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

Thursday, October 16, 2003 

The UKIP Party Elections of 2000

The unconstitutional rump NEC, still clinging to power having been voted out of office by the Autumn 1999 Birmingham AGM and Conference, having formed enough new Branches to gain the necessary number of signatures to call an EGM, duly won their way and kicked out their leader Michael Holmes, as detailed here, here, here and again here.

New NEC elections had to be held as a matter of urgency, to restore some degree of respectability to at least one of the party's pillars. The barrister, Hugh Meechan had advised certain members of the tenuousness of their position and as we have descibed earlier, he was fully aware of the natures of those with whom he was dealing. The party also remained effectively leaderless.

The supporters of the ousted leader gathered at the 'Belfry' in Tamworth in early February to review the situation and discuss strategy. Among those present, we are told, were Michael Holmes, Mike Nattrass, Christopher Cooke, Rodney Atkinson, Simon Stoker and Dai Rees.(18/10/03 Edward Spalton originally included above was not present -ed.)

Jeffrey Titford MEP had apparently stated at the EGM that he believed holding the position of MEP was not compatible with fulfilling the duties of Party Leader. David Lott had also given this as one of the reasons for the calling of the EGM. It is also reported that Nigel Farage was on record as saying the same thing.

It is clear that those who met in Tamworth believed that none of the three MEPs would prove acceptable candidates, thus ruling out a bid at that point by Michael Holmes to regain his post. It was therefore agreed that with the NEC elections due, whichever of the two preferred prospective candidates of that group polled the most votes in the NEC election would then get the support of the others in the immediately following leadership contest. The two thus competing for the most votes in the NEC with the prize thereafter of solid backing in the ensuing leadership contest were Rodney Atkinson and Mike Nattrass.

On 13th February, however, the usual UKIP problem of 'no agreement lasting long' kicked in when Jeffrey Titford announced he would after all stand for the Leadership election, proposed and assented we are told by Nigel Farage and David Lott. Understandably enough Michael Holmes then threw his hat into the ring, joining the existing candidates, who we understand by then included Rodney Atkinson and Bryan Smalley. (Atkinson having beaten Nattrass in the NEC poll).

Following a meeting at a South West Motel in which Graham Booth (Michael Holmes' eventual replacement as MEP following his resignation forced by ill health), apparently played a prominent role; Michael Holmes withdrew from the contest and shortly after suffered his first heart attack, the day after hearing the news of Hugh Meechan's death.

Questions were apparently raised by another candidate with the returning officer as to whether Jeffrey Titford's nomination papers had been properly completed. It has been reported that around one thousand more postal ballot papers than members were issued; a crtical factor when considering Jeffrey Titford's eventual winning margin of only 15 votes.

The three one time members of the New Britain party had therefore been clearly ensconced in both camps throughout these manoeuverings, whether co-incidentally or not. Had Nattrass come out ahead of Atkinson in the NEC elections he would, presumably have cruised his way to victory. Rodney Atkinson's result clearly threw the future cabal into confusion forcing Titford's emergence into the fray. Even then the result could not be guaranteed, hence presumably all the extra ballot papers that were issued and the entry onto the scene of Greg Lance-Watkins and his election throwing letter, as revealed in his e-mail to Farage,which can be read from here.

Once victory had been achieved by Jeffrey Titford, Nattrass has been reported as lunching with Nigel Farage immediately before the first of the new NEC gatherings and changing sides for the office of Party Chairman. He still maintains a very high profile within the party. Only yesterday I came across an e-mail he had written a short while ago in which he signed himself: Deputy Leader.

Dennis Delderfield, the founder and head of the New Britain party, would have no trouble in gaining access to future UKIP AGM's, as had reportedly not been the case in the days when Michael Holmes was Leader. Ex-New Britain party members now held all crucial party posts: Jeffrey Titford, UKIP Party Leader and MEP, Mike Nattrass the Party Chairman and Bryan Smalley as Party Secretary.

Bryan Smalley resigned within a few months following the various underhand activities that
then commenced, as the Cabal began to exert its control. The cabal that evolved to now bring the party to its knees, as witnessed in the farcial NEC and AGM at the end of last week, is the following: Nigel Farage, David Lott, Mike Nattrass , Derek Clark and the party's seemingly totally ineffective, unelected and useless leader Roger Knapman.

Any who experienced these events first-hand and wish to make comments or corrections, are invited to e-mail the blog.

posted by Martin |9:25 AM
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