Politician Keeps Promise: Hollobone Consults Kippers

Hero Tory backbencher Philip Hollobone – Parliament’s most frugal MP and all-round man of the people – kept an election campaign promise by meeting senior members of his local UKIP branch recently. UKIP agreed not to field a candidate against Hollobone in Kettering; he met Kipper grandees from the party’s local branch to discuss the progress of Brexit and his support for outlawing face coverings in public, reducing overseas aid and opposition to HS2. UKIP’s Jonathan Bullock said:

“Philip gave a detailed briefing as to how he saw the Brexit negotiations progressing and also confirmed his support on various other issues upon which UKIP has campaigned. We saw eye to eye.  Whilst there is still a wide gulf between UKIP and the Conservative Government on many policies, we are delighted that our local MP is in tune with us and the electorate on so many issues.

Hollobone is a politician who keeps his word. Does he know UKIP are looking for a new leader…

Farage Slaps Down Anti-Islam UKIP Candidate

Nigel Farage has slapped down UKIP’s anti-Islam leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters and warned members the party would be “finished” if she became leader. Nige says of Waters, the Walter Mitty socialist-turned-Tommy Robinson wannabe:

“If UKIP goes down the route of being a party that is anti the religion of Islam, then frankly it’s finished… The party would be finished.”

Sensible ‘Kippers will listen to Nigel rather than scream that he has joined the establishment. Tough one for the alt-right / Breitbart crowd to take.

Anne Waters Mitty: Strike-Backing Socialist and Self-Proclaimed “Left-Winger”

UKIP’s anti-Islam leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters can be revealed as a strike-supporting socialist and trade unionist who played an active role in the Labour Party for a decade and described her political views as “standard left-wing”. Waters is the supposedly hard-right, Tommy Robinson-endorsed candidate in the UKIP leadership race. UKIP figures are concerned she is a Walter Mitty character, self-publicist and entryist who has taken a less than credible political journey. A 2011 video obtained by Guido shows Waters, then a prospective Labour candidate in Thurrock, talking up her socialist credentials:

Most of what I believe would be standard left-wing… I believe in what I believe in. I believe in a strong public sector, I believe in the NHS. If there was a traditional left-wing, yes… that’s what I believe in…

I definitely endorse the right to strike and I think the Labour Party needs to stand up for the right to strike more often… I always support the trade unionists, I’m naturally inclined to support the trade unionists and I think Labour needs to reconnect with the trade unions… Generally I support strikers and certainly I support the right to strike…

The first issue and the one I am most concerned about is the NHS. I think we’ve lost sight of why we had an NHS. We’ve lost sight of why the Labour Party created the NHS and we need to return to those principles. And it’s under very sustained attack now by the Tories. They’re gonna try and do now what Thatcher couldn’t do, which was entirely privatise the NHS.”

Words which will rule her out as an option for traditional UKIP members.

Guido can reveal Waters was a Labour Party member for ten years. She was a Labour council candidate in London and ran to be Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Brighton Pavilion. In her 2013 resignation letter – deleted from the internet but obtained by Guido – Waters says she “spent endless hours canvassing, door-knocking, minute-taking (as constituency secretary) and I held several posts at branch, constituency, and borough level”.

There is of course a long tradition of left-wing nationalists, from Oswald Mosley to Marine Le Pen. Though Waters’ political journey from Milibandite to the female Tommy Robinson suggests she is not so principled. UKIP supporters have taken to calling her “Anne Waters Mitty”…

UKIP Leader Runners and Riders

With Farage not running, a battle for UKIP’s soul is underway between the more classical liberal / libertarian old guard and populist anti-Islam elements who are accused of trying to infiltrate the party. As ever Guido gives you your runners and riders…

