Thursday, May 26
As reported last week, Tory MEPs Roger Helmer, Christopher Heaton-Harris, David Sumberg, Daniel Hannan, and Martin Callanan were warned to remove their names from Nigel Farage's censure motion, by Tory Leader in Europe Timothy Kirkhope.
The five yesterday failed to head the warning and have now been threatened with expulsion from the European People's Party (EPP), the parliament's majority centre-Right group with which the conservatives sit.
Roger Helmer, Conservative MEP for the east midlands, who has associated himself with UKIP on various occasions was stripped of his British Tory whip and looks likely to be suspended from the EPP indefinately, pending a group vote on his party membership next week.
Source: The Telegraph 26th May 2005
Wednesday, May 25
Farage was amongst 77 members of the Parliament who signed a motion to censure Barosso for an alleged conflict of interests which they believe resulted in a company of Barroso's long time friend, Greek business tycoon, Spiros Latsis receiving state aid.
Barroso explained that their friendship stemmed back to when the pair attended university together, and the decision to award aid was taken by the previous Commission.
Leaders of the main political groups in the Parliament, which account for nearly 600 of the 732 MEPs, lined up one after another to condemn the actions of Farage as an opportunistic publicity stunt designed to influence the up coming referendums on the EU constitution.
There was an unprecedented display of solidarity in the chamber as members made clear that Farage's motion was an ineffective use of Parliament's time.
Although it is a democratic right for Members to hold the Commission to account by using the censure motion, many believe that this was a frivolous use of the instrument.
The motion to censure will be voted on during the next plenary session in Strasbourg in the first week of June. It is a dead certainty to fall.
Tuesday, May 24
The so called annual "asparagus party," thrown to celebrate the start of the asparagus season, an alsatian delicacy, was a hit with euro sceptics from across the EU. Whilst most MEPs stayed away to concentrate on parliamentary business, UKIP preferred to make the most of the free booze and share the dance floor with the likes of Jean Marie Le Pen.
As Nicola Smith, writing for the Sunday Times observed: "UKIP members Mike Nattrass and Tom Wise, having sampled the wine, soon joined in the singing and demonstrated impressive air guitar techniques to the dancing Eurocrats. They supposedly came to Europe promising to clean up the institution and fight against the gravy train. But to me it looked as if they were enjoying it."
It seems that UKIP members are quite fond of their monthly retreat to France. In April they abstained on a vote to do away with the European Parliament's costly trek down to Strasbourg each month, whilst Members of all other parties supported the proposal to do away with it.
Source: Sunday Times, 22nd May 2005
Friday, May 20
UKIP claim that the ratification of the draft constitution would mean an end to British independence, democracy and liberty. They claim the only way to avoid this is an unconditional withdrawal from the European Union and the establishment of a free trade area.
It would appear pointless that UKIP are devoting so much of their energy towards the NO campaign. Perhaps they have failed to realise that the draft constitution actually contains an article which introduces the option for a member state to withdraw from the EU. Surely this should mean that those people adamant on Britain's EU withdrawal should be campaigning for a YES vote whatever the case?
Thursday, May 19
Last week, UKIP leader in the European Parliament Nigel Farage, scraped together 77 signatures from fellow MEP's demanding that President Barroso explain an alleged conflict of interest with a shipping billionaire, Spiros Latsis. This included five Conservative MEP's.
In order to put the issue on the agenda it is required that a minimum of 74 MEP's must sign up to the motion. This now looks in doubt as Timothy Kirkhope, leader of Conservatives in the European Parliament, has written to five of his MEP's including Roger Helmer,Christopher Heaton-Harris, David Sumberg, and Martin Callanan demanding they remove their names from the motion or face "very serious consequences."
However, even if the motion is put on the agenda it is certain to fail. The leaders of the three main political parties in the European Parliament, comprising the majority of MEPs have already issued a statement condemning the publicity seeking motives behind the motion.
