The protesters who disrupted Paul Nuttall’s press conference this morning are die-hard Socialist Workers Party activists and their leader was embroiled in the notorious rape cover-up that blighted the hard-left group. Weyman Bennett led a small number of protesters who shouted and waved placards at UKIP’s campaign launch at the Marriott County Hall. The protesters did not deny their SWP background but told Guido: “A large number of groups are involved in Stand Up to Racism“. Asked if they were veteran agitators one joked: “It’s not my first protest”…
A member of the SWP’s central committee, Bennett was implicated in the cover-up of well-publicised rape allegations against an ultra-left ally referred to as “Comrade Delta“. The police were kept out, the accused was declared “ not guilty ” at the SWP national conference and the case led to Jeremy Corbyn being criticised for sharing a platform with Bennett.
Today Bennett and his fellow protesters shouted obscenities and chased away journalists covering the event, after UKIP’s patient press officers politely asked them to leave. Real nasty pieces of work…
Paul Nuttall tells Iain Dale he IS standing on June 8. Announcement on the seat in the next 48 hours…
He’s not standing in Clacton after all:
I today met with all of the UKIP councillors in Clacton and senior party figures.
It was a constructive meeting and it was great to see everyone come together.
It’s clear that Douglas Carswell has been a hugely divisive figure and let a lot of people down in Clacton.
The local branch of UKIP was full of genuinely decent people. One of the councillors, Mr Jeff Bray has put his name forward as a candidate for the seaside constituency at the forthcoming General Election.
I have a consequently made the decision to withdraw my candidacy for the seat of Clacton. I will not be standing either as a UKIP candidate or as an independent. Instead, I am putting my full support behind Jeff Bray.
I have no intention of standing in the way of Hard working activists who are the soul of the party.
Therefore, after visiting Clacton I believe it would be wrong of me to stand against Jeff in the forthcoming hustings.
Predictable, hardly anything Arron promises ever comes off…
Full list of things Arron has promised that never happened:
- Judicial review of EU referendum designation
- Hollywood movie about Brexit
- Invoicing UKIP £200,000
- Patriotic Alliance
- Clacton candidacy
- Pirate radio station in Clacton
- Fielding candidates to oust 100 MPs
- Draining the Swamp at the next election.
- Suing Matthew Elliott CEO of the official Vote Leave
Take note Lobby hacks…
Paul Nuttall has done a Ken Livingstone – barricading himself inside a room in the Marriott County Hall to hide from the Lobby’s questions about whether he will stand in the election. There is no escape:
Here is Nuttall setting in for the long haul. This picture from inside the room:
Who will break first: the UKIP leader or Her Majesty’s press corps? And why won’t Nuttall say if he’s standing on June 8?
UPDATE: Nuttall escapes into a taxi:
— Vincent McAviney (@Vinny_LBC) April 24, 2017
He still won’t say if he’s standing…
Pics via the Lobby.
UKIP going big on Islam this morning:
- Ban face coverings. Nuns and beekeepers exempt.
- Ban sharia law
- Make girls at risk of FGM have annual medical examinations. Err…
- Presumption of prosecution for parents of FGM girls
- All official documents in English alone. What about the Welsh?
- Make Pakistani grooming a hate crime
- Make “honour” crimes an aggravating factor
- Muslim schools taken over by DfE if found to be teaching anti-Israel sentiment
- Moratorium on new Islamic state schools. That’s state schools which are Islamic, not ISIS supporters…
- Abolish postal voting on demand
Some of it very sensible – few would argue that postal voting needs to be looked at or that honour crimes need stronger punishments. Other sections a little out there. A manifesto for internet commenters…
— The Andrew Marr Show (@MarrShow) April 23, 2017
UKIP has long abandoned any claim it had to being a libertarian party, so no surprise the burqa ban is their main set piece manifesto pledge. More curiously Nuttall refused to confirm he would even stand in the election…
I have never felt more proud and honoured than when representing my Essex constituents in the House of Commons.
Over the past twelve years I have had great fun working with, and getting to know, many wonderful local people. Together, we ran all sorts of local campaigns, from safeguarding local services to getting a new seafront. Local has always come first.
As I promised in my maiden speech, I have done everything possible to ensure we got, and won, a referendum to leave the European Union – even changing parties and triggering a by election to help nudge things along. Last summer, we won that referendum. Britain is going to become a sovereign country again.
I have decided that I will not now be seeking re-election. I intend to vote Conservative on June 8th and will be offering my full support to whoever the Clacton Constituency Conservatives select as their candidate.
It is sometimes said that all political careers end in failure. It doesn’t feel like that to me today. I have stood for Parliament five times, won four times, and helped win the referendum last June. Job done. I’m delighted.