  • Peter Whittle: The bookies’ favourite, Whittle withdrew from last November’s contest to endorse Paul Nuttall, becoming his deputy. Likeable and a strong media performer (former TV producer and wonk). Whittle stands in opposition to the party’s more extreme new entrants and advocates for traditional Kipper identity: “I’ve always seen UKIP as a cultural movement“. The obvious successor…
  • Anne Marie Waters: Priced in at 4/1 as the second-favourite, Waters is a former hard-left Labour Party candidate turned hard-right founder of Sharia Watch UK. She was blocked from standing as a UKIP candidate at the general election (under UKIP’s leadership rules this could become an obstacle if she is deemed as not being in “good standing” for the past two years). She set up PEGIDA’s UK branch with Tommy Robinson, who introduced her at her leadership launch last month. Waters has called Islam “a killing machine“; Nuttall has condemned her and the party will split if she wins. Rumours that Waters is flooding UKIP with new members have been exaggerated. Will UKIP block her from standing?
  • David Kurten: London Assembly member Kurten impressed on the general election campaign and was clearly on top of his education brief. Well placed sources describe him as “talented“; he has made clear his intentions to further professionalise the party. First black leader of a UK political party?
  • David Coburn: Flamboyant Scottish MEP who says he is standing “to stop entryists, dilettantes and single issue loonies“. Pro-Farage and slammed Nuttall’s campaign, criticising him for being “extremely ill-advised“. A colourful outside bet… 
  • Ben Walker: The first candidate to declare a leadership bid, 38 year-old Bristol councillor Walker says he wants to return the party to the “grassroots” and claims the number one obstacle the party faces is “itself“. He described the 2017 manifesto as “a shambles“. Advocates a name change and total re-brand…
  • Chris Wells: Thanet Council leader who proposes re-focusing the party from Brexit to adult social care; said he wouldn’t stand if Farage did, and yet to rule himself out. Chances surely hurt by UKIP’s slump in South Thanet…
  • Bill Etheridge: UKIP MEP Etheridge had been tipped but told a local paper on Friday that he is unlikely to put himself forward for fear of splitting the moderate anti-Waters vote. He said: “Whoever is the best person to maintain Nigel Farage’s legacy will be the person I back. The true libertarians in the party will have to unite behind them to defeat the common threat.” All but ruled himself out…
  • John Rees-Evans: Faragist Rees-Evans, who came third in November’s race, once claimed a “homosexual donkey” tried to rape his horse. Apart from that, he is best-known for advocating direct democracy within the party, and boasts more than 70,000 twitter followers. Said to own a survivalist compound in Bulgaria where he has a shooting range (although he said this was an “exaggeration“) . Popular but a long shot?
Alas there is no “make UKIP great again” candidacy from Raheem Kassam, he reckons UKIP is dead and is concentrating on his stateside shock-jock career. All eyes are on what is going to happen with Waters. Her brand of socialist slash EDL-lite politics would certainly be a surprise to most UKIP members…

Paul Nuttall Deletes His Account

Only hours after he resigned as UKIP leader, Paul Nuttall has resigned from Twitter. Bye!

Nuttall Quits

Yet another UKIP leadership election. Nigel? Whittle? Raheem?

Channel 4 Asks Farage: ‘Are You a Russian Spy?’

Channel 4 going somewhat OTT on the Moscow gold conspiracy…

Farage Denies FBI / Russia Claims

Full statement from Nigel Farage following the Guardian’s claim that he is a person of interest in the FBI’s Trump / Russia investigation:

“This is fake news.

In response to the Guardian article, it has taken me a long time to finish reading because I am laughing so much.

This hysterical attempt to associate me with the Putin regime is a result of the liberal elite being unable to accept Brexit and the election of President Trump.

For the record I have never been to Russia, I’ve had no business dealings with Russia in my previous life and I have appeared approximately three times on RT in the last 18 months.

I consider it extremely doubtful that I could be a person of interest to the FBI as I have no connections to Russia.

My meeting with Julian Assange was organised for me by LBC Radio with a view to conducting an interview.”

The Guardian article makes clear Farage is not accused of wrongdoing and is not a suspect…

UKIP Endorse Labour’s Ultra-Remain Creagh Over Tories

It’s unusual to see UKIP backing a Labour candidate, especially so when that Labour candidate is an arch-Remainer who voted against triggering Article 50. UKIP are not running in Wakefield and the party’s candidate in the neighbouring seat is instead urging voters to choose Mary Creagh over the Brexit-backing Tory. UKIP’s candidate in Normanton Lewis Thompson says:

“I’m urging the people of Wakefield to vote Labour. We can’t let the Tories get a huge majority.” 

Wakefield is a winnable Tory target seat: the Labour majority is 2,613. Creagh is a huge Remainer, she said in February that she could no more vote against EU membership than she could vote against her “own DNA”. The Tory candidate Antony Calvert is an avowed Brexiter and the constituency voted 66% to Leave. UKIP’s councillors in Wakefield are backing Calvert, so why is their parliamentary candidate in Normanton backing Labour?

Last Orders For UKIP: Manifesto Calls For Fewer Boozers

Perhaps the most surprising upshot from UKIP’s manifesto launch is that the party of Nigel Farage has made a pledge unlikely to be popular with the pub trade. The manifesto argues for the repeal of the 2003 Licensing Act, Blair’s ‘cafe culture’ law which brought in late opening hours, and appears to want to cut the number of pubs:

“To protect emergency workers from abuse, we will repeal the 2003 Licensing Act and bring in new legislation to reduce the density of alcohol outlets and restrict trading times.”

“Reduce the density of alcohol outlets”! What would Nigel say?

H/T Henry Mance

UKIP Manifesto in Full

UKIP Weaponise Manchester Attack: May Must Bear Responsibility

UKIP has fully weaponised the Manchester bombing to go after Theresa May, claiming that the PM must “bear some responsibility” for the attack. Suzanne Evans directly accused May of “allowing jihadists back into the country” – Salman Abedi recently returned from Libya – and argued that May and the EU had created the circumstances that allowed the attack to happen. She later reverse ferreted and said “the only people to blame are the terrorists”. 

