Monday, July 30

UKIP's cash flow crisis

So UKIP is facing an acute cash flow crisis with the Sunday Telegraph reporting John Whittaker's admission that the troubled party has between £5,000 and £10,000 left in its coffers.

Whittaker, UKIP's president and MEP for the North-West, made the admission during a court hearing as part of UKIP's battle with the Electoral Commission (the commission took legal action against UKIP over illegal donations worth more than £360,000 from UKIP donor Alan Bown). Funny, UKIPwatcher seems to remember Devil's Kitchen insisting that UKIP's accounts were all in order and that everything was in hand. Apparently not.

According to the Telegraph, UKIP received donations totalling £141,000 in 2006 compared with £1.7m in 2004 - not very surprising considering that UKIP MEP Tom Wise is under investigation for embezzling public money and former UKIP MEP Ashley Mote is on trial for £70,000 worth of benefit fraud.

Alan Bown has given more than £1m to UKIP and, now that Yorkshire multi-millionaire Paul Sykes, who bankrolled UKIP's 2004 European election campaign, seems to have pulled the plug on further funding, he is ploughing an increasingly lonely furrow. Besides, Bown may be very wealthy, but UKIP have spent over £7m over the past six years yet their only parliamentary representatives outside Brussels are a couple of ex-Tory peers in the unelected House of Lords. With the party polling around 1-2% in the UK and yet to come even remotely close in a Westminster by-election, Mr Bown could be forgiven for not wanting to throw good money after bad on a busted flush like UKIP.

Thursday, July 26

UKIP and the BNP planned merge?

Whilst surfing the internet late one evening I stumbled upon a remarkable claim that UKIP and the BNP had planned last year to merge to form an uber far-right party!

It was Iain Dale who had found the original story on the Cross of St George website that claimed a merger had been negotiated by a UKIP leadership candidate.

As both the BNP & UKIP are haemorrhaging support to the English Nationalist movement, (led by the English Democrats), it has emerged that one of the UKIP leadership candidates, has negotiated a “make or break” plan to merge the rump of the BNP & UKIP parties together with the DUP Northern Irish party (Democratic Unionist Party) into a new British Nationalist Party to become the dominant Euro-Sceptic Pro-Union force in the UK.

Speculation is mounting that the new combined party will be called the “British Independence & Democracy Party” or “BIDP”, and indeed the UKIP discussion forum has already changed it’s name in preparation for this change.
It does seem unlikely and it would surely be political suicide for UKIP to actually admit they had the links with the BNP they are widely believed to have?

However, if you click on a link to UKIP's forum you may notice you are redirected a forum of a different name...


Wednesday, July 25

Mote finally in the dock

Former UKIP MEP Ashley Mote's fraud trial began last week. Mote is alleged to have fleeced taxpayers out of more than £70,000 in false benefit claims so that he could lead an "extravagant lifestyle". Mote, now an independent MEP for South-east England, frequently dined out and took holidays in the US, France and the Caribbean. He allegedly claimed State benefits even though he was pocketing "substantial sums" of cash through business interests in two companies. Portsmouth Crown Court heard that the offences were committed between 1996 and 2002 – two years before Mote was elected to the European Parliament.

Unsuprisingly, Mote has denied false accounting, obtaining money transfers by deception, evading liability by deception and dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstances. Let's hope he gets what he deserves...