Faragists Vow to “Declare Full Scale War on UKIP”

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Nigel Farage’s allies have promised to “declare full scale war on UKIP” if Steven Woolfe is kept off the ballot today, as is expected. Multiple allies of Woolfe say they believe the NEC will decide to block their man from standing for leader. Opponents of Woolfe also say they believe the NEC will rule against him. Sources close to Woolfe say they are aware of the speculation but are waiting for the official announcement at midday. So what happens next?

Guido is told that Farage has been keeping a close eye on proceedings. Nigel is still the leader and has the power to appoint a new chairman and cancel the leadership process. He is firmly of the view that Woolfe is being stitched up by anti-Farage factions on the NEC. Farage allies say they have evidence of conflicts of interest among anti-Woolfe NEC members, including personal relationships, which they believe make the leadership process not fit for purpose. Farage is ready to press the nuclear button if necessary…

Arron Banks, UKIP’s largest donor, says he will call an Extraordinary General Meeting to effectively abolish the NEC and reshape the party’s entire structure. Banks says Woolfe is the victim of a “coup” attempt by allies of Neil Hamilton. Raheem Kassam, Farage’s former chief aide, threatens:

“If Steven Woolfe is kept off the ballot for spurious reasons, I will declare full scale war on UKIP, using all the assets and sources at my disposal to topple the Tory establishment that is trying to take over the party. That’s a warning and a promise.”

A war is coming and it is going to be bloody…

Woolfe on “Computer Says No” Moment

Woolfe’s £5,000 PayPal Receipt: Deposit Paid Just In Time

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Guido has got hold of the PayPal receipt for Steven Woolfe’s £5,000 UKIP leadership deposit, showing he paid the money at 11:35am, 25 minutes before the midday deadline. His nomination papers were not received until 12:17pm due to a “technical glitch”. UKIP’s leadership vetting panel is meeting on Tuesday to decide whether Woolfe should be allowed on the ballot. The sensible thing would be to let him on – also would have been sensible not to cut it so fine…

Woolfe Misses Nomination Deadline

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UKIP officials are meeting on Tuesday to determine if Steven Woolfe is on the leadership ballot after he missed the midday nomination deadline. Woolfe’s spokesman insists he is still a candidate and that he submitted his papers on time, claiming a technical glitch meant it didn’t go through:

“Steven Woolfe remains a candidate in the UKIP leadership contest. He submitted his application form at 11.35am this morning, in advance of the midday deadline. However, due to technical problems on the party system, it did not successfully go through until 12.17pm.

“Mr Woolfe was speaking to party officials responsible for handling the application process throughout this time and right up to the deadline. He informed them that he was having technical problems. These problems were finally resolved and the paperwork submitted.”

There is also some speculation that Diane James is on the ballot. She was previously thought not to be in the running. It could only happen to UKIP…

Anti-Faragists Plot to Keep Woolfe Off Ballot

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Anti-Faragist forces on UKIP’s National Executive Committee are working to keep Steven Woolfe off the ballot, according to sources in the room. The NEC is dominated by supporters of Neil Hamilton and Douglas Carswell who want to stop the Farage candidate and install Lisa Duffy as leader. Woolfe is backed by Nigel and a string of his allies including Nathan Gill, Peter Whittle, Tim Aker, Arron Banks, William Dartmouth and David Coburn. Yesterday UKIP sources briefed out that Woolfe was ineligible to stand because (they claim) his membership had lapsed. Woolfe has an email from party chairman Steve Crowther appearing to dismiss this allegation as nonsense:

“The threshold for membership of the Party for this leadership election is two years, from 11 July 2014­ – 11 July 2016. You have been a member of the European Parliament for UKIP throughout that period, regarded as a member in good standing. There is no apparent record on this file of your having been sent a standard membership subscription request during that time.”

Yet the anti-Woolfe faction of the NEC is still seeking to disqualify Woolfe in what seems a pretty unsubtle stitch up. A four-person panel is set to meet at 3pm on Sunday to ‘vet’ the candidates, and Woolfe allies are concerned about a weighted panel voting to kick him out of the contest. A coronation for Lisa Duffy is not going to go down well with members, they will want a fair fight…

UPDATE: Carswell gets in touch to stress he hasn’t got a dog in the fight.

UKIP Seeking to Take Advantage of “Oily” Smith

UKIP are rolling their tanks onto Labour’s lawn after Owen Smith said he would try to block Brexit if he becomes leader. Yesterday “Oily” Smith went viral after he pledged a second referendum and admitted it was “tempting” not to trigger Article 50. UKIP leadership frontrunner Steven Woolfe tells Guido such a move would turn the north purple:

“Owen Smith’s disdain for his own voters is frankly disgraceful. My message to the millions who have been left behind by Labour’s sneering and condescending political class is simple – UKIP will speak for you. We are your new home.”

Smith’s rhetoric might appeal to Europhiles in the PLP, but 70% of Labour MPs represent seats which voted to Leave. This graph from Professor Matthew Goodwin shows the Leave vote in Labour areas:

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A new, northern, working class UKIP leader versus an oily, Surrey-dwelling Europhile Labour leader? It’s obvious who UKIP want to win the Labour leadership – Owen Smith is the kamikaze candidate…

Top Farage Allies Back Woolfe

Steven Woolfe launches his UKIP leadership bid, backed by key Farage supporters Nathan Gill and Peter Whittle. Will he be the Faragista candidate?

Lammy: Million Indians Died in WW2 “For the European Project”

David Lammy has, to use common parlance, ‘done a Lammy’ on the Daily Politics. Debating with UKIP’s Steven Woolfe on the EU referendum, Lammy made the historically creative claim that:

“A million Indians died fighting for us. They fought for the European Project”

Look out for Woolfe’s incredulous reply: “Did you just say they fought for the European Project?” Pretty sure they were fighting against the only major “European project” of the time…

UKIP’s Steven Woolfe Squares Up to Jean-Marie Le Pen Entourage

This is the moment UKIP’s Steven Woolfe was involved in a tense stand-off with French far right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen:

Woolfe appeared to say “out the way” as he walked straight through Le Pen’s interview, sparking an angry reaction from Le Pen and his camp. Woolfe tried to explain that a journalist had stepped on him before a Le Pen aide squared up to the UKIP man. Oooh la la…

UPDATE: Détente!

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:

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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.”

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