UKIP Leader Boycotting his own Party Conference

UKIP continue lurching from cock-up to disaster as the latest leader, Dick Braine, has sent a statement to party members saying he will be boycotting his own party conference this year. At least the captain of the Titanic had the decency to go down with his sinking ship…

Some members are speculating the conference may not go ahead at all due to depressingly low ticket sales. According to one activist, the party hired a 700-seat venue but have struggled to sell more than 100 tickets and “stand to lose a fortune”, and it is only because of the party’s chairman’s insistence that the event is still going ahead.

Many party members are also deliberately boycotting the conference over the NEC’s refusal to accept Gerard Batten’s appointment as deputy leader – including Batten himself. Today’s UKIP would struggle to organise a piss-up in a spoons.

UPDATE: Read Braine’s email to party members here:

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Gerard Batten Banned From Re-Standing As UKIP Leader

Former UKIP leader and ‘Tommy Robinson’ superfan Gerard Batten has been barred from standing again as leader of the party. The NEC passed a motion on Sunday entitled “Gerard Batten has brought the party into disrepute by his actions and associations and should therefore not be allowed to stand for the leadership of the party.” He’s now fighting back with a Twitter poll

UKIP’s NEC has now decided to extend the nomination process. Read their letter to members here:

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Brexit Party to Announce Defectors

At the National Exhibition Centre on Sunday the Brexit Party is having a big rally with over 5,000 attendees expected. This will, they say, involve revealing of the first 100-plus Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs) selected for Westminster elections and the unveiling of the start of their policy platform. Guido suspects, and on this point they are being a little evasive, they will also reveal some Tory councillor defectors.

Co-conspirators tell Guido they have been vetting a batch of local Councillors who are defecting from both UKIP and the Conservative Party. The first forty have been undergoing vetting and checking of their social media history. Given CCHQ’s 150 or so suspensions of Tory activists there could be quite a few more in the future. Could the first forty be unveiled this Sunday?

UPDATE: A Brexit Party source has now got in touch to say Guido is broadly correct, apart from the timing. The roll out will be held back until after the Tory leadership election. They scoffed at the rumour George Galloway would be a PPC, “We do vet our candidates.”

UKIP Leadership Contest: Runners and Riders

With no MEPs for the first time since 1999, just a handful of councillors and only two full time elected officials (both in the Welsh Assembly), Gerard Batten’s remodeled NewKip is on its last legs. That doesn’t stop them launching the third leadership battle currently waging on, after the Lib Dems and the Tories, as former leader Gerard Batten announced his term had come to an end today. Now Guido brings you the runners and riders for the leadership…

  • Paul Oakley – General Secretary of the party who made headlines when he compared UKIP to “the Black Death” on the Today Programme. He has since written a book on UKIP called “No One Likes Us. We Don’t Care.” Unsuccessful as both an MEP and MLA candidate, maybe this is an election Oakley could win…
  • Gareth Bennet – one of just two remaining full time elected politicians for UKIP, Bennett has already thrown his hat into the race. Bennet was previously suspended from the Welsh Assembly when he superimposed the head of a female Labour colleague onto the body of a scantily clad women for a YouTube video. His big transformational idea is to mandate at least one referendum for every Parliamentary term. Guido couldn’t think of anything worse…
  • Neil Hamilton – (yes, he still exists). The other remaining full time elected politician for UKIP, also as a member of the Welsh Assembly and now wannabe edgy YouTuber. With more controversies and scandals than Guido can mention, Hamilton recently finished third in the Newport By-Election with 8.6% of the vote. Could he do better within his own party..?
  • Elizabeth Jones – UKIP NEC member and failed MEP candidate, who was recently un-suspended from the party after a group of people she was linked to invaded and rampaged a socialist bookstore. The party concluded she never entered the shop.
  • Count Dankula – of unfunny but unjust Nazi-Pug video prosecution fame, Dankula (real name Marcus Meechum) sunk further into the UKIP fold, eventually standing for (and losing) the contest to become one of Scotland’s six MEPs.
  • Milo Yiannopoulos– trying to raise his profile and put together a new career after his stateside adventure came tumbling down two years ago. During the European Elections he campaigned for the failing party. Could leading it resuscitate him? Guido suspects not.
  • Carl Benjamin – another YouTuber and one of NewKip’s most prominent faces, for all the wrong reasons. His refusal to apologise over an incredibly bad taste ‘joke’ about Jess Phillips and his subsequent electoral performance revealed that he might not be best suited to front-line politics.
  • Tommy Robinson – still not actually a member, due to a constitutional ban, but the party executive could change the rules.

