Prominent Kippers Rally To Support David Kurten
30 prominent past and present members of UKIP have rallied in support of UKIP leadership candidate David Kurten (pictured above) by sending an open letter addressed to Interim Leader Steve Crowther, Party Chair Paul Oakden and all members of the NEC. The letter upholds the right of Mr. Kurten to hold the views expressed in the recent controversial Pink News article and goes on to quote parts of the UKIP constitution which they say enshrines his right to express those views.
The letter is also highly critical of the intervention of former Deputy Chair Suzanne Evans into the dispute, arguing that Ms. Evans is indeed in breach of party rules. The signatories to the letter, created by UKIP Gravesham Chairman Dr. Ryan Waters, include former UKIP donor Arron Banks, former leadership contender Raheem Kassam, former NEC member Anish Patel and current Small Business Spokesman Ernie Warrender.
Many of the signatories are known to be supporting other candidates in the forthcoming leadership contest, but wanted to show their public support for the right of Mr. Kurten to express himself freely.
The full text of the letter reads as follows, with credit to Ukip Daily:-
‘We the undersigned are shocked, disappointed, and disgusted with the appearance of a letter which has been signed by fellow UKIP members with either an agenda to interfere with candidate selection or just have no logical understanding of the content of David Kurten’s comments in a questionnaire he completed in August.
‘UKIP is a libertarian party, a democratic party, and as such we should all be free to hold whatever personal views we wish, and to answer truthfully when asked about them. If fellow members do not agree with him, or any others, the response must not be an intolerant one such as calling for “suspension”, unfounded accusations of “ignorance” or “homophobia”, or briefing to militant media outlets – this is just lazy, brings the party into disrepute, and in our view has no place in UKIP. Indeed, the correct response in a party such as ours is to address the central point, debate the science and to be amicable. Whether we, the undersigned, agree with his personal views or not is immaterial to the central point of this letter, which is to wholeheartedly support David Kurten’s, indeed all UKIP members right to their own opinion and freedom of thought / conscience.
‘It is to be noted, however, that these rights are protected within the party by a set of rules on conduct, in particular:
‘W.1.6 Where a member’s comments or actions in public, online or in the public domain are related to UKIP or their political views, their comments should not be a cause of public misunderstanding of the Party or embarrassment to the Party.
‘W.1.7 The conduct of members must not be bullying or harassing of other Party members.
‘W.1.10 Any action which is in public opposition to the Party or its core aims, or which brings the Party into disrepute, shall be considered to be grounds for Disciplinary action under Section AA of the Rules of Procedure. [UKIP constitution- 2.5 The Party is a democratic, libertarian Party]
‘Of particular note is the appearance of Ms Suzanne Evans, whose name is prominent on the letter, who has not only been previously suspended for interfering in the candidate selection process (reference Alan Craig), but is also a senior UKIP official as defined in the party rule book, thus subject to the following:
‘J.3.14 Party officials shall avoid any public criticism of other Party members online.
‘In summary, it is clear that Mr Kurten has broken no party rules, has not brought the party into disrepute and is indeed doing a fantastic job of highlighting the right of UKIP members to have both a differing view and of answering questions honestly. We should be promoting freedom of thought, not trying to stifle it as they do in the legacy parties. We are not the Lib-Dems, and we should not be hounding, harassing, and denigrating David like the intolerant far left do to their own on a daily basis when they don’t have the “right” views on everything.
‘We the undersigned, irrespective of our choice for leader, support Mr Kurten’s right to his own views, but would like firm action to be taken against any member who may have broken any of the party rules by writing, signing, and making public the LGBT open letter’.
All emphasis and italics are the letter writer’s own.
Signatories in support of the above letter:
Ryan Waters – Chairman UKIP Gravesham
Marilyn Laurence – UKIP Daventry
Raheem Kassam – Former chief advisor to Nigel Farage
Cllr Ryan Macpherson – UKIP Ashford group leader
Nicole Bushill – Chairman UKIP Chatham and Aylesford, UKIP Kent County Chairman
Terry Allen – YI South East Regional Chairman, Secretary – UKIP Gillingham and Rainham
Jonathan Wood – YI Treasurer – UKIP Gillingham and Rainham
Richard Palmer – Chairman – UKIP Sittingbourne and Sheppey
Arron Banks – UKIP donor
Ernie Warrender – UKIP Small Business Spokesman
Dean Palethorpe – Chairman UKIP Salisbury
G A Smith – UKIP Westminster and City – Patron member
Deirdre Trotman – UKIP Brecon and Radnorshire
Anish Patel – UKIP Barking and Dagenham (Former NEC member)
Debbie Caplin – UKIP Wirral
Karen Dovey – UKIP Seaford
Carol Allen – UKIP Wiltshire
Sam Pearson – UKIP Gravesham
Anthony Roberts – UKIP Llanelli
Cllr Gordon Davies – UKIP Stoke-on-Trent
Ricky Pengelly – UKIP East Devon
Helen Hims – Former UKIP Somerset County Chairman, UKIP Wells
Keith Acreman – UKIP Salisbury
Andrea Gray – Secretary UKIP St Austell and Newquay
Kevin Solly – Membership secretary UKIP St Austell and Newquay
Paul Daniels – UKIP Newcastle-under-Lyme
Mark Quinn – UKIP Forest of Dean
Pam Watts – Secretary UKIP Maidstone
Tina Brooker – Campaign manager UKIP Gravesham
Carl Davies – UKIP Wigan
Westmonster Dave is the News Editor of Kipper Central.