LEADERSHIP ELECTION: Reports That UKIP Will Hold Leadership Election ‘Later In The Year’
The Guardian, the newspaper that regularly pillories UKIP and smears its members, appears to be in loops that UKIP members are not. It is reporting tonight that Sundays meeting of the NEC agreed that a leadership contest will be held later in the year.
According to the report;
It is understood Batten has agreed to a plan in which he would formally resign as leader then remain an interim capacity until after the local elections on 2 May.
A “full leadership contest” would then follow.
If true and if it is confirmed then this would seem to be sensible. Mr Batten pledged to stand down as leader 12 months from last April so, in order to honour his promise he could not reasonably stay in his post beyond April. On the other hand, a leadership contest starting in the immediate run-up to what would be the first national test of public opinion post March 29th and the probable non-Brexit BRINO is clearly nonsensical. In this context, asking combatants to wait until May 3rd for battle to be formally joined is not unreasonable.
It is normal political practice that the departing leader stays in office until his or her successor is elected so given the fact that a proper contest cannot clearly take place in the space of one month perhaps it is better to see this as the essential nature of Gerard’s position following an April resignation rather than as an interim leader.
Of course, we have to apply a health warning here. The report is speculative and neither the Chair nor the leader have yet to send an email confirming this to be the case.
UPDATE: Gerard Batten has sent out the below email:
Dear Fellow UKIP Members,
It was obvious that the Party’s difficulties could not be resolved in three months. Furthermore, the Party was in no position to afford another leadership election or delay the important reforms that needed to be made.
Therefore, I offered to be the leader for a term of twelve months if I were elected unopposed. No one else sought the nomination, and I was duly elected unopposed on 14th April 2018.
My twelve-month term of office ends at 5 pm on 14th April 2019.
At their meeting on Sunday 6th January, the NEC decided to extend my term of leadership for 18 days until Friday 3rd May. This is to keep continuity of leadership until after the local elections on Thursday 2nd May.
A leadership election will then ensue. I will then make the decision about whether I will or will not run for a further four-year term.
Meanwhile, I intend to do all I can to promote a full and complete exit from the European Union.
Gerard Batten MEP
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