 15mins of fame with Mr Crick & thank him from me for the CV exposure

    • Mr Nav

      I won’t be in Birmingham as have things going on at home.

      Good luck to everyone who will be there to vote him out.

      You probably won’t see me much on here either as I’m having serious problems accessing up to date content since the site moved to the new server. I’ve tried 3 different devices so can only assume it’s the new server keeping me out.

      Kind regards.

      • Brenda up to 5 minutes ago I thought I was having problems with the new set, things I posted this afternoon hadn`t passed the censor, then I went back to my memory and clicked one of the items ahain and hey presto I was back – plus a few comments on my comments, I think we are still in a settling in period.

        • We definitely are still in that settling-down period – and Chas the IT man will come to Chateau UKIP Daily tomorrow morning so we can sort things out.

          • Chas might like to know that I’m pretty sure that I’m not being reliably served up to date comments, also that I sometimes get https, sometimes http (http now, for example, despite clicking on a link to a recent comment). It’s hard to describe clearly, as things don’t seem repeatable. Refreshing the page seems to resolve things, although that sometimes needs to be done more than once.

          • Thanks – I’ll tell him all when i see him tomorrow.

          • Sorry, looks like I got that last bit wrong.

            Some pages seem to be served by http (this one, for example), some others by https, some seem to redirect from https to http.

            Sorry to be confused – it’s a bit confusing. I’m sure it’s just snags that can be fixed.

          • Can you get him to PLEASE sort the sequencing of comments on articles such that the first comment in time comes immediately below the article, then the next below the first in time and so on – such that the most recent comment posted is the one at the very bottom of the comments ?

          • I think https is new site, and http is the interweb sending you to legacy the site because its still propogating… think changing phone number and having to notify everyone.

          • Just so, Rob!
            Also, there are still some plug-ins on the site which are using http:// and not https// which mess things up.
            Our IT man is working hard on this – give him 24 hours, he said.

      • The server should issue a page refresh whenever content changes. That’s how browsers know to re-download the page rather than serve up a previously cached version.

        That isn’t happening but is easily fixed with one line of code.

    • I see. You mean,you will be there exclusively to make trouble. Panoramic trouble would be preferable, but those days are long gone – we simply don’t merit the coverage.

      The days of Webleys too – terribly passé. The means of art comes off a 3D printer.

      As to anyone punching you, why on earth would they? This is UKIP, not the Libdems. Arm-wrestling is more likely, but bearing in mind our last encounter – you need to up your game considerably. 🙂

      • This is UKIP??? The party of Mike Hookem, Stephen Woolfe, Chessboxing Jonathan Arnott, and “General” Godfrey Bloom?

        And he’ll be outside, so no protection from membership card bouncers!

        Protective gear highly advised 🥊🤕

  7. I know that I’m going to be told to ‘Keep up at the back’, but what is the official logo now?

    • If Gerard becomes interim, then Coin Pound, else Minnesota Steve’s pet lion (for the nation).

    • From November minutes on MyUKIP:

      Motion 2: That the pound sign logo will continue to be used on ballot papers as the UKIP logo until after the Local Elections on May 3rd 2018; the transition to the new Party logo will take place thereafter. Proposed by HB, seconded by SC. Carried by 9-0 with no abstentions.

  8. Thanks for your extremely enlightening, and somewhat frightening, article. I’ve been trying for sometime to get my head around why the UKIP “leadership” have managed over and again to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
    If “special friends” get preferential treatment over hardworking local Kippers, it explains a lot. I for one could never understand why the original “cash for questions” MP ended up in the Welsh Assembly, now I can.
    Thanks again.

    • I always called them FONs – Friends of Nigel.

    • Presuming you refer to Neil Hamilton, he’s not a “special friend” of Nigel’s – far from it. Hamilton was placed at the top of one of the regional lists because he achieved the second highest vote among Welsh members.

      Indeed I believe Nigel was most upset when the UKIP group in the Welsh Assembly rejected his anointed one Nathan Gill and instead chose Hamilton as their leader, owing to Gill’s alleged role in trying to get preferential treatment for alleged said “special friends”.

