Woolfe Rejected By CCHQ

CCHQ has rejected Steven Woolfe’s application to join the Conservative Party. Prior to joining UKIP in 2010, Woolfe had served as a Tory councillor in North Wales.

Woolfe is well liked in Tory circles, Guido suspects members will not take kindly to this decision, especially after CCHQ welcomed the defection of UKIP MEP Amjad Bashir with open arms in 2015. The Tories have fewer members than the SNP, can they really afford to be turning former members away like this?

Guido understands that Woolfe’s association with Arron Banks’ ‘Blue Wave’ movement was CCHQ’s main sticking point with his application. The phrase “Conservative Grassroots Mutiny” in their promotional material did not go down well…

UPDATE: A Conservative spokesman has confirmed: “Steven Woolfe’s application for membership of the Conservative Party has not been accepted.”

UPDATE: A frustrated Steven Woolfe tells Guido that he is “bemused” by the situation, particularly given the Tories’ efforts in the past to win back moderate UKIP supporters. He is still waiting to hear back from CCHQ as to why he has been rejected. Woolfe remains one of the best-connected eurosceptic British MEPs in Brussels – does it make sense for the Tories to be spurning his offer of support?

Steven Woolfe MEP Re-Joins the Tories

Former almost UKIP leadership candidate Steven Woolfe MEP has applied to join the Tories. After they let Amjad Bashir defect in 2015, it would be very odd to refuse Woolfe membership…

He has become President of the ‘Blue Wave‘ movement of Brexit supporters joining Theresa May’s party. Woolfe is one of the more sensible ex-kippers, who left that party in 2016 after an infamous altercation, to sit in the EU Parliament as an independent. It will be interesting to see how welcoming CCHQ are to the former Tory councillor for Colwyn Bay….

EU Budget Latest: €2 Million for “Private Storage of Cheese”

The European Parliament adopted amendments on the draft EU budget this week. A line-by-line breakdown of spending proposals was circulated to MEPs – it’s eye-watering even by the EU’s troughing standards. €2 million for “private storage of certain cheeses” really grates, as well as €700,000 for a “manual of good practices for cruises”. All-time-classics of outrageous splurging…

Independent MEP Steven Woolfe said:

“The EU is actually a parody of itself. If the British people needed further reminding of why they voted to leave the EU last year it’s set out in black and white in this year’s budget. ‘Ocean literacy for all’, a ‘Manual of good practices for cruises’!? The mind boggles. Presumably, the ten million Euros spent on ‘storage measures for skimmed-milk powder’ is to ensure that, in the event of a nuclear holocaust, Eurocrats in Brussels will still be able to enjoy a white Americano as they slowly die from radiation poisoning…”

Roll on 2019…

Ridge on Sunday Highlights

Woolfe: Full Length Interview

UKIP Set to Throw Woolfe Under Bus

Martin Schulz has referred Steven Woolfe and Mike Hookem to the French police after their fracas earlier this month. He says Woolfe “was subjected to an act of violence”Definitely no political motivation behind Schulz’s decision.

Nigel Farage has taken a slightly different view from his bedside vigil with Woolfe, now Nige says “There is absolutely no evidence anyone was punched at all“. A new line which is definitely nothing to do with Woolfe quitting the party. Looks like UKIP’s internal investigation will be throwing Woolfe under a bus…

Steven Woolfe Quits UKIP

Steven Woolfe has resigned from UKIP with immediate effect.

“Six years ago, I joined Ukip. Since then, I have campaigned with all my energy, time and determination to champion the party’s core beliefs and values. 
 
“I have been proud to stand in local, general, PCC and London assembly elections – and of course to be elected as a North West MEP. 
 
“I have been proud to be a part of the team led by Nigel Farage, one of Britain’s greatest ever politicians. He brought me into the party and helped us win the referendum – a moment I will always treasure. Without Nigel, the donors, the team members and the activists, the UK would not be free today.
 
“It was because of the support from party members that I put my name forward to lead the party in the Summer, and again two weeks ago following Diane’s resignation. However, I could not have foreseen the events that would follow. 
 
“The events at the meeting in Strasbourg led to me later being treated by doctors for two seizures, partial paralysis and loss of feeling in my face and body.  
 
“I would like to thank all of the medical staff in Strasbourg for their impressive and swift treatment. I owe them my life. I would also like to thank my family and friends for their love and support – and also all of the people in politics who have sent me their best wishes. 
 
“Since then, I have spent some time considering my personal and political future.
 
