Tuesday, October 5

Sykes: UKIP have "blown it"

Yorkshire millionaire, Paul Sykes, has said he will not fund UKIP at the next general election after they said they wuld put candidates up against Tories who are anti the European Constitution.

The last straw came when Kilroy-Silk described the Conservative Party as a dying party and UKIP's role was to kill it.

Sykes believes that these tactics will only lose the Conservatives seats. He said on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme: "There is only one major party now that is anti-Brussels, that is for repatriating powers," he said.

"I am at least warming to what I am hearing from the Conservative Party and I have no intention whatsoever of upsetting their applecart."

Nigel Farage said the news came as a "blow" and told the Today Programme: "We have never been about UKIP as a party, as a tribe, being the most important thing."

"The most important thing to us is we get out of the EU and get back to a simply free trade agreement.

"In my opinion, we should not fighting against sitting Tory and Labour MPs who are prepared to say the right things."

However, Kilroy-Silk isn't so concerned as he explained that they have had other offers of funding. He said: "The people who have offered donations did not say so but the assumption is that they will be paying for a challenge that I will be spearheading."

Farage is now hoping that UKIP will review its position and persuade Sykes to change his mind. He said: "If he sees the UK Independence party reassess what it did on Saturday - and I very much hope that in the cold light of day we do reassess what happened on Saturday - I wouldn't rule out at some point Paul helping us again."

Sykes' announcement comes just after it has been made clear that Kilroy-Silk will not become leader of UKIP. Nigel Farage said that Kilroy-Silk will be disappointed if he wants to become leader, adding: " There is no appetite within the party at all for any form of internecine warfare. There is no desire for a leadership contest at all."

Sources: Gallery News, Tueday 5th October 2004, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3715446.stm
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/conservatives2004/story/0,,1320144,00.html

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