New Green co-leader Jonathan Bartley is a complete non-entity, so it was important for him to make a good first impression on today’s Daily Politics. Would the smug former Tory take a more moderate, sensible tone? Nope, he said UKIP are “fascist” and compared them to the Nazis. Now the left is in control of the Labour Party, what is the point of the Greens?
On Monday top Hillary Clinton aide Neera Tanden sensationally claimed “the Russians” were “directly funding” UKIP. Quite an allegation, and one for which Team Clinton alas offered zero evidence. Nigel Farage has addressed the claim :
Breitbart: “According to her, Nigel, you are a far-right politician funded by the Russians. Is that right?”
Farage: “Hmm. Well, I can’t tell you how touched and thrilled I am that, starting with Hillary, and now one of her acolytes, they’ve chosen to make me a political football in this presidential election… All I can say to her acolyte is that I’ve never taken a penny piece from Mr Putin, so frankly what she’s saying is slanderous, there’s no other way of putting it.”
Now, about those Saudi donations to the Clinton Foundation:
Bit rich of Saudi-funded Hillary, a “family friend” of Egyptian tyrant Hosni Mubarak, to accuse anyone else of having cosy relationships with foreign despots…
Here’s some Labour entryism of a different kind. A number of UKIP members are getting a vote in the Labour leadership election through their trade unions. As you can see above, lifelong ‘Kippers have been sent ballot papers for both parties. This has caused great amusement. The UKIP member above, for example, plans to vote for Diane James because he “loves UKIP”, and Jeremy Corbyn because he “hates Labour”. He says: “Been in a union 36 years and this is the first time I’ve bothered to vote in a Labour leadership election”. It ain’t just Trots the Labour compliance unit have to root out, but ‘Kippers for Corbyn too…
Team Clinton have continued their attacks on the Breitbart-UKIP nexus, with a top Hillary adviser boldly claiming: “the Russians are openly funding UKIP”. Neera Tanden made the extraordinary allegation in an interview with Politico:
“If you’re in Europe, the Russians are openly funding the far-right groups, from UKIP to Marine Le Pen … There is widespread knowledge among the center-left parties that that is a rising development
“Look at RT, Russia Today. The amount of time they spend propping up the third parties in the United States, the amount of time they spend attacking Hillary, and in ways that are just very aligned with the arguments of the Trump campaign. Russia has a history of playing in European politics. And we should not be surprised if they are attempting to do the same here.”
There has long been lurid speculation of clandestine financial links between the Kremlin and anti-establishment parties in Europe. Louise Mensch touches on them for Heat Street today. Of course, there is as yet no actual evidence to support any of the claims. It is certainly factually incorrect of Clinton’s aide to state that the Kremlin is “openly funding UKIP”. Kipper sources say those making the allegations are conspiracy theorists on the “paranoid lunatic fringe”. Come on then Hillary, if you’ve got the evidence, let’s see it…
Guido must ask Neil Hamilton for next week’s lottery numbers. On Sunday UKIP’s Welsh Assembly leader sent this email to colleagues on the party’s NEC, including links to newspaper articles concerning his rivals. Hamilton wondered if “anyone else” mentioned would soon face investigation.
Just days later, Hamilton’s main rival in Wales, Nathan Gill – who was mentioned in the articles – suddenly found himself at the centre of an expenses probe after a dossier was mysteriously briefed to the press. Curiouser and curiouser…
Diane James is the candidate being pushed by many Faragists behind the scenes, and last night she followed their lead by demanding the party “ditch the NEC”. She also made this stark threat to UKIP plotters:
“There’s going to be no place in UKIP under my leadership for those who have sought or seek to destabilise, destroy or even obstruct what a new constitution will outline for the future governance of this party. So for all those individuals for whom what I’ve just described the cap fits, I suggest you find your P45 when it’s sent to you and I suggest you start looking for a new career, because we don’t want you in UKIP, I can tell you that now.”
It’s clear who she means – the anti-Farage faction on the NEC. Punchy stuff which will go down very badly with the Lisa Duffy/Suzanne Evans team. Though if Diane kicked out every Kipper who has destabilised the party there wouldn’t be many left…
UPDATE: Patrick O’Flynn, who’s in the Lisa Duffy camp, hits back at Diane:
“I am very surprised, disappointed and indeed perturbed to hear that Diane is threatening to expel from UKIP anyone who opposes the NEC being scrapped, not least because I oppose the NEC being scrapped. Given that she is not attending Ukip’s leadership hustings either Ukip members will be forgiven for wondering which party Diane is standing for the leadership of – Ukip or some new online party being promoted from the shadows.”
UKIP’s Bill Etheridge breaks his silence after his Viagra difficulties earlier in the week:
“It’s been hard, difficult times, people have rounded on me, there’s been attacks on me, and it’s been a tough time to get through. And now people are speculating, especially some of my good friends in the Cambridgeshire area. They’re worried about me, they’re worried I might not be able to carry on with the campaign. Today ladies and gentlemen, I have a message that I’d like to give to everybody – especially those who doubt I can carry on. Quit? Not bloody likely!”
Etheridge will be competing tonight in the Torquay hustings. The soft-scoop ice cream is a nice touch…
Twitter got very excited this afternoon after a far-fetched Buzzfeed story claimed Nigel Farage was refusing to deny applying for German citizenship. Guido thought this sounded unlikely so asked his spokesman, who confirms it is “not true”. Obviously.
UPDATE: A UKIP source adds:
“He was at the embassy in relation to a personal matter.
The fiancee of one of UKIP’s leadership candidates has accused him of cheating after she found a half empty box of Viagra in his car. MEP Bill Etheridge’s partner Lorraine Chew last night called him a “dirty disgusting cheat” when she found this half-empty packet of little blue pills:
Just a few days ago Etheridge had tweeted to apologise to his fiancee for “neglecting” her:
It all kicked off at UKIP’s leadership hustings last night when, according to multiple witnesses, a senior UKIP activist “started screaming and shouting” at a rival camp, accusing them of re-tweeting the above image.[…]
Remember the curiously-timed revelation that Steven Woolfe was once nicked for being drunk in charge of a scooter? Well, a member of the public – surely not a rival ‘Kipper – called the cops and complained that he had broken the law again by failing to declare his conviction when he ran as a Police and Crime Commissioner.[…]
Remember those UKIP NEC members who quit in protest at Steven Woolfe being kept off the ballot? Well, they’re unresigning. Victoria Ayling and Mike McGough, who backed Woolfe in the dispute, angrily resigned from the NEC last week. Yet an email sent by party chairman Paul Oakden today says:
“Victoria Ayling has now confirmed to me that she has decided to withdraw her resignation from the NEC.
An update on the UKIP situation: allies of Nigel Farage and Steven Woolfe say they have secured the 80 branches required to call an Extraordinary General Meeting. That is enough for a vote to take place on abolishing the NEC. The EGM organisers are now working to get over 100 branches as they are worried the NEC will use technicalities to dismiss the support of some of them.[…]
Five members of the UKIP NEC which voted to block Steven Woolfe from the ballot had potential conflicts of interest, leaked messages reveal. Woolfe was barred from standing by an NEC majority of 9-3. Among those who voted were Rob McWhirter, who Guido can reveal previously endorsed Lisa Duffy on a private UKIP discussion forum.[…]