“It is with deep sorrow and regret that I am aborting my leadership campaign and announcing my resignation from Ukip with immediate effect.
 
“I believe that a strong Ukip would hold this government’s feet to the fire and make sure it delivers a clean Brexit. However, I have come to the conclusion that Ukip is ungovernable without Nigel Farage leading it and the referendum cause to unite it.
 
“The way I was treated by members of my own party during the Summer’s leadership campaign and the events that have led up to today have all contributed to me coming to this conclusion. The party is riddled with infighting, proxy wars between rival camps and is run by an NEC that is not fit for purpose.
 
“Once my recovery is complete, it is my intention to sit as an independent MEP in the European Parliament. 
 
“I will continue to represent my constituents in the European Parliament until the UK’s exit from the EU in 2019. I will champion the values I hold dear – those of freedom, democracy and an independent United Kingdom.
 
“With regards to the highly regrettable events in Strasbourg, I will reiterate my position that I received a blow from Mr Hookem that knocked me back into the meeting room and caused my subsequent injuries. Contrary to reports, I have made a police complaint.
 
“I am now seeking legal advice in respect of the investigations and will not be commenting further on the matter until the completion of those investigations.”

Developing…

UKIP Leader Runners & Riders

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After the surprise resignation of new UKIP leader Diane James, Guido brings you the latest runners and riders in UKIP’s leadership battle (odds from Betfair):

Paul Nuttall – Evens

Forever in Farage’s shadow, Nuttall has been deputy leader of UKIP for the last six years. His Liverpudlian roots could appeal to the working class north in a way that Evans or Kassam could only ever dream. The favourite after the fracas despite not yet confirming that he is standing…

Steven Woolfe – 2/1

The front runner in the last leadership contest until he forgot to submit his papers on time. Woolfe seemed to take the latest UKIP fight literally when he was in an alleged punch up with fellow MEP Mike Hookem. No longer the favourite post fracas and leaking of his talks with the Conservative Party.

Suzanne Evans – 4/1

Suzanne Evans was a  Conservative Party councillor who defected to UKIP in 2013.  Highly praised for writing UKIP’s 2015 manifesto, she was later suspended from the party for criticising a fellow candidate. Close to Carswell. Evans’s suspension has lapsed just in time for the latest contest.

Raheem Kassam – 15/1

Nigel Farage’s former chief of staff and current London editor of Breitbart, Kassam has already launched his online campaign to be leader with the slogan “Make UKIP great again” but his odds have been widening in the last few days. Most observers think he’s really running for the deputy-leader spot. The former Conservative Party activist is making a big thing of attacking “Blue Kippers”Like Nigel he’s very much a Marmite character.

Bill Etheridge – 27/1

MEP for the West Midlands and another former Conservative Party member. In the last leadership election he was accused of cheating by his fiancee when she found a half empty packet of Viagra in his car. Lad.

UKIP’s NEC is meeting this coming Monday to determine rules and timeframe…

UPDATE: Guido is told that Peter Whittle AM, UKIP’s former candidate for London mayor is also in the running (currently 27/1). A cultured fellow, if Guido’s memory serves him right he too is also a former Conservative Party member.

Mike Hookem: I Didn’t Right Hook Him!

“There was no punches thrown, there was no face slapping, there was no digs, there was nothing… a bit of a scuffle”

Woolfe claims Hookem “landed a blow“. Who’s telling the truth?

UPDATE: Hookem tells Sky News that Woolfe asked him to take it outside “mano y mano” and that Woolfe “came at me”. He insists “there was no punches thrown”, just “girl on girl” “handbags at dawn”

Top Momentum Fixer’s Steven Woolfe Slur

Max Shanly, the top Momentum fixer who was made famous by Dispatches, said yesterday that he hoped Steven Woolfe didn’t recover from his injuries. Shanly wrote the above post on a private group of young Labour members, calling Woolfe a “fascist” and blasting others for sending him messages of goodwill. Shanly is an important figure on the hard-left and is Jon Lansman’s protege. Imagine the reaction if a leading Kipper had said that about a Labour politician who was believed to be fighting for their life…

Steven Woolfe Speaks

“The CT scan has shown that there is no blood clot in the brain. At the moment I am feeling brighter, happier and smiling as ever. As a precaution I am being kept in overnight awaiting secondary tests to make sure everything is fine. I am sitting up and said to be looking well. The only consequence at the moment is a bit of numbness on the left hand side of my face.”

Good news.

