The EU’s internet-killing new Copyright Directive has become mired in a fresh layer of controversy after it emerged that multiple MEPs were “tricked” into voting the wrong way on it. Guido understands that an extra vote was inserted into the voting list at the last minute which threw most MEPs’ voting lists out of sync. Unlike the Commons where MPs have to physically make the decision to walk through lobbies, MEPs just robotically press buttons according to a long voting list handed out to them. A clear warning of the dangers of electronic voting…
At least 13 MEPs have told the European Parliament they accidentally voted the wrong way. Now the EU has modified their individual voting records but has refused to revisit the result of the vote, despite the fact there was a majority of just 5 MEPs. The EU also rejected a direct request from MEPs to stage the entire vote again. This blocked MEPs from voting on any amendments, including on the meme-banning Article 13…
Brexit Party MEP Bill Etheridge tells Guido “it’s appalling, but that’s how this place works on a regular basis. It’s only come to people’s attention this time because it’s a high profile issue”. Etheridge says his group’s staff were sharp enough to spot the switch but many other groups weren’t, he knows several ECR and other MEPs who are “mortified” after voting the wrong way on it. Now the internet-killing law has been passed the EU simply doesn’t care. “Democracy” EU-style…
The exodus of UKIP MEPs is starting to turn from a trickle into a flood with Bill Etheridge becoming the latest Kipper to quit the party in protest at Gerard Batten’s leadership.
Etheridge accused Batten of allowing his “personal obsessions” to change the party “beyond all recognition” in a stinging resignation statement:
“The changes you have made since becoming leader have changed the party beyond all recognition. You have allowed your personal obsessions free reign. The party is now seen by large swathes of the British public as a vehicle for hate towards Muslims and the Gay community…”
Batten has bitten back in characteristic style:
“I hope that Mr Etheridge will do the decent and honourable thing and resign his seat, thereby handing it back to UKIP to which it morally belongs.
“I am sure the loss of his salary, daily allowance, and pension rights would be a small price to pay for a man of principle such as he.
“It was a great pity that Mr Etheridge was unable to make it to the UKIP Conference in Birmingham last month where he could have witnessed the party members fully behind my leadership – the people who put him in the seat he currently holds by dint of their efforts and donations.”
At this rate, will Batten even have any UKIP MEPs left by the time Britain leaves the EU next March?
With Farage not running, a battle for UKIP’s soul is underway between the more classical liberal / libertarian old guard and populist anti-Islam elements who are accused of trying to infiltrate the party. As ever Guido gives you your runners and riders…
The EU Parliament’s Directorate-General for Infrastructure and Logistics has ordered the immediate closure of the distribution of warm water in Brussels and Strasbourg Members’ offices following detection of Legionella bacteria. It has happened before in 2002 – the futuristic building was only opened in 1999. The problem is the offices are empty more than half the time with water stagnating…
UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge tells Guido
“If it wasn’t so serious it would be comical. On one hand the European Union is fighting to retain control of the UKs fishing waters, yet in Brussels it cannot manage to control a little warm water to MEPs offices. With these offices only fully used half the time due to constituency work and the ridiculous monthly move to Strasbourg, the stagnating water in the Brussels pipes is a disaster waiting to happen. The Parliament here is similar to the water; infested, dangerous and cold. Roll on 2019.”
It would be terrible if all those MEPs were struck down by Legionella. One of the early symptoms is “mental confusion”. So be on the look out for MEPs exhibiting this symptom…
Bill Etheridge is the first to pull out of the the UKIP leadership race, endorsing his friend Paul Nuttall:
“I always said that if a candidate better suited to take this party forward emerged I would back down and support them. That candidate has emerged.
“Paul Nuttall is not only a personal friend and an honourable man but I believe he is the only person who can effectively unite our party after the recent well publicised problems we have suffered.
“I will be supporting Paul and giving him my 100% backing. I call on all other potential candidates to follow my example and withdraw from the race to allow Paul to go forward from here and unite our party.”
Would Suzanne or Raheem pull out if Nuttall made them a deal?
With Steven Woolfe out and more candidates throwing their hats into the ring, Guido brings you an update on the UKIP leadership race:
Suzanne Evans: Quietly gathering signatures for her nomination. Her suspension has lapsed, she should be a member in good standing for 28 days (we think) and thus eligible. Bookies’ favourite. Will her closeness to the Farage-hating Carswell faction cost her with the grassroots?
Paul Nuttall: Other candidates fear Nuttall will win if he stands. This Telegraph article sounds like he wants it. Though there is no noticeable effort to gather signatures, he didn’t want to run last time and will be asking himself if it’s really worth it. Dithering or not bothering at all?
Raheem Kassam: Loudly gathering the necessary signatures. Has been campaigning hard online and thinks he has enough signatures to submit the paperwork on Sunday. If Nuttall doesn’t run there is a possibility Raheem could actually do it. His price to win is tighter than Trump’s!
Peter Whittle: UKIP’s London mayoral candidate is popular in the capital. While campaigning in Witney he appeared on one of Kassam’s campaign videos and even said his rival’s slogan: “Make UKIP Great Again”, though he tells Guido he is not on Team Raheem. Also quietly gathering signatures.
Bill Etheridge: Said he’d stand unless there was somebody he could back 100%. Accused of cheating by his fiancee. Has been round the rubber chicken circuit.
David Kurten: Lower profile, tried to be nominated as UKIP’s mayoral candidate with a false London address. When Breitbart asked him how he responded to allegations of racism in UKIP he replied: “UKIP isn’t racist, I love white people!”
Suzanne, Nuttall and Raheem are the frontrunners…