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

Friday, October 24, 2003 

The Ashford Operation!

This is a copy of an e-mail from UKIP's Vice-Chairman to UKIP's Chairman, first sent last Monday. It raises very serious issues, yet not one member of UKIP's NEC has received any form of response. (Full background is available from a review of last Sunday's posts starting with this Misappropriation of Party Funds?)


Dear David


Indeed, London Region will keep the NEC informed of the development of London Region telesales, and will give details at the next NEC.

The difference between the London operation and the Ashford operation is in its status. The London Region operation is exactly that - owned and run by the London Region, using London data. Ashford uses national data, and Nigel has told us on several occasions that the Ashford operation is a South East Regional Committee operation. Indeed, I seconded the motion in June on the matter to ensure that the operation was legal and grounded in a regional committee/cost center. I now understand that this is simply not true and never has been and that Ashford has been operating outside of the South East Regional Committee. If this is the case, it is a very serious matter, once again relating to the party's finances and the legality of both incurring costs, taking in moneys and spending. If Ashford is operating outside agreed financial structures, then it is operating outside of the party's rules and possibly the law.

Can you please supply the answers to the following questions:

1 Can you confirm whether Ashford is or is not a South East Regional Committee operation?

2 If it is not a South East Regional Committee operation, then what is it?

3 If it is not a South East Regional Committee operation, then why were we told in June and in other NEC meetings that it was?

4 We have been told at NECs that the Ashford start-up costs have represented a "serious donation to the party". Within the next few weeks these serious donations must appear on a scheduled return to the Electoral Commission - as they are donations in kind of a value above a certain level, can you confirm which cost center is to make this return? It cannot be Head Office as the minutes confirm that it is a South East Regional Committee responsibility, and Nigel indeed confirmed in the NEC minutes that the NEC had rejected Ashford as a national resource.

I think the point is that, given the fact that Ashford is dealing with national data, the NEC have been promised for some months that we will have financial details of the Ashford operation and have not had any thus far. The promise of details in time for the October NEC in the September minutes was not met. Similarly, we need to know the facts - it did not help that Nigel said, when asked by Judith for Ashford donor details: "I'm not telling you that.", and then refusing to divulge those details under pressure.

And it does not help that when Mark Lester's questioning became a little too close to the mark you simply block his E-mails, as you have admitted today. What on earth sort of response is that to a well-connected member who has helped establish the beginnings of a branch committee structure?

Again, the lack of provision of those details when asked by Judith is not constitutional, and creates a situation where you loosen the collective liability of the NEC and allow the exclusion from liability of every member of the NEC who puts on record that you are breaking the rules and have rendered his or her ability to be involved in the making of financial decisions impossible. The refusal of such information is squarely within that category.

By the way, unlike Nigel's Ashford operation, London Region also acknowledge that if we were to take large numbers of five-year memberships and keep all the first year and half of subsequent years' membership dues, we would bust the party very quickly. We will therefore not be keeping the second to fifth year membership dues and will properly account all of them to Head Office.



posted by Martin |6:03 PM
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