Having been an MP for about half my adult life, I believe that it is time for me to move on to other things. I look forward to being able to read newspapers without appearing in them.
It has been the highest honour to have represented Clacton in the House of Commons.
A loss to parliament. Will Arron Banks still stand?
— BBC Essex (@BBCEssex) 19 April 2017
Arron Banks, who will stand against Douglas Carswell in Clacton, has admitted in an interview with BBC Radio Essex that he “knows nothing about Clacton at all.” Strong start for the Patriotic Alliance…
The alt-reality alt-right are off the Trump train – you could say they’ve been triggered. It is the Donald who changed his mind:
Number 10, the LibDems and Labour moderates support Trump, Corbynistas and UKIP are condemning him…
Yesterday Guido set the hare running on speculation that Mark Reckless is set to quit UKIP:
Rumours that Mark Reckless is about to quit UKIP. He is not answering phone or replying to texts and UKIP HQ cannot get hold of him either.
— Alex Wickham (@WikiGuido) April 5, 2017
15 hours later, Reckless is still refusing to comment. UKIP HQ have not been able to get hold of him either. The Tories in Westminster say he won’t be defecting back to them, though it is understood Reckless is keen to join the Tory grouping on the Welsh assembly, sitting as an independent. He clearly wants out and is working out how he can leave and keep his lucrative committee chairmanship in Wales…
Guido stresses this poll is of London only. Save Jez…
UKIP leader Paul Nuttall declared his party the “guard dogs of Brexit” today as he launched six tests ahead of Theresa May triggering Article 50. They all seem pretty sensible to Guido…
- Legal – “Parliament must resume its supremacy of law-making with no impediments… Britain must wholly remove itself from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice”;
- Migration – “Britain must resume full control of its immigration and asylum policies…not be bound by any freedom of movement obligation”;
- Maritime – “Restore the UK’s full maritime sovereignty and exclusive economic zone”;
- Trade – “UK must have full legal rights to set its own tariff and non-tariff barriers…WTO terms are the acceptable fall-back position”;
- Money – “There must be no final settlement payment…and no ongoing payments to the EU budget”;
- Time – “Brexit must be done and dusted by the end of 2019“.
To which the Telegraph’s cheeky Chris Hope asked if UKIP would still be around in 2019…
Asked how he plans to enforce the tests in parliament after UKIP lost its only MP, Nuttall said:
“Through pressure, exactly the same way as we did when we forced the referendum… you don’t necessarily have to have a UKIP backside on the green leather of the House of Commons to ensure that we can apply political pressure within that chamber.”
Nuttall predicted the party’s vote share would go up in May’s local elections, though notably not that they would gain seats.
Nigel Farage sat on the back row throughout this morning’s press conference in Westminster, capturing the attention of journalists present no doubt to the delight of Nuttall. As he was leaving, Farage was asked if UKIP would lose seats in the upcoming local elections:
“I don’t know, as with all these elections they’re peak to peak… that doesn’t mean that your strong areas aren’t still very, very strong, I suspect they probably are.”
Asked if the party would gain seats, Nige said: “I’m retired”…
It has been an extraordinary achievement. UKIP, my party, which was founded in 1993 in order to get Britain out of the European Union, has now achieved what we were established to do.
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister is going to trigger Article 50, beginning the formal process of withdrawing our country from the EU. By April 2019, Britain will no longer be a member of the EU. After twenty-four years, we have done it. Brexit is in good hands.
UKIP might not have managed to win many seats in Parliament, but in a way we are the most successful political party in Britain ever. We have achieved what we were established to do – and in doing so we have changed the course of our country’s history for the better. Make no mistake; we would not be leaving the EU if it was not for UKIP – and for those remarkable people who founded, supported and sustained our party over that period.
Our party has prevailed thanks to the heroic efforts of UKIP party members and supporters. You ensured we got a referendum. With your street stalls and leafleting, you helped Vote Leave win the referendum. You should all be given medals for what you helped make happen – and face the future with optimism.
Like many of you, I switched to UKIP because I desperately wanted us to leave the EU. Now we can be certain that that is going to happen, I have decided that I will be leaving UKIP.
I will not be switching parties, nor crossing the floor to the Conservatives, so do not need to call a by election, as I did when switching from the Conservatives to UKIP. I will simply be the Member of Parliament for Clacton, sitting as an independent.
I will leave UKIP amicably, cheerfully and in the knowledge that we won.
At the hundreds of meetings and action days I have attended as a UKIP activist across the country since I joined in August 2014, I have met some truly remarkable people. You are heroes! Thank you and well done. I wish you all well.
When first elected to represent Clacton in 2005, I promised to do all I could to help ensure that Britain left the EU. To the consternation of my then party whips (some of who, I’m delighted to see, are now ministers helping make Brexit happen), I made my intentions on that front plain in my maiden speech. Job done.