Neil Hamilton: Woolfe “Picked a Fight”

UKIP’s party chairman is facing calls from prominent Kippers to suspend Neil Hamilton after he told the BBC Steven Woolfe had “picked a fight and came off worse”. Hamilton handled the issue with his customary charm as Woolfe’s condition remained unknown. It has gone down very badly with the party hierarchy.

PICTURE: Steven Woolfe Altercation

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Via ITV

UPDATE: ITV release a second picture of Woolfe being treated by paramedics:

woolfe2

UPDATE: UKIP MEP Nathan Gill says Woolfe is “conscious and recovering”.

Hookem Unavailable for Comment

hookem

Plain speaking Mike Hookem, UKIP’s defence spokesman who served 9 years in the Royal Engineers, latterly as a Commando Engineer, is unavailable for comment. Sources say he was very angry about reports that Steven Woolfe was on the verge of joining the Tories last week.  The MEP for Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire’s staff say they can’t get hold of him either…

Steven Woolfe Collapses in European Parliament

According to reports Steven Woolfe has collapsed in the European Parliament. ITV say he is being tended to by medics. Everyone at Guido wishes him a speedy recovery.

UPDATE: UKIP say he has been taken to hospital.

UPDATE II: According to Nigel Farage, Woolfe was involved in an “altercation” and his condition is “serious“. There are reports he was punched by a UKIP colleague.

UPDATE III: Sky News and the Telegraph report Woolfe has “bleeding on the brain”.

Woolfe Considered Defecting to Tories

Guido understands Steven Woolfe seriously considered defecting to the Tories this weekend, before it emerged Diane James was standing down. Woolfe met with several top Tories over the last few weeks and was close to agreeing to join the party. It is understood that David Davis and Patrick McLoughlin were involved in trying to woo him over. Woolfe admits in a statement:

“I have been enthused by the start to Theresa May’s premiership. Her support of new grammar schools, her words on social mobility and the growing evidence that she is committed to a clean Brexit prompted me, as it did many of my friends and colleagues, to wonder whether our future was within her new Conservative Party.”

What was it about the vacancy at the top of UKIP that made him change his mind?

Steven Woolfe Will Stand For UKIP Leadership

UKIP’s Steven Woolfe has just confirmed on Sky News that he is standing for the leadership. He attacked the National Executive Committee describing it as “no longer fit for purpose” because it prevented him from standing in the last election and disputed the fact that he got his papers in late. Woolfe praised Diane James for her “incredibly brave move” to stand down for family reasons and hinted that she had been facing opposition from the NEC. Papers Please…

Campaign To Buy ‘Countdown Clock’ For Woolfe

clock-woolfe

A UKIP member has set up a campaign to help Steven Woolfe to remember to submit his nomination papers this time around. The parliamentary Candidate for Bournemouth West, Martin Houlden, is trying to raise £100 to buy a giant countdown clock for the former UKIP leadership candidate. On his crowdfunder page, Houlden writes:

“The clock costs £100 and is a special six-digit countdown timer which we will set for 17 minutes BEFORE the actual deadline – this is to ensure there is plenty of time to send the email application in.  If we manage to raise more than £100 then that money will go toward buying the deluxe version, which comes with audible warnings in the run-up to the deadline such as “Press the sodding send button man” and “Don’t leave it until tomorrow or we might end up being led by an amateur wrestler. Please help us to buy Steven this clock – you know he needs it – all donations will be gratefully received. Thank you.”

 Just put it in a day early, Steve…

Woolfe Claims UKIP Plot as Cops Say He Faces No Further Action

woolfe2

Remember the curiously-timed revelation that Steven Woolfe was once nicked for being drunk in charge of a scooter? Well, a member of the public – surely not a rival ‘Kipper – called the cops and complained that he had broken the law again by failing to declare his conviction when he ran as a Police and Crime Commissioner. Greater Manchester Police have seen sense and told the complainant to stop being so silly, confirming he faces no further action. Woolfe says it was part of a plot:

“This was one of several attempts by political opponents, using information on UKIP databases, to damage my reputation and ensure I could not stand as party leader.”

Someone certainly has it in for him…

CONFIRMED: Woolfe Off UKIP Ballot

woolfe2

UKIP have blocked Steven Woolfe from running for leader. It’s war!

UPDATE: Farage/Woolfe allies say they will call an Extraordinary General Meeting and seek to abolish the NEC. Read Guido’s story from this morning on what happens next.

UPDATE II: UKIP NEC members Victoria Ayling, Ray Finch and Mike McGough resign in protest.[…] Read the rest

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