The potential next leader of the free world… and Rand Paul.
UKIP royally screwed up the announcement of where Nigel Farage is going to stand at the general election, so it’s not really a surprise that no one seems to have noticed Farage has today confirmed it will be in South Thanet. The UKIP leader has for the first time admitted what we all suspected at the bottom of his column on the Indy’s website today:
“My phone was rather busy the other day when one of the members of Ukip’s Thanet South branch decided to tell a newspaper that I was standing in that constituency in 2015. The situation is that there will be a hustings in the constituency the week after next at which the branch will decide who they wish to represent them.
I have thrown my hat in the ring, but so have others, including a top-class barrister and friend of mine. It may seem silly to some that the leader of a party would have to go through the process of being approved and selected but, I assure you, rank means nothing in Ukip.
Just as I applied to stand again as a Ukip MEP and went through the same assessment as other candidates and faced the vote of the membership with everyone else, I believe that the power to select the person they will be pounding the streets in all weathers for lies with the members of the branch themselves.
Of course I think I stand a good chance of winning. I have fought the seat before and it is in my home county of Kent and an area I have represented in the European Parliament since 1999. But with Ukip members, nothing is ever for certain. And that’s just fine by me.”
The Tory candidate is former UKIP leader Craig Mackinlay…
Lord Ashcroft’s latest constituency polling has UKIP in first place in two Tory held seats where Labour came second in 2010. Thurrock Tory MP Jackie Doyle-Price, who has a majority of just 92 in Thurrock, drops to third on 28%. In first place is UKIP’s Tim Aker, on 36%, well ahead of the Labour candidate, Ed Miliband’s carpet-bagging former SpAd Polly Billington, who is on 30%. Meanwhile in Thanet South, where Farage is expected to run, UKIP are first on 33%, with the Tories and Labour level pegging on 29%. The LibDems are almost wiped out in both constituencies, on 2% and 4% respectively. If Ashcroft is on the money, UKIP will have at least two MPs in 2015. They are not just hurting the Tories, but Labour too…
Flanked by his People’s Army of victorious new MEPs, Commander Nigel Farage is back in Brussels and back laying into Martin Schulz, Guy Verhofstadt et al:
“We’re whistling in the wind and we are closer now than ever to exit…”
Extramarital dating site Victoria Milan, have somewhat provocatively launched a new billboard campaign outside UKIP’s Mayfair HQ poking fun at Nigel Farage’s alleged penchant for the ladies. The website offers a discreet social network for men and women seeking a secret affair rather than an in depth discussion of European affairs. Allegedly.
Gordon Brown declared Nigel Farage to represent the best of British during his Press Gallery lunch this afternoon, telling hacks: “Britain wouldn’t be Britain without Farage with a pint in one hand and a mystery lady in the other”. Well now Guido can solve the mystery…
The blonde with her arm draped around the fun-loving UKIP leader in the (above right) photo is Tess Weeks, privately educated (Haberdashers’ Monmouth) the UCL graduate speaks Russian and Italian, she works as a recruitment consultant with Palm Mason in Canary Wharf. She attended the boozy conference in Malta last week in the course of her work. Guido cannot think why a well-lubricated Nige decided to make friends:
No need for Kirsten, the missus, to worry, there was no 3 a.m. walk back to a hotel room this time however. Tess has a boyfriend and says she is a proud supporter of the Conservative Party…
“The Conservatives will hold this seat but what UKIP will do is score their best ever percentage score in a by-election. It’s going to be over 30%. [The Tory majority] will be two or three thousand. It will be very difficult to think we could have done much better. It’s been a very short by-election, we couldn’t really mobilise anybody until after the European elections. The Conservatives have probably put more into this than any by-election they’ve ever fought in their history. All round, I can assure you that the People’s Army will be very happy with this result tonight.”
If Farage is right and UKIP polled over 30% that will be very uncomfortable for the Tories…
Readers will remember back in March when Guido broke the story that Nick Clegg had been accused of using civil service resources to prepare for his debates with Nigel Farage. At the time sources familiar with the situation reported that Clegg’s taxpayer funded preparation had strayed into party political territory. This would be a clear breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct, which says any briefings received by ministers must be non-partisan. In the debates Clegg appeared as Leader of the Liberal Democrats…
In search for the truth, Guido requested a copy of Clegg’s preparation for the debates from the Cabinet Office under the Freedom of Information Act. Today, after some delay, the Cabinet Office have confirmed that they do possess the briefings Clegg received, but are refusing to release them despite admitting there is a public interest in doing so:
“There is a general public interest in disclosure of information and I recognise that openness in government may increase public trust in and engagement with the Government. However, these public interests have to be weighed against a stronger public interest of the workings of a private office.”
Clegg has the opportunity to clear his name and prove he did not use civil service resources on party political activity. If he is innocent, there is no loss to him or the Cabinet Office by releasing non-partisan briefing papers. For some reason however, they are not doing so. Those more cynical than Guido might suggest they have something to hide…
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) May 28, 2014
The commander of the People’s Army has travelled to Europe to recruit a new general for his Rebel Alliance. Nigel Farage has met with Italian anti-establishment politician Beppe Grillo, leader of the Five Star Movement which came second in the polls in Italy this week. Following their summit in Brussels, Commander Farage has addressed the nation: “If this works out it would be magnificent to see a swelling in the ranks of the Peoples’ Army.” Grillo reckons: “we are Rebels with a Cause, and we shall whistle as we march.”
The potential UKIP-Five Star alliance in the European Parliament was first reported by Guido in the Sun on Sunday in January. At the time Nige said: “We can have a bit of fun, we can be a bit naughty. The Five Star Movement believe in asking the people what they think. All I can say is, ‘Hooray!’” One to watch out for…
Speaking exclusively to Guido in the media scrum after his press conference, Nigel Farage has called for the Electoral Commission to be abolished for allowing the misleadingly named An Independence From Europe party onto the ballot papers. Farage accepted that the spoiler party cost UKIP an even greater win, the party is furious that Gawain Towler was denied a seat in the South West because of the vote being split by the other party’s “UK Independence Now” slogan. The UKIP leader tells Guido:
“The Electoral Commission was set up if you remember to stop things like the Literal Democrats from ever happening again. In their 13 years of existence, their only achievement that I can see is to have presided over a massive growth in postal voting fraud. They’ve hounded UKIP almost to the point of bankruptcy. We only survived 4-3 at the Supreme Court from going bankrupt. They now allow a party that put UK Independence Now on the ballot paper, that cost us a seat in the South West. Frankly they are not fit for purpose. I’d close the whole thing down and start again.”
The Electoral Commission claimed the names of the two parties were sufficiently different. Which is laughable considering it impacted upon the final result…
It’s Time to Speak for England | John Redwood
It Was Me Who Taped Howard Flight | John Woodcock
Indy Editor: We Will Stay Afloat | Press Gazette
English Don’t Want Scotland to Stay at Any Price | Dan Hodges
England Must Have Self-Government Too | Mark Wallace
Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun
Feminist War on Children | Laura Perrins
An English Parliament is Inevitable Whatever Happens | Alex Wickham
Union All But Over Even if Scots Vote No | Janan Ganesh
Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:
“Sunday, May 10, 1998
Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.
After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.
I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.
They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].
I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”