      • Despite warnings the open warfare with Hamilton developed because Farage would not take advice over interfering in the candidates to be chosen for the Welsh Assembly elections (LIST ONLY) He decided in July that the party would ‘insert Reckless and Phillips in positions that would virtually guarantee them election to the assembly. I told him that this would not be possible as the UKIP constitution prevented it. The candidates had to live in Wales. NOTICE at this point no mention of his arch nemesis Neil Hamilton. The NEC were ‘persuaded to amend the rules to allow candidates who lacked the residency qualification to stand as candidates in the WAG lists. This was nodded through against the wishes of many active Welsh members BUT this is where the ‘law of unintended consequences’ kicked in. The NEC change opened the door for Hamilton to stand which of course living in Wiltshire he could not have done. This became know to Farage who through one almighty hissy fit. Farrages lackey in Wales was Nathan Gill. As leader he had promised the Reckless Phillips roles were secure. He even employed along with Scottish MEP Alex Phillips to keep here on side and out of problems in London. The NEC had at this stage changed slightly in make up and very sensibly in their view refused to endorse the lists and names presented to them by Nathan Gill. Gills mistake was to load the lists with Gill cronies most of whom were like Gill himself Mormons. The war for UKIP began here in the dying days of 2015 Farage went to war with the NEC on a battle he could not win, a battle of his own making over an issue also of his own making. In the end a particle compromise was reached with a suggestion form Piers Wauchop (NEC) that the Welsh members be allowed to vote for whom they wanted as list candidates. Gill and Farage celebrated this as a victory. This showed how little Gill and Farage knew about what members thought. The Welsh party had been at war with Gill for months based mainly on his total lack of activity and his employment of Mormon cronies to well paid political jobs they were totally unsuited for. The member delivered a crushing blow to Gill and Farage. They chose people whom they wanted rather than people pushed to the fore by Gill and Farage. In the end control of the group fell to Neil Hamilton on a 4/3 split. The winning card being the second seat in North Wales going to an anti Gill candidate making Hamilton the WAG group leader. Again Farage pointlessly railed in the press on who he was appointing as the leader failing completely to understand that the group not Farage elected the leader. Hamilton’s revenge on Farage was complete. As a footnote Hamilton has played the roles of leader in Wales well in the assembly BUT the party in Wales has crumbled around him as he has failed to lift one finger to support anyone outside the Cardiff bubble.

  9. Having waited in vain for someone else to make this most obvious observation… Isn’t this about blue pills, rather than red ones?

    But then, what do I know.

  10. A pity that you led the NEC to only allow candidates that had been members for 5 years in the leadership election in 2016, thus excluding some rivals to yourself. The 5 year requirement was convenient for you as you had only been a member for just over 5 years rather than say 6 or 10 years. You also have a habit of getting the NEC to choose you as a candidate for by-elections too and not give anyone else the opportunity e.g. Tooting 2016 despite the branch saying they would prefer anyone to you as you were an awful candidate in the Assembly Elections as reported by the officers of the local branch at the London Regional Committee meeting shortly after the London Assembly elections. For those who want Henry removed we must hope you will not be the NEC spokesperson as you are a bit swampy aren’t you?

    • (reaches for the popcorn, sits back…)

    • Grins at recollection of one Winston McKenzie who stood for the leadership having joined so recently he was still legal leader of his own party!

      There is some benefit to length of service requirements 😎

      • And didn’t he compare Nigel to Iesus, Freddy (Capital I as in big ego)? 😀

        • A red herring – Liz Jones did not bring in the 5 year rule to stop Winston McKenzie though she may well have sold it to the gullible or disinterested members of the NEC as that. She introduced it to prevent competition from serious contenders. Woolfe was prevented from standing not so much for not submitting on time which was largely down to computer issues, but because he was the favourite to win – she wanted to stop him at any cost including the threat of legal action, according to some. It will damage the case against Bolton if she is the NEC spokesperson at the EGM, but her ego is such that she could risk Bolton remaining rather than let someone else speak. Like Henry Bolton she is a negative for UKIP, and like him has contrived to present an image far removed from the reality.

