James Carver MEP: Why I’m Backing Henry Bolton for UKIP Leader
I thought long and hard about which candidate to support in the forthcoming leadership elections as the party is very dear to me. Having been a UKIP activist for more than 20 years, I believe it to be the only political force truly dedicated to putting the great back into Great Britain.
As a passionate Brexiteer, I campaigned to leave the EU so we could take back our sovereignty – control our own laws, borders and way of life.
I also fervently want the UK to be forward-looking to have a truly global perspective in terms of trade and in its relationships with other countries across the globe.
As you know, I resigned from my role as Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs spokesman during the run up to the General Election because I strongly disagreed with the anti-Muslim line the party’s hierarchy at the time seemed to be taking.
I believe the integration policy was misguided and ill-conceived and it worries me that some candidates in this leadership contest still want to take the party to the far right.
We must continue our role of watchdog to ensure no backsliding by the Government during the Brexit negotiations But, unless, we are going to be remembered as a single-issue party and consigned to the annals of history, we must have policies in tune with the hopes and aspirations of the majority of the British people.
In June the electorate told us, loud and clear, they had no truck for the marginalizing of particular ethnic groups, and we close our ears to that message at our peril.
Henry Bolton is a fair and thinking man who, I believe, will listen to UKIP’s rank and file, and with moderate ideals and broader domestic policies, can capture support and engage the electorate post Brexit.
He is a former policeman and army intelligence officer who was awarded the OBE in 2013 for his services to international security.
Henry fought a well-organised campaign in the police and crime commissioner elections in Kent last year, coming close to the Conservative victor and has risen from rank outsider to serious contender in the UKIP leadership race.
That’s because he is moderate – not extreme in his views – but also because he has vision, is astute and has the kind of disposition that brings people together.
The skills he has acquired through his professional life have equipped him to be organised, authoritative, pragmatic, an excellent speaker, conciliatory, but no push-over.
As Jeffrey Titford did before, when our party hit turbulent times at the turn of the millennium, I believe that Henry will steady the ship and lead us forward with determination and cohesiveness to a bright, fresh and exciting future.