Whoever gets it, there’s little chance UKIP will rise much beyond the 1% they currently sit at in the polls. RIPKIP.

Batten: I Don’t Believe The Polls

Guido knows they were wrong in Australia, but this one feels like a stretch…

Three More UKIP MEPs Defect to Farage’s Brexit Party

Gerard Batten’s alt-right UKIP rump has lost yet more MEPs, with UKIP’s three remaining female MEPs – Margot Parker, Jill Seymour and Jane Collins – all defecting to Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party after Batten defended his candidate Carl Benjamin’s rape comments on Marr yesterday. By Guido’s count Batten’s UKIP now has just four of 24 MEPs elected in 2014 left, the Brexit Party is up to 11…

Farage’s Brexit Party Now Has More MEPs Than UKIP

A taste of things to come for MPs if they vote to extend Brexit – Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party now officially has more MEPs than UKIP. Eight UK MEPs now sit in Farage’s Brexit Party – Tim Aker, Jonathan Bullock, David Coburn, Bill Etheridge, Nathan Gill, Paul Nuttall, Julia Reid and Farage himself, ahead of Gerard Batten’s fringe UKIP rump of seven. Bullock says the Brexit Party will “fully mobilise” to take on the Tories at any subsequent European or General election if the Tories “rat” on their manifesto commitment to leave by 29 March. The votes for both parties will soar if the UK is forced into the humiliation of another European Parliament election…

The EU is already braced for a major surge in support for Eurosceptic parties in May’s elections – the last thing they want is for them to be a Brexit flashpoint as well. MPs who think they can force a Brexit delay simply by passing a few votes in Parliament may be in for a nasty surprise…

Tory Defections: Then and Now

The defection of the three Tory MPs to The Independents Group today has seen an outpouring of comments ranging from sadness to… sadness from their former Tory colleagues. Theresa May is “saddened”, David Cameron is “sad”, Claire Perry is “extremely sad”. All get thanks for their “dedicated service”, with the door being left open for them to return if they change their mind…

So presumably it was the same outpouring of thanks, hugs and condolences all round when Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless left for UKIP in 2014? Don’t be silly…

David Cameron branded Reckless’s decision “senseless and counter-productive” and accused Carswell of helping Labour. Carswell was accused of “betrayal”, “petulance” and “political vanity” by Tory MPs while Reckless was even sued by his former local party. All topped off with Claire “Brexit Jihadis” Perry’s ever classy “Don’t let the door hit your fat arse as you leave”…

UKIP Director Believes She Is Being Hunted By ‘A Secret Court’

UKIP Director and NEC Member Katie Fanning has published a bizarre post on her personal Facebook profile, claiming that “a secret court is trying to lock me away like Melanie Shaw.” Shaw is a name often referenced by Tommy Robinson supporters who promote a bonkers conspiracy theory that she has been locked up by the Government for speaking out against child abuse.

While Fanning’s vague post reads like the ramblings of a loon, from what Guido can make out it could well be similar to the situation other alt-right British figures have fallen into in recent years – she probably attempted to report on criminal proceedings whilst reporting restrictions were in place. UKIP moving even further into the mad conspiracy-laden world of Tommy Robinson…

UKIP MEPs Join National Front Group in European Parliament

UKIP leader Gerard Batten and two other UKIP MEPs (Stuart Agnew and Jane Collins) have joined Marine Le Pen’s ENF group in the European Parliament. Batten had resigned from Farage’s more moderate EFDD group in December to sit as an independent. The far right ENF group was founded in 2014 following discussions between Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders, and consists of a number of quasi-fascist parties across Europe. Guido predicted this move a month ago…

NEWKIP? Mass UKIP Exodus, New Group Planned for Monday Launch

Guido hears whispers of a mass exodus of UKIP MEPs planned for Monday. As few as two MEPs (Stuart Agnew and Mike Hookem) could stay with Tommy Robinson-obsessed UKIP leader Gerard Batten, while the rest join a new Farage-led national group within the pan-European EFDD group – also led by Farage. Which Batten has just quit

Expected to follow the fifteen UKIP MEPs who have already quit are: Tim Aker, Jonathan Bullock, Jane Collins, Ray Finch, Margot Parker, Julia Reid, and Jill Seymour. Could this be the beginning of a new pro-Brexit party, led again by Nigel?

