Arron Banks Declares For Kurten in UKIP Contest
UKIP leadership contender David Kurten received a major boost to his campaign last night with the news that estranged party donor Arron Banks (pictured above) had added his backing to his candidacy. The Leave.EU boss sent out an e-mail last night to his one million supporters urging them to support the former chemistry teacher in his campaign. If elected Kurten would become the first black leader of a British political party.
This is what Banks had to say about his reasons for backing Kurten:
‘The Tories’ stomach for the Brexit fight has proven even weaker than I had feared. Additionally, with Jeremy Corbyn in the ascendancy, those of us who cherish sensible management of taxpayers’ hard earned cash are on the verge of despair.
‘Now more than ever, the Conservatives, and British politics as a whole, need a reality check: a force speaking in the name of common sense, national sovereignty, and limited but effective government. As UKIP leader, Nigel Farage has been that force.
‘It will be impossible to repay the great service Nigel has contributed to his country, such is its scale. We must not look back on what he and those by his side have achieved, but forward to a new leader for a new set of challenges. Nigel won us the referendum, another man must fill those mighty shoes and ensure we get out of the European Union, once and for all. In my view, that man is David Kurten, UKIP member of the London Assembly.
‘The British electorate deserves better than a choice between the ‘Maybot’ on one side and a delusional communist on the other. Jeremy Corbyn may be a more human offering than Theresa May, but his economic program would be nothing short of disastrous for a country already trembling under the weight of £1.7 trillion in public debt. David exudes the type of rational outlook we so badly need, and with great warmth. He is a patriot absolutely committed to Brexit. For him, it is not only about the economic benefits, but the principle of sovereignty first and foremost.
‘Already, we see so-called Brexiteers in the Tory ranks beginning to backslide. For them, Britain should only withdraw from the EU if the collateral damage is likely to be very minor. They lack the strength of will that has made UKIP so formidable in recent years.
‘And unlike them, David has worked in the real world, outside the wretched Westminster bubble. As a chemistry teacher in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bermuda, Botswana, and the US, as well as the United Kingdom he has seen not only a life outside of politics, but all sides of his own profession too. His inquisitive and outgoing attitude is the kind we need at the helm of a party that will prove to be increasingly pivotal as the Article 50 negotiations gather pace.
‘Apart from some fantastic personal qualities, we need someone who will reform UKIP and provide a new policy agenda we can all unite behind. UKIP needs to be radical and tell the uncomfortable truth. Having looked at all the candidates in the race, he’s the only one that would make me want to re-engage, help re-brand the party and refresh its mission’.
Banks concluded by saying that if Kurten becomes leader he will ‘re-engage’ with the party. This is after he had previously issued the party with an ultimatum earlier this year, calling on them to make him Chairman and to sack Douglas Carswell, the party’s only MP at the time. Carswell eventually resigned and Banks was never invited into the Chair, but there is no doubt that the huge reach of the Leave.EU campaign will provide a major advantage for his chosen candidate. Although Banks is a divisive figure amongst many members, there are plenty that would welcome the Go Skippy Insurance founder back into the fold for both the financial injection that his involvement would bring and, just as importantly, the degree of professionalism that he would bring to the operation.
Kurten must now be seen as a major frontrunner, alongside Anne Marie Waters, ‘dark-horse’ candidate John Rees-Evans and current Deputy Leader Peter Whittle. Just behind them are current MEP Bill Etheridge and up and coming moderate Ben Walker. Altogether around a dozen candidates have so far made an indication of entering the race, although the high deposit of £5,000 required to stand will mean that many of them are likely to drop out before the final cut-off at the end of this month.
Westmonster Dave is the editor of alt-politics.com