UKIP Uncovered
What motivates the leaders of the United Kingdom Independence Party?

Thursday, August 14, 2003 

The Yorkshire and NE Complaint Revisited 3

We continue burrowing behind the events of the Northern Committee's suspensions that led to the present crisis within the party. Earlier posts on this subject are linked Part One and here for Part Two

In considering the past and present situation within UKIP it has sometimes been necessary to quote and utilise material that normally we would not consider it reasonable to place into a public forum. However, when sensitive material arrives, extremely pertinent to the abuses of clearly defined party procedures that are then under consideration, such caution can no longer be justified. The e-mail we quote in this post has previously been partly quoted within the body of the Yorkshire and North East Complaint to the Disciplinary Panel by Michael Cassidy which was chaired by Denis Brookes in view of Party Secretary Derek Clark being named as a party to the complain.

We have asked Mr Brookes for an explanation as to why the complaint was so arbitrarily rejected without any kind of hearing, particularly in view of the substantial documentation clearly confirming its merit, but received no reply.

As the procedures of the party that should be aimed at ensuring good practise amongst both party members and their leaders have so clearly completely failed, there now remains no other court than that of public opinion for any justice to be salvaged from these events. We therefore will continue to back up our discussions of this matter with whatever documentation that might come to hand, while re-assuring those who are helping to bring the facts to light, that where we know their identities (not always the case) they will not be revealed.

When the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee rejected three candidates from further consideration as prospective MEP candidates for their region in the June 2004 elections, the pretence that the UKIP’s Euro-Elections Committee was anything other than a charade and vehicle for its Chairman, Nigel Farage MEP, to camouflage his attempts to influence who would stand and where, was immediately blown clean out of the water.

How Denis Brookes and the other Disciplinary Committee members, considering the Michael Cassidy Complaint, could have determined that anything like a fair procedure then followed beggars belief when the full content of the e-mail Farage so promptly fired off via the General Secretary, to all EEC voting and non-voting members is considered, as it now can be below:-

The original e-mail is in italics while Ukip Uncovered comments can be noted here and there in bold letters although substantive comment follows.

As you are all aware, the rules governing candidate approval, short-listing and ranking were drawn up by the European Elections Committee. All aspects of this process were discussed in detail and agreed by vote.

Unfortunately, the North East, and Yorkshire and Humberside representatives opposed virtually every stage at these meetings However, as nine other regions approved the plan, democracy won the day. Despite this democratic mandate, the Chairman of Yorkshire and Humberside has, yesterday, written to Candidate 1 informing him that he has been deselected as a Candidate For the European elections.

After healthy debate procedures were agreed. There was no deselection of any candidate. These three failed to make it onto the Yorkshire short list.

Key considerations:

1. Candidate 1. (name removed ed.) is an approved candidate on the UKIP national list.

2. Yorkshire and Humberside were not over-quota on candidates and therefore short-listing was not necessary.

This is disputed by Yorkshire who had 13 candidates for 7 seats. The NE never received a full candidate list from Head Office

This is an act of open defiance against the agreed position of the EEC and NEC. Under the procedures that we agreed, candidates who were not short-listed had the to right to appeal against such a judgement. I have received an appeal from Candidate 1, though technically it must be questionable whether he needs to as no short-listing was required.

It was a short-listing procedure that was involved and carried out strictly in accordance with agreed procedures as minuted

Can you please vote Yes or No to the appeal by Candidate 1, Yes if you want to see his candidacy reinstated and No if you wish to support the Yorkshire committee decision.

Based upon what?

Furthermore, two more candidates, Candidate 2 and Candidate 3 (names removed ed.), have Also been rejected. Candidate 2 is a fairly recent member of UKIP but I Was Absolutely delighted when he joined us as he is Director of the …………... In political terms, his candidacy is very valuable to us.

Candidate 3 is a long-standing member of UKIP.

I enclose

a. letter from Judith Longman.
b. appeal from Candidate 2.

Could you please vote on Candidate 2's appeal: Yes, or No, as before.

Candidate 3 has not lodged an appeal, but it would seem appropriate for the Committee to rule at the same time on his de-selection by the Y & H; committee, so please vote Yes or No to the proposal that Candidate 3 be re-instated to the Y & H list.

