At 10 p.m. on Monday night, UKIP spinners sent journalists an unsolicited riddle of a press release about a meeting of their NEC. The bizarre email informed the media:
“There was an exchange of views which, as is the nature of party politics, will be ongoing. It was a packed agenda and the meeting drew to close as participants had trains to catch.”
No further explanation was offered.
What was it all about? UKIP sources say there was a “frank exchange of views” between Douglas Carswell and the NEC over his pre-Christmas broadside against Farage. Hotheads on the NEC loyal to Farage wanted to censure Carswell or at least insist he apologise for criticising Farage. Steve Crowther, UKIP’s chairman, wisely managed to drag out the meeting’s proceedings to avoid bring the matter to a vote. Unfortunately there is an anti-Carswell majority on the NEC who are pushing for another meeting of UKIP’s governing committee next week. We could be just 200 days away from a referendum and UKIP are ridiculously distracted and in trouble financially, is this really the time to be having handbags?
Curiously, the sign outside Douglas’ new constituency office makes no mention of UKIP, and even drops the party purple:
Picture © @RaheemKassam
Is Carswell refusing to spend taxpayers’ money on signs in party colours a point of principle? Or is it, as his enemies intimate, that he might not be a UKIP MP for much longer and doesn’t want to have to buy a new sign?