STUART AGNEW MEP: Members Should Correct The ‘Mistake’ Of Electing Henry Bolton
Editors Note: The following letter was sent to the Editor of UKIP Daily who have kindly given permission to reproduce below.
The majority of UKIP Members who originally voted for Henry Bolton did so for two reasons. He gave the impression of having a stable family life and he had an excellent CV. In both cases, he has disillusioned our Members. His very public affair with Jo Marney, his abandonment of his young family and the thoroughly unpleasant social media outbursts of his lover has destroyed the first illusion. His CV has been ridiculed by the MSM and by extension UKIP has publicly demonstrated its incompetence in checking the authenticity of CVs.
The above comments are well known and by themselves are enough to remove him, but I have two other rather more individual or personal difficulties with him.
During the Leadership campaign, he used a lawyer to effectively blackmail the NEC into disbarring another candidate, by threatening expensive legal action. I felt obliged to counter this by formally warning the NEC that I would use a hot-shot firm of lawyers to sue the NEC if they barred this particular candidate from standing. This was not done lightly. It would have meant my taking out a loan, but I was determined that NEC must not fall back on the soft/safe option. The Chairman knows me well enough to know that I do not make idle threats and informed Henry Bolton of this development which would financially destroy UKIP. Bolton backed down, realising that there would be nothing left to lead if he continued. I hope I never, ever, have to apply this type of pressure to the NEC again. The episode left me with a very low opinion of Henry Bolton.
I attended ten of the hustings. In retrospect, I am surprised that his history with the Lib Dems was never mentioned. I only learned of it myself immediately after he was elected leader. It is the fault of all of us not to have researched him more fully and questioned him on this topic. At those hustings, I would always ask the same question of the candidates, some of whom became very familiar with it. “What is the new Leader going to do about the MEPs who are failing to honour their financial commitments to the Central Party. Henry Bolton assured me he would investigate this if he became Leader.
He met the MEPs in Brussels in October and let it be known he was short of money. Several of my colleagues suggested that he should receive a salary and I pointed out that they could solve this problem themselves by paying UKIP what they owed UKIP but ring-fencing it for the Leaders salary. This was not well received by my colleagues, but I had hoped it would act as an incentive for Henry Bolton to grasp this particular nettle.
He did nothing of the sort. He just went home and a few days later handed out fancy titles and spokesmen’s roles to all and sundry. He thereby rewarded failure which no leader should ever do. He also let me down very badly indeed by failing to support me when I was making myself highly unpopular with my colleagues in attempting to uphold standards. In my own short time in the army, it was instilled in me that officers must always back up their NCOs in disciplinary matters. He of all people should know this. He has now made it clear that he will not address this issue which in turn will demoralise not only the MEPs who do play the game but our donors who will be expected to plug the gap. Who would blame them if they pulled out in disgust?
As a Party, we got it wrong when we elected Henry Bolton. As a Party, we should take the opportunity of the EGM to correct the error.
Stuart Agnew MEP