This comes as a blow to UKIP who had hoped that the censure debate, which is scheduled to take place on the eve of the French referendum on the EU constitution, would influence French voters towards a 'no' vote.
Source: UKIP, The Scotsman
Tuesday, May 17
The motion came about followingBarroso's alleged under hand holiday on board the yacht of Greek billionaire,Spiros Latsis. UKIP alleges that one of Latsis' companies later received a €10 million regional aid grant from the Commission, as a result of this personal relationship.
Consequently Farage delivered 77 signatures to the Secretary General of Parliament, Julian Priestly. The signatuaries were all supporting a call for the Commission President to explain the situation.
However, leaders of the main political groups in the Parliament dismissedFarage's actions as a publicity stunt, by issuing a joint statement, which read: "As chairs of our political groups, which account for 597 of the732 members of the European Parliament, we express our opposition to the motion of censure."
"We consider this initiative to be unjustified and disproportionate and principally designed to seek publicity for its authors."
The debate on the censure motion will take place later this month in Brussels.
Source: UKIP Agence FrancePresse, May 13th 2005
Saturday, May 14
Now that the dust has begun to settle following last Thursday's general election results, it has become clear that UKIP only had a minimum effect in the outcome of the poll.
The self styled "UKIP effect" which the party hoped would swing certain election results failed to materialise in any of the seats they contested.
On Monday the right wing think tank the Bruges Group, claimed that UKIP and Veritas had swung the vote in 27 seats, preventing the Tories from taking victory in 18 of them.
Both UKIP and Veritas were quick to take a share of the glory in these seats. However they failed to acknowledge that this balance of power was in fact swayed by the entire euro sceptic vote, which includes the British National Party and other extreme right wing groups.
The entries below are the seats where the euro sceptic claim to hold the balance of the vote, which is borne out of the four way split between Con/Lab/LibDem/Minority Parties. Those in bold type are the five constituencies where Veritas stood and are claiming a share of the ‘glory’ alongside UKIP.
- Basildon (Lab hold) Majority:3142 – UKIP 1,143 BNP 2,055
- Battersea (Lab hold) Majority: 163 - UKIP: 333 Green: 1735
- Burton (Lab hold) Majority: 1,421 UKIP plus Veritas: 1,825. (Veritas: 912) BNP: 1840
- Carshalton & Wallington (LD hold) Majority: 1,068 - UKIP: 1,111
- Cornwall North (LD hold) Majority: 3,076 - UKIP plus Veritas: 3,387 (Veritas: 324) Mebyon Kernow(greater self governance for Cornwall) 1351
- Crawley (Lab Hold) Majority 37 - UKIP 935 BNP 1277
- Dartford (Lab hold) Majority 706 - UKIP: 1,407 Michael Tibby New England Party 1224
- Eastleigh (LD Hold) Chris Huhne Majority: 568 - UKIP: 1,669
- Gillingham (Lab hold) Majority 254 - UKIP 1,191
- Harlow (Lab hold) Majority 97 - UKIP plus Veritas 1922 (Veritas: 941, UKIP 981)
- Hereford (Lab hold) Majority: 962 - UKIP: 1,030 Green: 1052
- High Peak (Lab hold) Majority: 735 UKIP 1,106
- Hove (Lab hold) Majority 420 - UKIP 575 Green: 2575
- Medway (Lab hold) Majority: 213 - UKIP 1,488
- Portsmouth North (Lab hold) Majority: 1,139 - UKIP 1,348
- Romsey (LD hold) Majority 125 UKIP: 1,076
- Sittingbourne & Sheppey (Lab hold) Majority: 79 - UKIP plus Veritas: 1,118 UKIP: 926, Veritas: 192 Rock n Roll Loony Party: 479
- Solihull (LD Gain) Majority: 279 - UKIP: 990 BNP: 1752
- Somerton & Frome (LD hold) Majority: 812 - UKIP plus Veritas: 1,531 UKIP: 1047, Veritas: 484)
- Staffordshire Moorlands (Lab hold) Majority: 2,438 - UKIP: 3,512
- Stroud (Lab hold) Majority: 350 - UKIP: 1,089 Green: 3056
