UKIP’s Patrick O’Flynn has quits his party over Gerard Batten’s embrace of Tommy Robinson… and joined the rump SDP. Former Political Editor of the Daily Express, O’Flynn was quite a coup for Farage’s UKIP when he joined the party in 2014. He now becomes the third elected official of the party, as it already has two town councillors. Will the last MEP to leave UKIP please turn out the lights…
Brexodus: UKIP have now lost 10 of the 24 MEPs elected in 2014… Jonathan Arnott, Janice Atkinson, Amjad Bashir, James Carver, William Dartmouth, Roger Helmer, Bill Etheridge, Diane James, Patrick O’Flynn, and Steven Woolfe.
UPDATE: Guido has been reminded of what O’Flynn said in interview with BrexitCentral in February 2017…
“He [Farage] seems to be worried people like me are crypto-SDP [supporters] and he couldn’t be more wrong. But we want to be a mainstream party, that’s how you win elections.”
It seems as if Farage was right after all..!
UPDATE II: The SDP have been in touch to tell Guido they are “delighted” by this defection and that today is “a great day for social democracy.”
“The SDP is delighted that Patrick O’Flynn MEP has joined the party. It’s a great day for the resurgent SDP and a great day for social democracy. We believe that millions of British people will support the communitarian approach to politics in our New Declaration.”
“Our aim is to provide a political home to all social democrats who seek a stronger more capable state along with greater individual responsibility, trust and social solidarity. We have consistently supported the nation-state as the upper limit – and the defining unit – of democracy. The SDP believes the 2016 referendum vote must be respected.”
— DailySunday Politics (@daily_politics) February 26, 2017
Guido was in the Marquis of Granby pub earlier this afternoon when he eavesdropped on a Suzanne Evans campaign meeting with Patrick O’Flynn and Lisa Duffy. Paddy, the most high profile Kipper backing Suzanne and her effective campaign manager, was overheard to say he thinks she will come second. Which is an honest and realistic viewpoint, even if it is one Team Suzanne wouldn’t want to admit to holding publicly. Loose-lips sink ships…
UPDATE: O’Flynn confirms it.
— Patrick O’Flynn (@oflynnmep) October 28, 2016
O’Flynn stands down as Economics spokesman and grovels to his leader:
“I would like to express to colleagues my sincere regret at going public with my frustrations about the turn of events following polling day. And more than that, I would like to apologise directly to Nigel for the phrase ‘snarling, thin-skinned and aggressive’. This was a fragment of a wider passage about perceptions and is not what I think of him. Nonetheless, I should have known better than anyone what use would be made of phrases that were both unfair and unkind.
“I am proud of what we achieved in the general election and am only sorry to have succumbed, as Roger (Helmer) put it with such impressive understatement, to public remarks that were ‘unhelpful’. I think it appropriate to stand down as economic spokesman, which I have done. I hope in the months ahead to be of use to the great campaign to persuade the British people to leave the EU, which is after all what brought me into politics in the first place.”
That’s everyone brought firmly back in line. Happy Christmas, war is over?
UPDATE: Suzanne Evans speaks:
“Patrick O’Flynn is one of UKIP’s hardest working MEPs. He has been an excellent economics spokesman and made valuable and professional contributions to our manifesto and our General Election campaign. I’m very sorry indeed to see him step down from his spokesman role.”
UPDATE II: Farage does his best Don Corleone:
“Patrick O’Flynn came in person to tell me he had realised that he had made a mistake and, being the honourable man that he is, tendered his resignation as UKIP Economics Spokesman. I accepted his resignation with some sadness, not least because he is very able and has been a great asset to the team. He continues to be a committed UKIP member and MEP.”
Fresh from being described as a “wrong un” by Patrick O’Flynn, Nigel Farage’s outgoing chief of staff Raheem Kassam popped up on Sky last night to blast O’Flynn and call for his resignation.
Boulton: “Are you saying there’s no place in the party for Patrick O’Flynn?”
Kassam: “That’s absolutely what I’m saying…over the past 24 hours he has shown himself to be utterly unprofessional and undeserving of holding the spokesperson role for the UK Independence party…”
Raheem also let slip that he’s back at the helm of Breitbart London…
UKIP's Patrick O'Flynn says Nigel Farage "is my political hero" as he clarifies newspaper comments http://t.co/ywaONdv7h8
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 14, 2015
But he’s pulling no punches, calling his aides “wrong uns”…