Hookem Resigns Whips Role Over Agnew Support For Waters
UKIP MEP Mike Hookem (pictured above) last night resigned from his role as Deputy Chief Whip of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) grouping in Brussels. The move came in protest at Chief Whip Stuart Agnew’s support for UKIP leadership contender Anne Marie Waters. Mr. Hookem told UKIP’s Interim Leader Steve Crowther:-
‘I am no longer prepared to carry out the position (due to Mr. Agnew’s support for) a candidate who is not a fit and proper person to carry this party forward as its leader.
‘ Let Agnew add this to his scrapbook! I strongly disagree with the views Ms Waters and Mr Agnew promote and I would like to put as much distance between me and them as possible. If I were to continue in my position of Deputy Whip, I would be seen as supporting or at the very least turning a blind eye to extreme views and this is not something I am prepared to do. I am not a racist and have never campaign on race issues. While I do believe in controlled immigration, this position is about “space rather than race”; and I am not prepared to support someone who seeks to single out in section of our society simply due to their religious beliefs.
‘I would also like to clarify that my decision has not been influenced by my support for any other candidate. If I’m bluntly honest, I do not feel I can support any candidate in the current leadership race, including my two MEP colleagues. In my opinion none of them measure up to what is, and will continue to be an extremely difficult job. Examining the Candidates CV’s, I feel none have the ‘tools in the box’ that are required and many I think have confused ability with ambition.’
We all knew that this was going to be a very divisive election and while the decision taken to allow all eleven candidates to run was a brave, and in my opinion correct, one there is no doubt that this type of reaction is just the start of what will be a flood of similar stories coming out over the next few weeks. If Anne Marie Waters does indeed respond to such attacks in a measured and dignified way and then still emerges as the winner, then it could be argued that in the process she has demonstrated one of the first important traits of leadership. It’s certainly going to be a very interesting and eventful few weeks.
Westmonster Dave is the News editor of Kipper Central.