I will be putting all of my effort into tackling some of the local problems affecting the NHS in our part of Essex, including GP shortages and the threat to our local Minor Injuries Unit. In that spirit, I called a Westminster Hall debate last week about the future of primary care in our part of Essex. Local comes first.
Cheer up! The days when small elites can try to arrange human social and economic affairs by grand design are coming to an end. Change is coming – Brexit is just the beginning.
UKIP has ordered its candidates to close their social media accounts, according to minutes of a meeting with the party’s chairman Paul Oakden. The notes began with the words “Remember do not put this online – that’s forbidden! The notes MUST NOT be put on social media”. They were naturally leaked to Guido.
The minutes quote Oakden as saying UKIP “will survive without [Arron Bank’s] money”, disclosing “four major donors” are now backing the party and “another £100,000 is pledged”. The document is full of warnings to ‘Kippers to stay away from social media and reveals deep concern within the party around online message discipline: “NO-ONE is to go online and say negative things about UKIP – it is pointless…”. Stoke is also described as “a serious black hole of degradation”…
Meeting with Chairmen
Please see my attached notes from Sunday. We shall give Paul Oakden the benefit of the doubt and look forward to the big changes which are promised. Remember do not put this online – that’s forbidden!
UKIP Regional Chairmen’s Meeting
The notes MUST NOT be put on social media…
Aaron Banks is not a UKIP member… He’s not given any money since the General Election… Alan Bown is the key donor of UKIP and bailed us out in the autumn of 2016… Stuart Wheeler [is] another key donor…
Richard Billington: Many people said quietly to me that it is a good job we didn’t win as Stoke is a serious black hole of degradation. Let the crazy and quite unpleasant Labour MP have the seat with its much reduced majority…
Paul Nuttall was not persuaded to enter the by-election. A poll was taken many weeks beforehand where the consensus was that standing Paul would increase the turnout for UKIP by 5% which would have been enough to win. It was always going to be close…
Paul Oakden hates social media. All Candidates should close their accounts. It just causes more grief…
Paul Nuttall is supported by 4 major donors. If Paul stays as leaders and he will, another £100,000 is pledged…
The party has not received any money from Aaron Banks in the last 12 months…
His money is useful but UKIP will survive without his money…
We are happy for Aaron to be involved…
Setting up a new party is fraught with difficulties. It is not going to happen..
We should all stay off social media…
Paul Oakden hates social media. All Candidates should close their accounts. It just causes more grief.
NO-ONE is to go online and say negative things about UKIP – it is pointless…
Aaron Banks tweets were not helpful or necessary…
As if UKIP will ever get their Cyberkipper army to stop tweeting…
The Electoral Commission report is conservative in its conclusions on Tory overspending in South Thanet. The Commission say they “cannot determine precisely” whether Craig Mackinlay breached his spending limit because of the party’s failure to keep records. Look closely however and is clear that Mackinlay breached his limit.
Mackinlay reported short campaign expenses of £14,837.77. His short campaign limit was £15,016.38, meaning he was £178.61 below the spending threshold. The Electoral Commission says Mackinlay did not declare expenses for his South Thanet team to stay at the Royal Harbour hotel in the short campaign between 20 April and 7 May 2015. Given Mackinlay was just £178.61 away from busting his limit, this alone puts him over. And that’s before going anywhere near the pro-rata salary costs of CCHQ officials being added to the bill.
More generally, the Electoral Commission concludes:
“the inclusion in the Party return of what in the Commission’s view should have been reported as candidate spending meant that there was a realistic prospect that this enabled its candidates to gain a financial advantage over opponents”
Apply this specifically to South Thanet, and it is clear that because Mackinlay breached his spending limit he “gained a financial advantage” over Nigel Farage. UKIP will say, with some justification, that this is grounds to re-run the Thanet election…
Here are the top lines from Nigel Farage’s interview with Marine Le Pen. All much to be expected: not a fan of Theresa May, pro- a good Brexit deal, condemns anti-Semitism, pro-Russia.
On Theresa May:
Farage: “Has the British PM snubbed you?”
Le Pen: “It seems to be the case… I do not understand this discrepancy, this contradiction between what Theresa May stands for because she has decided to be the woman who will implement Brexit, and her meeting with Emmanuel Macron…”
Farage: “… Actually with Donald Trump, Number 10 wanted nothing to do with Donald Trump whatsoever because they thought he would lose…”
Le Pen: “She is good at getting it wrong but this is rather reassuring!”
On how a Le Pen government would deal with Brexit:
[…] Read the rest
Le Pen: “I see no reason why France and Great Britain should not have excellent relations.