Monday, January 31

UKIP Scandal

THE UK Independence Party (UKIP) have suspended one of their Scottish MPs amid reports that he advocated Nazi-style policies.

Party bosses said yesterday that 54-year-old John Houston - who was selected in December to contest the East Kilbride seat in Lanarkshire - was suspended after his proposals were sent to newspapers.

Houston, according to the Express, believes the mentally ill should be executed, civil servants should have free visits to brothels and people with disabilities and unskilled workers should be sent to work camps.

In his Nazi-style rant, Houston also advoctated a New World Order led by "English speaking nations".

But the list goes on:

  • The creation of special communities only for people who speak the same language and for those with facial disfigurements.

  • Labour-intensive initiatives to provide work for the unskilled and people with learning difficulties.

  • The killing of the criminally insane with their organs to be "made available to law-abiding members of the community".

  • Free availability of cannabis, similar to tobacco and alcohol. Other drugs could be obtained from specialist outlets.

  • Legalisation of brothels, saunas and other sexual services to both men and woman.Those who do work for the community, such as civil servants, would be entitled to a number of free visits every year.

UKIP spokesman Mark Croucher said that the party was investigating and that Houston's opinions "bear no relation to UKIP policy".

Source: The Sunday Mirroy, Sunday 30 January 2005

The Express, Saturday 29 January 2005

Kilroy: UKIP are Fascist Nutters

In a documentary to be shown by the BBC tonight, Kilroy calls his former UKIP colleagues "bloody right-wing fascist nutters".

Kilory finally admits that he did not know what he was getting involved in when he joined UKIP last year. He said: "The trouble is, some are serious and some are nutters. And you get the lot. Is this one serious? Or is this another nutter? I didn't know what I joined. What's been irritating is that I've been defending some of these bloody right-wing fascist nutters."

One scene in the programme captured an exchange between Mr Kilroy-Silk and an MEP from the right-wing League of Polish Families, allied to Ukip, who said he believed homosexuality is a sin. Mr Kilroy-Silk replied: "I'm relieved. You see, I don't have to defend them any more."

A UKIP spokesman said: "We'll admit that we did have a fascist Right-wing nutter - but he has just left. I am talking about Robert Kilroy-Silk."

Source: The Indepedent on Sunday, Sunday 30th January 2005
The Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 30th January

Friday, January 28

The UK Independence Party has named candidates to stand in constituencies across Norfolk at the coming general election

The UK Independence Party has named candidates to stand in constituencies across Norfolk at the coming general election.

UKIP has been in the news because of a public spat with former party member and MEP Robert Kilroy-Silk, who resigned while labelling colleagues a "joke."

Of the five constituencies covered by the party's Norwich and Norfolk branch, four have named candidates.

What impact they will have on each seat should become clearer closer to the anticipated May election, but their presence in North Norfolk could potentially be of particular importance.

The four candidates are Stuart Agnew for North Norfolk; Simon Fletcher for Mid Norfolk; Philip Tye for South Norfolk; and Andrew Coe for Norwich South.

John Youles, secretary of UKIP Norwich and Norfolk branch, which oversees the five constituencies, said no candidate had yet been selected for Norwich North.

Mr Agnew, who stood in the Mid Norfolk seat at the last general election, could have an impact on the North Norfolk seat if he manages to take as many votes as he did in 2001. He was the most successful of the five UKIP candidates across the Norwich and Norfolk branch area, taking 1333 votes.

Yesterday Mr Agnew dismissed what some see as the perceived wisdom of UKIP taking votes from the Conservative party. That would have a particular effect on the North Norfolk seat, traditionally a two-horse race between the Lib Dems and Tories.

In 2001 Norman Lamb took the seat from David Prior with a majority of 483. Mr Lamb's current Tory adversary is Iain Dale.

Mr Agnew, a farmer from Helhoughton, near Fakenham, and Norfolk's elected delegate to the NFU national council, said: "We can take votes from all the parties." Mr Agnew said figures from last year's Euro elections, when compared to figures from the 2001 general election, demonstrated UKIP votes came from all sources.

He said the UKIP target was to win a third place in as many constituencies as possible, beating a mainstream party into fourth. In Mr Agnew's case he has Labour's Phil Harris in his sights.

Source: Eastern Daily Press, Thursday 27 January 2005

Wednesday, January 26

Bolton UKIP frozen after bullying claim

UK INDEPENDENCE Party officials in Bolton are preparing to go to war with the party's leadership after being told their branch has been wound up.

