Wednesday, September 16, 2009

UKIP leadership in disarray

What an extraordinary turn of events. Marta Andreasson - serial whistle-blower - has resigned from her post as UKIP Treasurer over Paul Nuttal's (Party Chair)insistence that the salary of a UKIP official be doubled. Marta was the trophy candidate for UKIP at the Euro-elections after she gained notoriety for blowing the whistle on Commission spending when she was the Chief Auditor. For UKIP it was, of course, a gift that she had agreed to be one of their candidates.

Only weeks after UKIP - agains the odds - returned 13 MEPs to Brussels, the party seems to be falling apart at the seams. Not least because its leader the charismatic and charming Mr Nigel Farage has resigned to concentrate on fighting John Bercow for his Buckinghamshire seat at the next UK General Election. Not only does it seem bad form to stand against the Speaker of the House - it seems futile. Mr Farage says he wants to give the elctorate a more traditionally conservative alternative. Yet how does he square this with efforts to make the party more appealing to working class and traditionally Labour supporting voters.

My guess is that Paul Nuttall - a working class boy from Bootle will take on Lord Pearson - - until recently a member of the Conservatives to become Mr Farage's replacement. It will be interesting to see what develops but the general impression of disarray among the leadership will not help them.

I recently had dinner with Nigel Farage - and was impressed with his ambitions to make his party more appealing to the mainstream of politics. Nigel is the best company and hugely personable but I cant help thinking he has made a poor decision here. We will see what pans out but I would imagine that potential donors to the party are for now a little nervous.

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