LEADERSHIP LATEST: UKIP United Launched, More from #TeamBolton
Following on from the withdrawal of Ben Walker, David Coburn and Marion Mason yesterday to support Jane Collins MEP, more flesh has been added to the bones of what is now called ‘UKIP United’. Jane Collins has made the following statement:
A group of like-minded candidates have joined forces and are running as a ‘slate’ with one candidate remaining on the ballot paper for party leader, representing the team.
I am honoured my fellow candidates have put their faith in me to lead this team and unite our campaigns to ensure UKIP remains a libertarian party focused on a genuine Brexit and issues like the economy, green belt, immigration, fishing and housing which affect people’s every day lives.
Over the course of the various hustings, Ben Walker, Marion Mason, David Coburn and I have recognised that they share the same principles and values and have united in order to stop the libertarian vote being split. A decision was reached that it was more important to combine the votes for candidates supporting a grass roots focused, libertarian movement rather than stand separately, which would allow a more authoritarian or religion focused candidate to win.
The candidates who have stepped down will form part of the leadership team, along with other members of the party, should they be successful.
There will be a press conference on Monday morning, with more details to follow.
Apparently, Marion Mason will be part of the team in a role as yet unspecified.
In a related matter, potential confusion exists around the ballots being sent out, namely whether they will have the names of the withdrawn candidates on. If they do, as is claimed here by Gerard Batten MEP, then surely any vote’s for a withdrawn candidate must be counted as spoilt as it would not be fair to automatically assume they would support Jane Collins for Leader? Some clarification needed surely. UPDATE: Piers Wanchope has CONFIRMED below, see comments, that Ben Walker, David Coburn and Marion Mason WILL NOT be on the ballot papers – thank you Piers for clearing that up.
Finally, strong rumours that #TeamBolton will be announcing more high-profile endorsements tomorrow so as ever WATCH THIS SPACE for more news.
UPDATE: Jill Seymour MEP has endorsed Henry Bolton. She said:
Henry Bolton will give UKIP the gravitas and direction it deserves.
MORE ENDORSEMENTS EXPECTED TO FOLLOW FOR #TEAMBOLTON.