Regional bosses have said they no longer recognise the local organisation after committee members accused their leaders of "intimidation and bullying" relating to the power struggle between party boss Roger Knapman and their celebrity MEP, Robert Kilroy-Silk, who resigned from UKIP last week.

Chairman Mike Ford, vice-chariman Tony Backhouse, press officer Ian Upton and the party's prospective parliamentary candidate for Bolton North-east, Alan Ainscow, quit the committee amid claims that undue pressure was being put on them not to hold an extraordinary general meeting, which it was thought would result in a call for a leadership contest.

Bolton committee members now claim they will go to court to seek an injunction preventing the party from replacing them with a new organisation and have warned that around 70 members could walk out and transfer their allegiance if Robert Kilroy-Silk sets up his own political party.

It is believed that would be called Veritas.

Mr Kilroy-Silk left UKIP accusing the party of having no policies, energy or vision.

Mr Upton said infighting in the party, which enjoyed unprecedented success in last June's European elections, was tearing it apart. He accused UKIP's leaders of using regional organisers to try and bully local activists into line.

Mr Upton said: "I suspect if the Bolton committee decides to work with another party then I'm sure the majority of members will follow them.

"The party is falling apart because the leadership will not realise that branches will not be bullied into submission.

"The branch has been suspended but we believe this is illegal because it has come from the regional organisers and not the chairman of the national executive committee, Petrina Holdsworth - and there is still a committee structure in place."

He added that in a recent ballot 75 per cent of local members voted for an extraordinary meeting but claimed that committee members had been warned that senior national figures would resign if the Bolton branch went ahead with it.

Bolton is considered to be the party's most active and influential branch in the north of England.
Mr Ainscow said he had resigned his membership last week. He said: "The UKIP leadership has done nothing since the election and when we started being threatened and intimidated by the regional office I felt I could not go on."

Gregg Beaman, UKIP's north-west organiser, denied that bullying had taken place.

He said: "Following the resignations, the committee was no longer viable. We will do everything we can to relaunch the committee."


Tuesday, January 25

No Cravats in my Party!!

An article in the Sunday Express revealed that candidates for Kilroy-Silk's new party, Veritas, will be banned from wearing cravats, blazers and silly hats in an attempt to convince voters that they are a serious political party.

Kilroy-Silk is desperate to to distance himself from what he sees as the "crank" reputation that surrounded UKIP.

Mr Kilroy-Silk has already received the backing of several Midlands businessmen to fund a party headquarters, a call centre and literature for a "serious" general election campaign.

More than 20 parliamentary candidates have already been vetted with full criminal record checks, to avoid embarrassments.

Prospective parliamentary candidates resigning from Ukip include Frank Leeming, Martin Bardoe, Ray Dixon, Ray Porter, Mark Harrison, Gill Allen and Ken Roseblade.

The Veritas source said: "This is a serious venture. Getting out of Europe is important, but so are crime, pensions and low tax.

Robert will be talking about the culture of British identity."

Alex Stevenson, chairman of the South East Derbyshire branch of UKIP, who has poured more than £10,000 into party coffers said: "I've been a member of Ukip for four-and-a-half-years.I've put in quite a lot of my own money and I am leaving. It was so disorganised. I kept asking for guidance on policies other than Europe and it never came. Robert has told me the new party will have a range of policies."

Mr Kilroy-Silk helped boost Ukip in the European elections but fell out when they refused to make him leader. His supporters say they were ignored by party bosses. Mr Stevenson added: "I am ashamed to have been part of them. They are not a democratic party."

Source: The Sunday Express, Sunday 23 January 2005

Friday, January 21

False Figures

Speaking on this morning’s edition of BBC Radio4’s "Today" Programme UKIP Leader Roger Knapman, trying to argue that his party is still in good shape after the defection of Robert Kilroy-Silk, declared that last "Rustie Lee was adopted as UKIP PPC forWyre Forest before an enthusiastic meeting of 250 members".

However, witnesses at the meeting claim that "In fact about 180 people signed into the meeting but strangely only 23 of them had Wyre Forest post codes. The rest were party stalwarts from Shropshire, Herefordshire, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Coventry and Dudley imported to boost the numbers.

"It was reported in the local press last October that Ms Lee "became a supporter of UKIP when she met fellow ex-television personality, and now UKIP Euro MP, Robert Kilroy-Silk and found they shared views onBrussels.

