No Agreement Between Farage and Carswell

Douglas Carswell MP and Ukip leader Nigel Farage

Looks like Farage and Carswell are both digging in. A UKIP spokesman confirms Guido’s story that the two have met, but:

“Nigel Farage met with Douglas Carswell this afternoon and there’s ongoing discussion about how best to represent four million UKIP voters in a way that is sensible and correct.”

So it didn’t go well then…

Police Investigate Alleged Electoral Fraud in South Thanet

Kent Police have launched an investigation into alleged electoral fraud in South Thanet.

UKIP sources say they didn’t make the complaint.

One to drive the conspiracy theorists wild…

UPDATE:

UKIP Peace Conference

Douglas Carswell MP and Ukip leader Nigel Farage

Guido understands that Nigel Farage and Douglas Carswell are about to sit down this afternoon for peace talks.

Guido is optimistic that a resolution is imminent…

UPDATE:

Carswell Ups Ante in Short Money Row

Douglas Carswell just appeared Radio 4, telling the Today programme:

“Well there are one or two rather excitable staffers in Ukip who came up with a proposal that involves hiring 15 extra people, and you know, I would just point out that I’m not an American Senator. I doubt very much that even Ed Miliband when he was leader of the opposition would have had 15 staff in his office. I would much rather deal with this now than in a years’ time face awkward question from journalists like you phoning up and saying why on earth are you spending the best part of a million pounds running an office? Ukip’s meant to be different, and Ukip is going to be different, and I think we need to make absolutely clear that when we spend money we’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do, not just simply because the money’s there.”

He added that “I’m confident, absolutely certain that Nigel will see the good sense of this,” and pledged his loyalty to the leader:

“I can think of lots of people who could do the job far better than me and there are only 24 hours in a day. I can’t be leader of Ukip, run the Ukip operation in Westminster, represent my Clacton constituents, and be a dad and a husband, and I’m not prepared to compromise on the last 3.”

That should calm things right down…

Carswell’s “Spartacus Moment”

UKIP’s battle at the top has broken out into the open very publicly tonight. These apparently coordinated tweets from senior party figures came within a few minutes of each other this evening:

UKIP’s statement earlier today insisted everyone in the party was 100% behind Nigel. These tweets suggest otherwise…

CARSWELL FIGHTING UKIP HQ OVER £650,000 SHORT MONEY

Douglas-Carswell-with-Nig-012

Right now everyone in Westminster is amused by the “unresignation” of Nigel Farage – or what the rest of us would call a “weekend off”. That is a done deal. What is not a done deal is the massive internal row between Nigel Farage’s allies in UKIP HQ and Douglas Carswell, UKIP’s only MP, over the control of the £650,000 of Short Money due to them as an opposition party after winning 4 million votes.

Douglas only learnt that Nige had unresigned in Central Lobby when a passing journalist from The Times, Laura Pitel, showed him a tweet on her mobile phone. Fair to say this did not go down well. 

Carswell subsequently emailed UKIP’s top brass insisting on two things; firstly that UKIP in parliament does not need £650,000 of taxpayers’ money to run a parliamentary operation and that he should chair an oversight board that will control the spending of the money. It is fair to say that in the past UKIP’s expense accounting has been almost as bad as that of the European Commission. Douglas tells Guido that

“I don’t think we need a vast amount of taxpayers’ money to do the job. We should be different, we should be prepared to reject taxpayer funding. We don’t need to be on the gravy train to fund staff. UKIP should be about saying no to the political trough. Not taking our fill.”

Short Money is intended to help fund a parliamentary opposition that doesn’t have the benefit of the Civil Service, specifically

  • Funding to assist an opposition party in carrying out its Parliamentary business
  • Funding for the opposition parties’ travel and associated expenses
  • Funding for the running costs of the Leader of the Opposition’s office

Carswell is suggesting that they accept only £350,000 from the taxpayer for the UKIP parliamentary operation. If Carswell is going to sign off the accounts he is insisting he wants to be a signatory to the bank account…

UKIP is “negotiating” the matter with their only MP and a ‘negotiator’ tells Guido:

“UKIP are looking for a way to spend this money for the betterment of our 4 million voters.”

Sources suggest there could also be “an alternative plan B” with another parliamentarian taking the cash.  Carswell says of the suggestion he might be lured back to the Conservatives: “I’m 100% UKIP, and right now I’m 100% of UKIP in Westminster”.

UPDATE: Nigel Farage tells Guido:

“Douglas is the MP for 4 million people and we need to represent them properly.”

Farage Staying as UKIP Leader

Statement from the party NEC:

“As promised Nigel Farage tendered his official resignation as leader of UKIP to the NEC. This offer was unanimously rejected by the NEC members who produced overwhelmingly evidence that the UKIP membership did not want Nigel to go

The NEC also concluded that UKIP’s general election campaign had been a great success. We have fought a positive campaign with a very good manifesto and despite relentless, negative attacks and an astonishing last minute swing to the Conservatives over fear of the SNP, that in these circumstances, 4 million votes was an extraordinary achievement. On that basis Mr Farage withdrew his resignation and will remain leader of UKIP. In addition the NEC recognised that the referendum campaign has already begun this week and we need our best team to fight that campaign led by Nigel. He has therefore been persuaded by the NEC to withdraw his resignation and remains leader of UKIP.”

“It took a lot of convincing,” says a source close to Farage…

FARAGE LOSES SOUTH THANET

Beaten by the Tories by 2,000 votes.

Nationally UKIP are polling at 12%, well above expectations…

24 Hours Until Dan Hodges Streaks Naked Down Whitehall

Guido suggests the Red Lion as a suitable viewing spot…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Farage Takes on Loony Lefty Protesters in Ramsgate

Nige offers a very shouty man accusing UKIP of being homophobic a meeting with the UKIP LGBT chairman. He declines…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Stringy Says Keep Cam and Carry On

When UKIP are losing the strip club vote, you know […]

+ READ MORE +

All The Presidents Ben: Brillo Slaughters Bow Group Charlatan

BHQ

Here’s the interview of the day. It was not pretty:

Guido thinks Tarzan spoke for us all when he said: who the hell is this guy?[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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