          • Stephen Woolfe should not have been relying on computers at the 11th minute of the 11th hour. I would have paid for a recorded delivery courier or taxi the week before.

          • For what it’s worth, Peter, I’ve entered my name in the lottery (sic). I won’t hold my breath.

          • Presumably Wolfe was not stupid, this was a big deal he ought to have known the rules inside out.
            I felt, and this is only my impression, that he was waiting for something right up to the last minute, could he have been waiting for an answer/offer from another party? and it might have been promised but just didn`t materialise.
            Caught in two minds; to delay is fatal?

          • @ Roger Turner

            Yes, I too am sure that Woolfe was in two minds, hence leaving it to the last moment and then finding it couldn’t be done (his PDFs were huge) in time.

            As to knowing the rules inside out, I’m told Woolfe delegated the making of his PCC application; given that a misstatement within this could have criminal consequences for him, perhaps he should have taken personal responsibility. IANAL. He failed to disclose a conviction (long expired/lapsed pursuant to the provisions the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) of being drunk in charge (cf. drunk driving) of a motor vehicle, to wit, a scooter. Disclosure in PCC applications, due to the nature of the job, is specifically excluded from benefiting from the savings in ROA74; as a barrister, he should have known this.

            If people knew all the things people are supposed to know, it would be a different planet.

        • Rob, indeed Winston-the-Baptist did compare Mr Farage to Yeshua(yim), Irsha etc.

          I’d rate Nigel v. Winston a dead heat on the ego stakes.

          Curious, but “The Champ” had no known record of boxing victories. When, in 2014, cognisant of this, one suggested a bout, he had an appointment elsewhere.

          In UKIP London, it is prudent to retain one’s defensive skills, for who knows if a drunken stupid aggressive foul-mouthed untruthful lout with a chip on his shoulders (of course I’m not referring to dear Mr McKenzie here) will emerge from the shadows?

      • he has formed another party !!!

    • Peter In the 2015 election Jones was Dartford candidate at the hustling she told all members in her speech that she was going to finance herself , At the next Dartford AGM I found out that our branch ended up paying £650.00 towards her leaflets she lied back then and is still telling lies.

  11. Dear Elizabeth, I very much appreciate your article above which is very enlightening. Can you please explain why the NEC does not release any minutes of its meetings to the Members who voted them in? I appreciate that some subjects will be deemed “commercial in confidence” and have to be redacted, but it seems to me that the Members are kept completely in the dark about absolutely everything . For example, we have not been told what this farce of a logo cost us, and who was paid for it, or why it still hasnt bern Registered with the Electoral Commission, or, if it is true that the EC will never approve the lion, why the then Leader (Crowther?) or Chairman (Oakden) did not have the foresight to register a couple of potential designs with the Electoral Commission BEFORE proposing them to the members at Torquay.

    • There is no point in registering it with the Electoral commission as it is the wrong shape after inclusion of the mandatory verbiage to put on a ballot paper. for that reason it should have been scrapped immediately after the Premier League draw attention to the similarity of Lenny the Lion with their lion, it having been too much to ask of Crowther et al to perform some due diligence prior to their rush to ditch the £ logo.

      • The lion logo cannot be used on ballot papers for two reasons. Firstly it can only say UKIP as a ballot paper logo. Secondly it is only acceptable to the Football Association if it is used with the “for the nation” wording. Ballot logos can only give the name of the party and no other wording. So in all Lenny is useless and perhaps one day we will find out how much Crowther and Co actually wasted on this exercise whilst serving it up at conference as if were some wonderous event.

    • They appeared on the membeers forum in the past, and were starting to reappear on MyUKIP when I was voted off. I think the blunt reason is that the top team are too overworked, what with ongoing court cases and EGMs etc.

      But I did and continue to believe it is important, and if I ever get back on the NEC, will push for it.

    • Minutes are on My UKIP. . .

  12. Thank you, Elizabeth. All attending Saturday’s EGM need to have read these Q&A.

    Perhaps the Interim Leader, sorry Chairman / Interim Chairman, will consider publishing them in good time for the EGM?

