UKIPwatch had hoped that justice would prevail and the assorted deadweights, incompetents and fraudsters that constituted the UKIP MEP group would be swept away by the voters this June. A month before polling day, the consensus was that the Conservatives would make significant gains at the expense of Labour, while UKIP would hold just 5 or 6 of their seats won in 2004. No such luck….
So who are the new UKIP MEPs?
There was a marked turnover at the election. Gone are Roger Knapman, Jeffrey Titford, Tom Wise, John Whittaker, while convicted benefit fraudster Ashley Mote, did not opt to stand as an independent this time round. The poisonous Mote will hopefully vanish into obscurity, although UKIPwatch spied him in Strasbourg shaking hands and embracing the two new BNP MEPs - Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons. Good riddance to a total shit.
In for UKIP are seven new MEPs. Nikki Sinclaire became the first openly lesbian MEP to be elected on the UKIP ticket in the West Midlands, while party chairman Paul Nuttall took Whittaker's seat in the North-West. There are two new faces in the Eastern region - David Campbell-Bannerman (who stood against Farage for the UKIP party leadership back in 2006) and poultry farmer Stuart Agnew. Adding a little touch of landed-class to their delegation is the Earl of Dartmouth in the South-West, leaving a distinctly miffed UKIP spin-doctor, Gawain Towler, hoping that either the Earl or Trevor Colman fall under a bus so that he can inherit the seat! The complete collapse of the Labour vote also allowed UKIP to sneak the final seat in Wales, with John Bufton becoming yet another unlikely MEP. Finally, taking Ashley Mote’s seat, aptly enough, was Marta Andreassen, and she will probably be, along with Farage, UKIPs most prominent member in the new Parliament.
Of the remaining MEPs, aside from Farage, only four of the 2004 intake survive - Derek 'deadweight' Clark for the East Midlands; the utterly anonymous Mike Nattrass (who achieved so little in his first term that he struggles even to recognise himself); Gerard Batten; and, finally, the wannabe Colonel Blimp of British politics and arch-buffoon Godfrey Bloom.
So, that is the new motley crew. We’ll be watching them.