Waters ‘Expects To Be Excluded’ From UKIP Leadership Race
Controversial UKIP leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters (pictured above) last night told the activists blog UKIP Daily ‘I do believe that I will be barred from standing’ in the contest. Her response came after an Open Letter was sent to the NEC by party activist Deirdre Trotman calling for Waters to be included in the contest.
The candidacy of Waters has been controversial from the moment it was announced, although she has regularly topped online polls of members during the campaign and has come across well at party hustings. The director of Sharia Watch and co-founder (along with Tommy Robinson) of the UK version of Pegida is seen by many as a far-right candidate, although Waters herself would argue to the contrary, saying that on every issue other than her opposition to Islam she would be regarded as being left-wing.
Waters says that her exclusion would ‘prove to members, and to the British public, that Islam is the one issue nobody in establishment politics (sadly it seems now including UKIP) is willing to touch’.
UKIP have announced that it is using an external vetting agency to screen candidates, even after they have met all other qualifying rules to participate in the contest. Waters believes that the agency is being used specifically to bar her from the contest, saying ‘I can see no other reason why they have been deployed’.
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A statement from UKIP confirming the final list of confirmed candidates is expected in the next few days, with the announcement of the winner due at the party’s autumn conference in Torquay at the end of September. If Waters is excluded it would leave London AM’s Peter Whittle (the current Deputy Leader) and David Kurten, along with Direct Democracy activist John Rees-Evans as the front runners in a field of 11. Up and coming activist Ben Walker has also impressed during the campaign, whilst there has been a late upsurge in interest recently for former diplomat Henry Bolton, who was originally thought of as a rank outsider.
Westmonster Dave is the editor of alt-politics.com