    Now what was it – not a plane – that I saw flying past the window?

  13. Toby Micklethwait // February 12, 2018 at 10:56 am // Reply

    Dear Elizabeth (Jones),

    Thank you for writing such a helpful, relevant and informative article.

    Regards, Toby, 01932-873557

  14. Thanks Liz for giving these answers.

  15. Dear Elizabeth,

    Thank you for this informative and incisive article.

    I was particularly interested to read your testimony that Henry was responsible for the £5 increase in the membership fee.

    I find it telling, as well as ironic, that this move, the one thing Henry has done right, is something which he has, according to Kipper Central, also tried to deny responsibility for. But lest I get carried away with enthusiasm for this measure allow me to note that although this increase will have raised party income over months 1-4 of Henry’s leadership by circa 7%, by month 12, having in mind (24% annualised) falling membership (which Henry says has levelled off since he joined but which I gather, on the basis of membership now being 22,000, has not levelled off since he joined), it will have lowered it by circa 10%. In other words, Henry has done one thing right whether he admits it or not. And this one thing he has done right is not enough even without Elizabeth’s testimony in mind that no donations have been obtained.

    • The new fee structure came into force on January 1st 2018.
      It included a 10% refund to branches in good standing of 10% of their fee income.

      The change included payment of recruitment subscriptions to HO instead of to the branch. In addition, not everyone had been paying the full £30 despite not being under 22 or a vet, with HO accepting £15. It is therefore not apparent what the actual increase in fee income would have been by enforcing the new rules at £30. As 10% of £35 is to be returned to the branch, that represents an actual net increase to party funds of 1.5/30 = 5%.

      Of course, as a local treasurer, I will no longer be able to harangue our membership with dire warnings of branch closure unless they cough up because all their fee income goes to support HO functions. It is not that the membership can see much activity other than administration now that the rules dictate two general meetings of the branch per year, a perfect displacement activity substituting for what we were founded for.

  16. Thanks Liz

    A very clear, informative and useful article.

    I wait with baited breath for Mr Allen to try and filibuster all further constructive debate with 500 words of drivel followed by another 500 ten minutes later.

    Lets hope not.

  17. Interesting article. Even though the closing date for nominations for UKIP Parliamentary Candidate for Gloucester for the 2015 General Election had past and the party had an unopposed candidate, nominations were mysteriously re-opened to accommodate a “special friend” of Nigel who hailed from the city. She was resoundingly rejected by the local party at the subsequent hustings in favour of the original candidate. This lady subsequently tried to get on the Welsh Assembly list and is almost certainly the person referred to in this article. In October 2016 this same “special friend” of Nigel’s contacted the local Tory MP and then appeared on a Tory leaflet in a Gloucester City Council by election claiming that UKIP were finished and that the only way forward was with Theresa May — this despite the fact that the UKIP candidate was a personal friend of hers with whom she had been to school, and despite the fact that she had drawn a substantial salary from UKIP for a considerable period of time, and had been supported by the party in dealing with negative press publicity in respect of her inappropriate social media activity !

    • It is understood that special friends are hanging around because they have already been offered the very well paid position of Party Chairman by persons who see themselves as the new substantive Leader after Gerard Batten.

      I am sick of all the nepotism in this party.

      • Rabbit,

        I want a ‘special friend’, is it the same as an ‘invisible friend’?

      • In fairness, nepotism is prevalent in all political parties. Just read about the in fighting in the Tory and Labour parties. The problem is UKIP professed to be different, a party to represent the ordinary person. We have neither the membership numbers, nor the financial and political clout (how many MPs again?) to engage in nepotism or infighting and favouritism on a scale that far
        exceeds both the major parties. As any mother would say, “bang their heads together and tell them to play nicely together”.

    • The re-opening is not quite true. The special friend status is and if you read my comments above the position in Wales is covered. In the end the solution of a members vote did for her. She left UKIP joined the Conservatives but remained employed by two MEP’s one of whom was an assembly member.

  18. Welcome, Liz!

    One small correction: The Jan 2000 EGM kicked out Michael Holmes AND the NEC; in that respect EGM rules HAVE moved on…

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