Patrick O’Flynn Quits UKIP for SDP

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..!

h/t: David Scullion

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.”

O’Flynn Rejects Arron Banks’ Hostile UKIP Take-Over Offer

Paddy Thinks Suzanne’s Coming Second

lisa-duffy-paddy-oflyn

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 Quits Role and Tells Farage: I’m Sorry

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.”

Raheem Calls For Patrick O’Flynn’s Head

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…

O’Flynn: Farage is My Political Hero

But he’s pulling no punches, calling his aides “wrong uns”…

UKIP Wars: Who is Backing Whom

As UKIP’s civil war plays out in the open, here is Guido’s guide to who is backing whom:

ukip

The “coup team” led by O’Flynn and Carswell has the support of much of UKIP HQ, especially in the press office, where Gobby and other junior spinners are on board.

Steven Woolfe and Tim Aker signalled their support for the plotters by publicly tweeting back Carswell, but they are said to be sitting on the fence rather than outright supporting a coup.

The Farage loyalists are made up of the old guard ‘Kippers like deputy leader Paul Nuttall and Steve Crowther, as well as money man Arron Banks. They are joined by three of Farage’s closest aides, Raheem Kassam, Chris Bruni-Lowe and Matthew Richardson, whom O’Flynn declared war on this morning in the Times.

Whose side are you on?

UPDATE: UKIP donor Stuart Wheeler now says of Farage “I would like him to step down at least for the moment.”

UKIP at War

UKIP’s Patrick O’Flynn has declared war on Nigel Farage on the front page of his favourite newspaper, the Times. O’Flynn says Farage is no longer “cheerful, ebullient, cheeky, daring” and has become “snarling, thin-skinned and aggressive”:

“What’s happened since Thursday night, Friday morning has certainly laid us open to the charge that this looks like an absolutist monarchy or a personality cult. I don’t think that even Nigel would say it’s been the most glorious chapter of his leadership. The team around Nigel himself need to reflect why it was that Thanet voted in a Ukip council but didn’t vote in Nigel as the MP for Thanet South.”

O’Flynn blames Farage’s “aggressive” and “inexperienced” aides, blaming a “Tea Party, ultra-aggressive American influence”. One of those aides responds, from America:

Farage and O’Flynn’s relationship has been strained since party conference, where Guido revealed the UKIP leader had been overheard laying into his economics spokesman. Fair to say it has got a lot worse since then…

UKIP Pledge To Protect Green and Pleasant Land

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Gaia was excited to get up early this morning in order to attend UKIP’s briefing on their policies for the countryside – “Protecting Our Green and Pleasant Land“. It was disappointing that so few others in the press felt the same way, by Gaia’s count there were 5 other journalists. The UKIP comms operation outnumbered journos two to one…

Heavy hitters Patrick O’Flynn and Suzanne Evans started off by reassuring everybody that they like the countryside a lot and are nothing like the other parties who hate the countryside. Labour hate it and the Tories really hate it. 

They hate it so much that they’re going to build lots of houses all over it. UKIP won’t let that happen, they will build lots of houses on brownfield land and stop foreign nationals from getting social housing. Also they will stop uncontrolled immigration.

How many brownfield sites are there? UKIP aren’t really sure but they would build a million houses on them in the next decade. How many non-British nationals are living in social housing? UKIP aren’t really sure but aren’t there a lot of rich foreigners buying up expensive housing in London.

Despite Gobby’s pleading, the journos had run out of questions. Gaia shuffled out into the sunlight for a fag and a croissant…

Patrick O’Flynn is Watching You

UKIP are the party of straight-talking and free-thinking, so much so that this morning Patrick O’Flynn sent a stinging missive to the party’s candidates warning them not to step out of line. “Unity is Strength” says Paddy, lifting the charming slogan from the totalitarian regime in 1984:

“Just to stress that during this campaign most media organisations are of a generally anti-UKIP disposition. The Express group of newspapers (Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star, Daily Star Sunday) is the only national newspaper group that is generally sympathetic in its coverage. Many broadcasters are also drawn from social backgrounds in which UKIP supporters are to say the least thin on the ground.

Therefore if you as a candidate get approached by a national media representative you should realise that they may well be seeking to create division or otherwise damage our efforts to maximise support. So don’t get bounced into saying things that will give them ammunition to use against our party.

There was, for instance, a big media effort to divide us over Nigel’s comments on health tourism and HIV. The party generally held together extremely well and then, lo and behold, a YouGov poll found that half the country agreed with what Nigel had said (including 89% of UKIP-minded voters).

The moral of the story is that during election campaigns unity is strength. Those who freelance with their own lines that contradict overall party policy or what the leader has said are of more use to our opponents than they are to us. I know that none of you will want to find yourself in that position.”

You have been warned…

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