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

Sunday, December 19, 2004 


Letter, Derby Evening Telegraph - Edward Spalton

09:30 - 18 December 2004

Dear Editor, Since resigning from the UK Independence Party (UKIP) after the annual general meeting of 2000, I have refrained from commenting publicly on the affairs of the party. There were two reasons for this - firstly that I supported the published aims of the party and secondly that I knew the local candidates and activists to be very decent people and I certainly did not want to spoil their chances.

My reason for leaving, after seven years of concentrated effort, was that it seemed the national leadership of UKIP was in the hands of a group of people, described as the "Cabal" by one former party secretary. Whoever was elected to office, this unaccountable group to me always appeared to run things.

In 1999, having been put out of office by the party's annual general meeting, it appeared to me that the Cabal simply refused to accept that fact and carried on as if nothing had happened. In spite of a postal vote of confidence which was 85 per cent in favour of the then leader Michael Holmes, they managed to call an extraordinary general meeting which resolved on new elections for the leadership and the National Executive Committee in 2000.

At this meeting, we saw people of a type never seen before or since at UKIP meetings. They appeared to have been provided with a list of speakers to cheer or to boo. I stayed at my post for the next six months, hoping that "things could only get better". They did not. I decided to carry on the fight outside the party.

As your article (Evening Telegraph, December 15) suggests, there appears to be something afoot in the branch structure. A constitutional amendment was brought in, requiring that 20 per cent of branches must support any call for an extraordinary general meeting. Previously it had been 10 per cent. Evidence to hand suggests to me that the Cabal is busy setting up "ghost" branches to ensure that however many branches vote for an extraordinary general meeting, there will never be enough to equal 20 per cent.

If this EGM is called, there will be a chance for a vote of no confidence in the present leadership. I wish Mr Kilroy-Silk well in his efforts to get some decency, accountability and strategic thinking into the affairs of UKIP. As leader, he will not have the constitutional power to achieve this as a one-man band but he will be able to shine light into areas which, up to now have been, shall we say, "lacking in transparency". There is a large constituency of opinion in favour of restoring sovereignty and real democratic government to Britain. It deserves a decent party to represent it. With Mr Kilroy-Silk, there is a chance of getting it.

Edward Spalton, former Derby & South Derbys UKIP Chair, 1994-2000.

posted by Martin |1:40 PM
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