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Here the father explains the arrogance of the NHS doctors who caused the parents of Ashya to be arrested. The child is now alone in a Spanish hospital. Ashya was at no extra risk with his parents who had all the necessary medical equipment and were caring for him. From what the father says the NHS doctors were unsure of how to proceed with treatment. Any parent will do whatever is necessary for their sick child…
Ashya’s granny didn’t hold back on the Today programme:
The Spanish authorities should allow these loving parents to see their child immediately…
UPDATE: South East UKIP MEP Janice Atkinson is calling for the immediate release of her constituents Brett and Naghemeh King and asking the Home Secretary to question use of European Arrest Warrant. “I call on the Home Secretary to contact the Spanish authorities so that Ashya’s parents are released immediately… Then I would ask her whether she now thinks that pernicious European Arrest Warrant works in the hands of over-zealous policemen in the interests of British citizens?” Quite.
If the eight Tory MPs weighing up defection headlines sounded a little familiar this morning, it’s because they were a rehash from an old story that was debunked at the time. Here is what Stuart Wheeler told the Telegraph way back in 2012:
“I have had lunch secretly if you like, in a completely confidential way, with eight different Tory MPs. Each was promised by me that I would not tell any of the others, or anybody else except Nigel.”
While it makes for a nice story, Guido suspects Carswell is flying solo for the foreseeable future due to the unique circumstances of his own politics and seat demographics. He’s also set the bar very high as the precedent for any future defection from any political party to another – it must now come with a by-election.
He should have stayed on holiday…
In the post-press conference throng this morning, Guido overheard senior UKIP officials confidently assuring each other that their current candidate in Clacton “will be delighted” with the news that Carswell would be usurping him.
Lets see how that is going…
“Until they fire me, shoot me or blow me out of the party for being a rebel then I’m here,” Roger Lord tells Buzzfeed:
“As far as I’m concerned I’m carrying on.If Mr Carswell wants to join us then he can get in the queue and hand out leaflets with the rest of us. Now that I’ve announced my campaign team, which now includes many members of his campaign team, his vote looks to be sinking quite quickly.”
Yep, he sounds delighted.
UPDATE: Mr Lord should have read his UKIP constitution. Rule S24 says the NEC chooses the candidate in the event of a by-election. Guido is not sure if that counts as firing, shooting or blowing.
UPDATE II: Statement from UKIP party secretary tells Guido:
“Roger Lord is not now, nor has he ever been the by-election candidate for Clacton. The National Executive Committee of the Party have voted to adopt Douglas Carswell as the candidate for the upcoming by-election. Roger Lord is mistaken in his belief that he is the candidate and he can best serve the party’s and the county’s interests by standing behind the decision of the NEC”
“This is a regrettable and frankly counterproductive decision. As Douglas Carswell said, the only way to get a referendum on the EU is to return a majority Conservative government. The Conservative party will contest the forthcoming by-election vigorously to make sure the people in Clacton have a strong conservative voice in this parliament and the next.”
‘The Conservative Party will contest the by-election vigorously, to ensure that the people of Clacton have a strong Conservative voice in this Parliament and the next.’
“Douglas Carswell’s defection is a hammer blow to David Cameron. Confidence in David Cameron is collapsing inside a Conservative party which is divided and running scared of UKIP. David Cameron’s weak leadership has seen him abandon the centre ground, repeatedly trying to pander to his own right-wing backbenchers rather than concentrate on the needs of the country. Now even his own side are abandoning him.”
UKIP’s specialist academic Matthew Goodwin tells Guido that Clacton is a “dead cert” for the party and that he had briefed Douglas Carswell about this before he made his decision to quit. He claims that the seat is the most ‘kippy in the country. Intriguingly Goodwin confirmed he had briefed the Parliamentary Conservative Party about where UKIP were the biggest threat and Carswell had been at that presentation. Along with many others.
When Guido asked Farage whether there were any more Tory MPs in the pipeline he refused to say: “You buy the chap one pint and he asks for a second.”
He cites Tory dependency on pollsters, lack of real change on offer in Europe and blocking of parliamentary reform. He will resign his seat and trigger a by-election, the honourable thing to do. “I want change, I am an optimist”.
UPDATE: Guido asked Carswell to rate his chances: “I don’t know”. He confirmed he had not spoken to the PM this morning. “I wouldn’t worry Douglas, he’s watching live,” Nigel quipped. Carswell commented “I happen to like David Cameron, I’m not expecting him to reciprocate that now. He’s a nice person, he’s just not serious about change.”
It’s a mystery to why UKIP’s hustings in South Thanet have been moved from St Lawrence College Theatre in Ramsgate. Whispers say it was after local pressure was put on the college not to host the party, but officially it’s something to do with lectures and satellite trucks wanting to set up. Either way, the replacement venue made Guido chuckle. The Kippers will assemble tonight in Odd Fellows Hall.
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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:
“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”