- Stourbridge (Lab hold) Majority: 407 - UKIP: 1,087
- Taunton (LD gain) Majority: 573 UKIP: 1,441
Thanet South (Lab hold) Majority: 664 - UKIP (Nigel Farage) 2,079 Green 888
- Torbay (LD hold) Majority: 2,029 - UKIP 3,726
- Warwick & Leamington (Lab hold) Majority: 306 - UKIP: 921 Green: 1534
- Watford (Lab hold) Majority: 1,148 - UKIP: 1,292 Green: 1466
- Westmorland & Lonsdale (LD gain) Majority: 267 - UKIP: 660 Independent (Anthony Kemp): 309
It can therefore be seen that neither UKIP nor Veritas can claim that it holds the balance of power in all 27 of these seats. Veritas only had any bearing on the outcome in Cornwall North and Burton, but only in conjunction with UKIP. UKIP's effect is only minimal considering they contested 495 seats and lost their deposits in all but 45 of them. In fact it is the Greens that can claim to hold a balance of power in six of the above seats and the BNP in three.
It seems that any shreds of credibility which Veritas might have had were done away with, by being beaten to fourth place in Sittingbourne and Sheppey by the Rock 'n' Roll Loony Party.
Source: The Bruges Group
Wednesday, May 11
The sisters were seeking financial assistance from the EU's anti terrorism fund to help them launch their own civil action should the Police Service of Northern Ireland investigations prove unsuccessful.
In an unprecedented move MEPs voted by 555 in favour and four against a resolution which called on the "self styled Irish Republican Army " to cease its campaign of brutality which lead to McCartneys murder outside a Belfast pub on January 30th.
Despite the overwhelming support for this resolution's good cause UKIP joined the ranks of Sinn Fein, and chose to abstain. This would seem further evidence that UKIP refuse to condemn terrorism in any shape or form. In January 2004 when several MEP's received letter bombs UKIP issued a press release which said that they could "understand the reasons behind the attacks."
UKIP MEP Michael Natrass has also said that Britain would have to fight its way out of the European Union in a similar way to the Chechan separatists who stormed a school in Beslan last year, murdering 330 children.
Sources: Europarl website, The Irish Times, May 11th 2005, UKIP statement, Jan 9th 2004, The Times 25 September 2004
Tuesday, May 10
Source: Glasgow Herald May 10th 2005
Friday, May 6
Nation wide UKIP polled 611,423 votes, a 2.35% share overall. This was well down on the share of the vote they received in the 2004 European elections and far off the mark of 21 seats they had been hoping for.
UKIP leader in the European Parliament, Nigel Farage, polled only 2,079 votes in the Thanet South constituency which he was contesting, coming fourth. This was a seat won by Labour´s Stephen Ladyman. Michael Howard´s UKIP challenger in Folkestone, chairwoman Petrina Holdsworth, could only manage fifth, polling 619 votes.
Source: BBC News website
Mr Kilroy-Silk got more than three times as many votes as the UKIP candidate, Geoffrey Kingscott. To make matters worse Kingscott received 400 fewer votes than BNP candidate Sadie Graham by trailing home in sixth place.
Source: BBC News webite
Wednesday, May 4
The party is contesting 497 seats, but concentrating on 21 target seats mainly held by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
UKIP believes the opinion polls have so far failed to show UKIP's popularity. Mr Knapman said he expected 'hundreds of thousands more votes' than those the party gained in the 2001 election, when they received 1.5% of the vote.
UKIP MEP Nigel Farage said "Whether we succeed or fail on Thursday, this party is not going away. " It seems that UKIP is in for a poor showing as the single issue which the party is about has so far failed to feature in the election campaign.
Source: The Telegraph, The Observer May 4th 2005