"Given that Mr Kilroy-Silk is today reported as saying of UKIP that he was ashamed to have joined a party which was a"joke" perhaps Ms Lee should stand up and say which version of Kilroy-Silk she actually supports – the UKIP Kilroy-Silk or the anti-UKIP Kilroy-Silk?!"

Source: Anonymous

Kilroy-Silk quits UKIP

Kilroy-Silk confirmed last night that he was quitting UKIP.

He said: "I will advise people not to vote for the party. To do otherwise will be dishonest, to pretend the party has a purpose - when in fact it is a charade, an empty vessel."

He even accused the UKIP MEPs of joining the Brussels gravy train. He told supporters: "They had achieved their goal. They had got elected as MEPs. So off they went to Brussels, with expense-account lunches and generous subsidies, never to be heard of again. They were happy."

Kilroy-Silk has so far avoided questions about funding for the party, apart from his own fortune as a TV entrepreneur.

Source: The Guardian, Friday 21 January

Wednesday, January 19

Kilroy-Silk to stand against Hoon

Kilroy-Silk is planning to stand as a candidate for his new party, Veritas, in the Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon's constituency, Ashfied in Nottinghamshire.

He believes he has a good chance of overturning Labour's 13,268 majority. His campaign is expected to focus on Mr Hoon's role in the Iraq war.

Source: The Daily Mail, Wednesday 19 January 2005

Monday, January 17

Kilroy-Silk has a new party

It has been revealed in the Telegraph today that Kilroy-Silk is planning on forming a new party called 'Veritas' (Latin for truth).

The new party will go beyond UKIP's one issue and also have policies on law and order, asylum and tax.

The party has not received any financial backing, but one UKIP party member said: "Ukip is haemorrhaging support to Robert. I would say that practically all the members in the East Midlands [where Mr Kilroy-Silk is a Euro-MP] will go with him."

One party chairman said: "Robert Kilroy-Silk asked me to come over to his new party and I have accepted his offer."

Source: The Telegraph, Monday 17 January 2005
The Times, Monday 17 January 2005

UKIP have a secret weapon

UKIP have a secret weapon is the shape of Dick Morris, the man who was responsible for Bill Clinton's 1992 election victory.

He was attracted to Europe because, he says: "I think the greatest threat to democracy in the world is not terrorism but bureaucratism".

Although he admits that UKIP will not form the next Government in the UK, he is targeting key swing seats and end up with a significant group in the House of Commons.

He also believes it is possible the internet could have a big part in the poll.

"The internet was a decisive factor in the 2004 presidential election - through blogs. People just did it".


Party will fight election seats

The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) says it will fight every seat in the South West at the general election.

The party sees the region as a strong prospect and campaigners are confident it can win one or two seats.

Members say the votes will be based on standing up for British independence and leaving the European Union.

An argument with former colleague Robert Kilroy-Silk led to a loss of financial backers and the party admits it damaged credibility with voters.

But Dick Morris, an election guru for former US president Bill Clinton who is now advising UKIP, said the episode has not been damaging, but purifying.

Mr Kilroy-Silk resigned from the party's group of MEPs in October.

Mr Morris said: "It makes it very clear that UKIP stands for something and not someone.

"If you vote for UKIP you're advancing an agenda which is British independence from the dominance of European bureaucrats and not the political career of a person."


Wednesday, January 12

UKIP change their stance on Europe

UKIP submitted a resolution to Richard Corbett's report on the constitution for parliamentary vote.

In their resolution, group leader Nigel Farage MEP argues for more qualified majority voting (though curiously with fewer votes for Britain), for the veto to be restricted to"vital areas" and for more power to the European Parliament.

He also endorses the existence of a European Commission (though he would prefer it to be larger), and approves of the European Parliament having a final say over proposed legislation.

Source: UKIP amendment to Report on the Constitution for Europe

UKIP want an end to bureacracy

UKIP leader, Roger Knapman, has this week written to all chief executives of local councils urging them to put an end to the possibility of any regional assemblies on the grounds that they add other layer of bureaucracy. The chief executives were asked to forward the letter onto all councillors in the authority.

Isn't it bizarre that UKIP claim to want to reduce the number of bureaucrats when they are creating work for bureaucrats?

Perhaps they should spend some oftheir money on a decent database of Councillors like the other parties do!