Paul Nuttall Quits UKIP

Former Leader Paul Nuttall has, after “much soul-searching,” followed Patrick O’Flynn, Nigel Farage, and Nathan Gill out the door. The party is now left with just 9 of the 24 MEPs it elected in in 2014. At this rate wacko leader Gerard Batten will be in a party of one by Christmas. 

Read his full statement here…

“After much soul-searching over the past week, I have concluded that I must, as of today, resign as a member of Ukip. I do this with an immense amount of reluctance and regret, as I have worked tirelessly for the party for the past fourteen years.

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Nathan Gill MEP Resigns from UKIP

Stating ‘I have not left UKIP, UKIP has left me’, Welsh UKIP MEP Nathan Gill has left the party over its association with Tommy Robinson. His resignation means that UKIP has now lost 13 of the 24 MEPs it elected in 2014.

“I can no longer belong to a party that has switched its primary focus from Brexit, to a foolish pursuit against Islam and the promotion of Tommy Robinson (who is neither a Brexiteer, nor a member of UKIP.)

UKIP has betrayed Its members, Brexiteers and the British people.”

Read his full statement here…

Nigel Wants Nothing To Do With “Street UKIP”

Above is the photo that was the last straw for Nigel Farage:

Tommy Robinson can be seen seated beside Gerard Batten. Next to Robinson is a man called Daniel Thompson, a convicted armed kidnapper. There are other pretty unsavoury-looking characters dotted around the room. These are the people organising the ‘Brexit’ march that is now advertised on the UKIP website. My heart sinks as I reflect on the idea that they may be seen by some as representative of the cause for which I have campaigned for so much of my adult life.

His Telegraph article lambasts Gerard Batten for being obsessed with Islam and Tommy Robinson. He concludes

We are now just a few days away from the most ill-judged political event I have ever been aware of in British politics. The very idea of Tommy Robinson being at the centre of the Brexit debate is too awful to contemplate. And so, with a heavy heart, and after all my years of devotion to the party, I am leaving UKIP today. There is a huge space for a Brexit party in British politics, but it won’t be filled by UKIP.

Hard to disagree.

Suzanne Evans ‏Resigns From UKIP

Former UKIP Deputy Chair, manifesto writer, and leadership candidate Suzanne Evans has become the latest big name to abandon the rapidly disintegrating party, declaring that “there is no hope left.” This follows another big name kipper, Patrick O’Flynn resigning from the party last week. Pressure will be now mounting on Nigel Farage, who told Talk Radio this morning that he is “thinking long and hard” about whether to stay in the party…

Read Suzanne’s statement in full:

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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.”

Batten Gets Gregg-on-Face

UKIP’s astute new leader has fallen for joke twitter account called “GuardianMemeWin“. The account describes itself as “the most insufferable newspaper parody account ever” in its twitter bio. Batten’s analysis was retweeted by the official UKIP twitter account…

Beleaguered Batten is not the only one to have fallen foul of a fake account. Yesterday evening CCHQ retweeted a fake, unverified Philip Hammond account. It even spelled his first name incorrectly…

After making that mistake too many times Guido tends to block parody accounts…

Flag Flying Again in Brussels

UKIP MEP Jonathan Bullock reports excitedly that “The union flag now flies above the British residency in Brussels” following his campaign to get the flag put back up after it was mysteriously removed. In fact a member of staff in the residency was so pleased the flag was back up that they offered to take the photoTo save their foreign office career Guido will not reveal who it was. You can however discount regular occupant Olly Robbins…

Jonathan hopes: “Now that the flag is restored perhaps we can see a sound Brexit policy restored to deliver what the people voted for over two years ago.” Steady on Jonathan, it has taken weeks just to get them to fly the flag…

U-QUIT: Another UKIP MEP Resigns

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?

Top UKIP MEP Resigns Over Islamic Hijacking

William Dartmouth MEP has written to UKIP leader Gerrard Batten resigning his position from the party, which he has represented in the European Parliament since 2009. In an explosive letter he eviscerates Batten for the way in which he has “hi-jacked” the party, and declares that he will continue to sit as an independent MEP.[…] Read the rest

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