Again forming a view from no appeal documents and without a chance for the Committee to explain its reasoning

In the past, UKIP has been subject to two rounds of bitter internal fighting. These previous breaks of Party discipline have done UKIP more damage than anything else. I believe that this situation has the potential to cause us great damage unless Party discipline is reinforced.

Posts now under preparation will clearly illustrate that almost without exception past difficulties within the party have almost invariably been caused by just this kind of high-handed action by Nigel Farage.

Moreover, these internal disputes waste many hours of our time that could be better spent on other matters.

Therefore, I propose:

1. Suspend, with immediate effect, the Yorkshire and Humberside Committee.

2. Conduct the hustings meetings from head office.

3. Write to all current Yorkshire members informing them of Our decision and the reasons why.

4. Forbid the Chairman and Committee in Yorkshire from Communicating with our members until/unless they are reinstated.
Copy all of this correspondence, plus your votes, to all NEC members.

I ask you to vote Yes or No to these proposals.

I would also like to tell you that the Party Leader and Party Chairman have been fully informed of my action and endorse them 100 percent.

Yours faithfully,
Nigel Farage.

So much for what happened. Now let us see what should have happened.

The Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee had thirteen candidates. The party in its Draft Outline of Candidate Selection Procedure, which as far as can be determined never obtained final agreement suggested for regions with seven MEP seats a reasonable short list size for the hustings would be 12 candidates. Yorkshire had sought clarification that this was a maximum number. With 13 candidates short listing was therefore required, although from the wording of the minutes of the 7th February EEC meeting stated in paragraph 2 (b) (e) :-

“Candidates rejected at the short listing stage who wish to do so shall be required to make a formal appeal in writing stating the grounds for the appeal. The short-listing committee will be required to report to the EEC stating its reasons for not short-listing the appellant. The EEC will hear the appeal. If upheld it may not be necessary to remove another candidate from the short-list as there is a degree of flexibility in numbers. There will be a deadline for an appeal to avoid disrupting the timetable.”

….it can be seen that provisions had indeed been made for short-listing.

Given that such a procedure had been so recently agreed and minuted there is no rational explanation for any of the contents of the e-mail quoted in full above and sent out by the Committee’s chairman.
Indeed his actions become ever more incomprehensible, when it is noted he attempts to overrule the non-short listing of Candidate 3, who has not even appeared to be sufficiently concerned by matters as to launch a written appeal. The list of attachments in fact only itemises a written appeal as having been included from Candidate 2.

Evermore astoundingly he appears to make no attempt to provide the reasons why the Yorkshire Regional Committee had decided not to include these three candidates in their list. We have seen many explanations (one in particular in considerable detail running to several pages and forty-five separate paragraphs, covering their experiences of just one of their rejected candidates).

How were the voting members expected to decide whether or not the appeals were justified? Indeed in the case of Candidate 3, such would have been impossible as no appeal was lodged. It seems clear that the EEC had allowed itself to become a rubber stamping facility for whatever Nigel Farage might decide.

As to the other measures the Chairman proposes numbered from 1 to 4 and including an extraordinary attempt to restrict the right of the Committee members to further free speech. Note also how he tries to add credence and legitimacy to his angry threats by throwing in the name of the Party Leader and Chairman. Where did the NEC figure in his reckoning at this stage, the only committee with the rights to propose some of the actions he was suggesting and what was the part for the Disciplinary Panel on some of whose areas of competence he appeared to be trampling?

We do not know the result of the e-mail vote this presumably hastily sent and ill-considered communication evoked; but in view of subsequent events it appears these schemes were approved, in spite of being so far beyond any possible legitimacy, let alone within any reasonable bounds of behaviour.

We have previously thrown doubts on the calibre and lack of independence of the individuals who make up UKIP’s Disciplinary Panel. We must now query the judgement and integrity of those voting members of the Euro-Elections Committee who let their Chairman act so cavalierly and subjugated what natural instincts for justice they might once have possessed by voting in support of these actions. At least somebody has sought to make amends for this, or possibly it was a member who voted against these proposals (if there were any such) who bravely facilitated a copy of this e-mail finding its way to UKIP Uncovered

posted by Martin |5:52 PM
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