Monday, January 10

The way they were

Derby branch of the United Kingdom Independence Party has declared itself a "Robert Kilroy-Silk-free zone" following a bitter split which led to numerous resignations.

East Midlands MEP Mr Kilroy-Silk has been blamed by UKIP members nationwide for causing a rift in the party over his leadership challenge against Roger Knapman.

The split led to the resignation from UKIP's Derby branch of city councillor for Boulton ward Frank Leeming and several other members, as revealed in the Evening Telegraph in December. Mr Leeming is now an independent councillor.

Mr Leeming had claimed that the Derby UKIP branch chairman David Black had "doctored" the minutes of October's branch meeting by failing to record members' calls for an extraordinary general meeting in support of Mr Kilroy-Silk's leadership challenge.

Mr Black strenuously denied the allegation.In an effort to "set the record straight" Mr Black has now issued a statement to the Evening Telegraph declaring that the minutes have been "checked for accuracy" and are "freely available to any interested parties".

Following a branch meeting this week, Mr Black said: "I can now confirm that we've reconstituted the Derby City branch as a Robert Kilroy-Silk-free zone."

"It appears the only attempt at 'doctoring' official branch minutes was by the few supporters of Robert Kilroy-Silk, who are now history as far as our Derby City branch is concerned.

"He added: "We've conducted our business fully in accordance with the national party's constituency association rules and are poised to take our branch forward to positive effect in future local, parliamentary and Euro elections."

Mr Kilroy-Silk, who has resigned the UKIP whip as an MEP but still remains a member of the party, said yesterday: "There's no such thing as a Robert Kilroy-Silk-free zone in my constituency.

"As far as Derby is concerned, I think you will find the majority of people in the branch have left.

"The rest of them represent nobody but themselves."

Mr Leeming estimated that nine of the "12 to 14 Derby branch members" who regularly attended meetings had resigned.

But he said: "As far as I'm concerned, UKIP is a disgraced party that has lost its integrity, especially in the East Midlands.

"Too many have left, they've left in their hundreds. I've nothing to do with UKIP now. I'm not interested in it."

Mr Kilroy-Silk said his party leadership challenge was continuing.

He said: "There will be things happening in the next couple of weeks."He added that in the next few weeks he would also be announcing in which constituency he would be standing in this year's UK General Election.

He confirmed it would be somewhere in the East Midlands but would neither confirm nor deny rumours that he planned to challenge Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon in his Ashfield constituency in Nottinghamshire.

Source: This is Derbyshire, 8 January 2005

Party's over for Frank .. And voters get feud for thought

The Evening Telegraph reported that Mr Leeming had quit UKIP as a result of the bitter feud that has divided the party's Derby branch.

Although he will continue as an independent councillor, Mr Leeming had a few parting shots to make before he handed in his party membership.

In a scathing broadside, he described the party as "rotten to the core".

And he claimed that the party has been "inundated" with resignations from other members.

He also alleged that following the October meeting of the Derby branch, the minutes had been "doctored" by the branch chairman and secretary, David Black and Josephine Rooney.

He claimed it was agreed at the meeting that an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) should be called in support of a national leadership challenge by East Midlands MEP Robert Kilroy-Silk.

He said Mr Black and Miss Rooney voted in favour of calling for a leadership contest at the EGM, but he alleges this was not reported to head office and did not appear in the minutes of the October meeting, which were presented at the next monthly meeting.

Mr Black firmly denies the accusations. An EGM was held last Wednesday, but it was unable to resolve the matter.

Yesterday, Mr Leeming decided to sever ties with the party altogether, accusing party representatives of "passing out misinformation".

His resignation leaves Derby without any UKIP councillors - a bitter pill for all those people who voted UKIP.

It is all well and good that Mr Leeming wants to carry on as an independent councillor, but how many of his electorate voted for the party and not the man?

It could be that some of the 1,781 who voted for him in Boulton were staunch UKIP supporters - but now, here is their man walking out of the door, accusing his former party of all manner of ills.

Do they still feel that he can represent their views without a political party behind him?

As far as voter John Hudson is concerned, it should not matter if Mr Leeming continues on his own, without the backing of UKIP.

"I voted for the man and not the party," said John (63), a retired Rolls-Royce worker, of Penzance Road, Alvaston.

"And to be quite honest, what with the amount of damage that is being done to the national image of the UKIP as they squabble over its leadership, he is better off without them.

"I do not know Frank personally, but I have a lot of respect for the man."

