This Month in UKIP (August 2016)
Well, this month has been eventful, to say the least! From the leadership frontrunner being banned from even standing to our outgoing leader meeting the possible next President of the USA, UKIP has had one of the most eventful months it will ever have.
Steven Woolfe Banned from Standing for the Leadership
By the end of July, it was common knowledge that Woolfe was going to be the next leader of UKIP. The bookies had him at 8/1, he was scoring more than Farage did (in the 2010 election) in the polls, and he had the support of virtually all of UKIP’s MEPs.
However, on August 3rd, the NEC (National Executive Committee) of the party banned him from standing on grounds that he submitted his application 17 minutes late. This has been much disputed by Woolfe’s supporters, as they claim that the NEC was always against Woolfe, that he submitted his application around half an hour early but there was a glitch on the server side that Woolfe could not have fixed and that no new leader can claim to have a mandate because they would have been beaten by Woolfe easily. All of these claims have been denied by the NEC, who have stayed relatively quiet on the whole issue.
I wrote this article on the topic earlier this month.
Diane James Becomes new Frontrunner in the Leadership Race
The another big surprise on that day was that Diane James’ name was on the list. She had not yet told anyone that she wanted to stand for leader, but instantly became the frontrunner. However, her style of campaigning has angered many, as she refuses to attend the party’s organised hustings, and instead runs her own meetings where other candidates have no chance to question her. In contrast to this, many members back her up on this move, claiming that the hustings are badly organised and don’t give candidates a chance to debate.
Jonathon Arnott Quits Leadership Race, Claiming he’d Lose
Jonathon Arnott was perceived as a very capable candidate by many, right from the start. However, he was either coming second or third in all of the polls, because most of his target supporters were either supporting Woolfe or James (depending on the time) and realistically there was no hope of him winning. He decided that instead of going to the effort of attempting to become the leader, he would step down (early enough to get his deposit back) and take the time to relax and focus on other things. Which, if you ask me, isn’t that bad of an idea. His supporters are now split mainly between Duffy and James, which I suppose is a bizarre way for them to split, but that’s just how it goes!
Farage tells the Brexit Story to a Stadium of Trump Supporters!
Nigel Farage has become fairly interested in American politics recently, appearing on a few radio shows talking about it and now appearing on a stage with Trump to tell ‘the story of Brexit’. He came with a message of ‘hope and optimism” while giving tips based on our EU referendum.
“We did it – we made June 23 our independence day when we smashed the establishment. We reached those people who have never voted in their lives but believed they could take back control of their country, take back control of their borders, and get back their pride and self-respect.”
There have been questions raised about whether he actually supports Trump and whether this will be good or bad for UKIP. A poll that I posted on Twitter seemed to be fairly clear that it would have a bad effect. 57% said it would be bad, while only 10% said it would be good, and 27% said it would have no effect.
We published this story on it last week.