Shouty crackers UKIP supporters screamed at journalists to “get back in your hole”, making Corbynistas look sane by comparison. Chief snowflake William Dartmouth did his best Barry Gardiner impression, whinging that Laura K and the BBC are “fake news“.

Lobby journalists were heard discussing “the worst ever UKIP launch”. The party’s few remaining supporters will love it but the event really was naff. Campaigning well back underway then…

UKIP Manifesto Launch Live

Via ITV.

UKIP Resuming Hostilities Tomorrow

Correct decision from Paul Nuttall, who has decided UKIP will resume campaigning and launch their manifesto tomorrow:

“We are all horrified by the horrific events that took place in Manchester. Following those events it is right and proper that political parties suspended their campaigns for a short period as a mark of respect to those who lost their lives or suffered appalling injuries.

“But we cannot be cowed or allow our way of life to be undermined by those who wish to do us harm. These people hate the way we live, hate our freedom and hate our democracy.

“The best response we can make is to ensure that the democratic process continues and therefore I have decided that we must to go ahead with the launch of the UKIP general election manifesto tomorrow. For those who say that nothing must change, but then complain, it is by prolonging the disruption to normality that we allow the terrorists to win. Politics has never been more important, politicians must deal with these issues.”

From ban the burqa to ban the bomber…

UKIP and Greens Struggling For Attention

Pic via @mrharrycole

UKIP’s press conferences this election have been very sparsely attended compared with previous campaigns. Last week their event on tax drew in a meagre crowd of four journalists, this morning’s presser on older people was attended by just three reporters. Only the most dedicated hacks have been in attendance as UKIP slides below the Greens in the polls…

Speaking of the Greens, this was their manifesto launch this morning. Safe to say it had a pretty low carbon footprint. The minor parties are fast losing appeal…

Nuttall Calls Leanne Wood “Natalie”, Twice

Sort it out, Nigel…

May Laughs at Idea of Nige Knighthood

Will take that as a no…

Tories Ask UKIP Not to Field Candidate in Hartlepool

The Tories have asked UKIP not to field a candidate in Hartlepool to try to help them win the seat from Labour. The incumbent Labour MP Iain Wright is standing down and leaves behind a precarious 3,024 majority. The Tory request to UKIP, sent by the Tory group leader on Hartlepool Council Ray Martin-Wells, asks:

“Following on from UKIP’s decision not to stand in Middlesborough South, Tynemouth and Berwick, we would respectfully ask you to withdraw your parliamentary candidate in Hartlepool… Hartlepool constituency polls are showing that UKIP has only a predicted 6% chance of winning, against Labour’s 34% and the Conservatives 50%… your chances of winning are extremely low…” 

Is this an attractive proposition for UKIP? The UKIP candidate came second in Hartlepool in 2015, several thousand votes ahead of the Tories. It’s a council stronghold and a target parliamentary seat, where it was rumoured Paul Nuttall himself might have stood. And the “constituency polls” quoted by the Tories are only local newspaper surveys. Indeed, UKIP have rejected the proposal and instead suggested:

“I call upon you now to choose to do the decent thing and step aside yourselves…”

A real three way marginal…

Arron Banks’s Man in Clacton Quits UKIP

Arron Banks’s favoured candidate in Clacton has quit UKIP after party HQ dropped him amid a storm over Muslim-bashing tweets. When Banks himself bottled standing in the seat back in April, he threw his support behind UKIP councilor Jeff Bray. Bray said on receiving the nomination:

“It didn’t hurt that I got the backing from Arron Banks after he decided not to stand. Arron came down here… he recognised we are doing a good job… He made the decision to back me, which was a huge honour.”

Bray’s selection has been a bit of a disaster after controversial tweets and a dodgy Facebook page were unearthed carrying his name:

Bray claimed he couldn’t remember the posts and suggested they had been manipulated, but today he has quit the party after he was dropped in favour of NEC member Paul Oakley. Bray said:

“I had the support of the local people and the national party have ignored this and chosen one of their own who told the meeting that all he knew about Clacton was that he had spent a holiday here when he was 10. The party has absolutely no chance of holding the seat.”

Arron’s man crashes and burns, UKIP have a mountain to climb in Clacton…

Will Nuttall Stay Overnight in Boston and Skegness? “Probably at Some Point”

UKIP launched its immigration policy this morning pledging a “balanced migration” system which the party says would result in zero net immigration over the next five years. This puts clear water between UKIP and the Tories on the main issue where they can now distinguish themselves…

More pressingly, when asked by Guido about his accommodation arrangements in the Boston and Skegness constituency where he is standing, Paul Nuttall said:

“Firstly I haven’t bought a house in Boston and Skegness but nor did I buy a house in Stoke.

[…] Read the rest

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