He has similar views to myself and I believe he is representative of how many people in Derby feel."

Recent councils seem to have this attitude of once they have their sights set on something, they plough straight ahead with it and ride roughshod over everyone else's views until they get what they want."

That is why it is important to have someone like Frank on the council."For that reason alone he should not resign as a councillor and I would very much like to see him stay on."

If Mr Leeming did decide to resign, the effects for Derby could be far-reaching.

His resignation would mean another election taking place in Boulton.

But it would not just be an election to find a new councillor for the ward - it could ultimately give Derby a new council.

As when Mr Leeming was voted in, with Labour and the Lib Dem-Tory alliance having the same amount of seats, whoever won, Boulton ward would decide the fate of the council.

Steven Street (45), an import/export business finance director, of Shardlow Road, Alvaston, was another who voted for Mr Leeming during the elections in June."

Like many people I voted for him and not the UKIP," he said.

"He should be judged on his merits as a councillor - not as a representative of a political party - and in that department I think he has been a bit of a wet blanket."

All he has done is go on about a lot of national issues and, occasionally, what is happening with Elvaston Castle.

"But local elections are about local issues - not national politics."

It is all about getting the best deal for his constituents. In this respect, I believe his first mistake was siding with the Lib Dem-Tory alliance, instead of Labour."

I'm very disappointed at what he has done - or not done."

He is in a great position in the council but does not seem to have exploited it like past independent councillors such as Ron Allen, who successfully played one party against another until he got what he wanted - namely, the removal of the speed humps in the ward."

I think it can only be a good thing that Frank has severed ties with UKIP, because I think it was a distraction.

"Now that he is free from the shackles of UKIP, I think he should get his finger out and start to fight for what is best for the people in his ward.

"He should take a good, hard look at what he has to do, which I am sure he will do."

I don't think he should resign altogether. If he does not deliver before the next election then I simply won't vote for him next time."

"To be quite honest, at the time of the elections, I thought that Frank was an independent councillor, and not a member of the UK Independence Party," said Fay Kidger, of Alvaston."

So, for me, it really does not make any difference, whether he is with them or not."

"Frank is an older man and has got his own gut feeling about things, like us older people have," said Ivy Ryalls (81), of Strathmore Avenue, Alvaston, who voted for him at the elections.

"If he feels that things are not right then he will get out.

"He knows his own common sense and when to do the right thing.

"I don't think that leaving UKIP will affect his standing in the ward at all. In fact, it could be a good thing.

"A lot of councillors get bogged down in the policy of their party, which stops them from giving us the whole truth.

"Frank likes to tell the truth, but the other parties try to keep him quiet.

"Now that he is fully independent he may feel more able to speak his mind."

Richard Bannister (76), of Gilbert Street, Alvaston, agreed that Mr Leeming leaving UKIP should not make any difference.

"I saw Frank yesterday morning in the street and he seemed a bit down about the whole thing," said Richard.

"But as long as he does the job, it should not matter if he is a member of UKIP or not.

People around here first and foremost think of Frank as more of an independent councillor than a member of UKIP.

"I get really fed up when they drag party politics into local government."Personally, I think it is better for him to go it alone."

Source: This is Derbyshire, 21 December 2004

Wednesday, January 5

How hardworking were your MEPs in 1999 - 2004?

The statistics are clear, UKIP were not as effective as the other major UK parties at holding the Commissioners accountable. UKIP asked substantially fewer questions during Question Time, but also they did not submit as many written questions.

The fugures are laid out in Richard Corbett's newsletter from Autumn 2004.

UKIP outspent Labour on EU poll

The UK Independence Party outspent both Labour and the Liberal Democrats in the European elections, new figures show.

UKIP, which campaigned on a slogan of "Say no to Europe", spent £2.36m on the campaign - second only to the Conservatives' £3.13m.

The campaign took UKIP into third place with an extra 10 MEPs.

Labour's campaign cost £1.7m, the Lib Dems' £1.19m and the Greens' £404,000, according to figures revealed by the Electoral Commission on Wednesday.

Much of the UKIP funding came from Yorkshire millionaire Sir Paul Sykes, who helped bankroll the party's billboard campaign.

Critics have accused the party of effectively buying votes. But a UKIP spokesman said Labour and the Conservatives had spent £10m between them on the last general election.

"With the advantages of public money the others have, the only way the smaller parties can get their message across is by buying the advertising space," he added.