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


Monday, December 13, 2004 

Letter from Damian Hockney to Tony Stone, 13 Dec 2004


Dear Tony,

GHOST BRANCHES and INTIMIDATION

I am writing this openly to you as I have learned with dismay of the leadership plans to subvert the branch structure to head off at all costs the staging of an EGM. I am also writing about intimidation which is becoming widespread.

There are three instances that I would like you to comment on.

1 The setting up of a ghost branch within the area of which I am Chairman.

2 The claim that the Party Treasurer is to effectively create 60 "legally constituted branches" by making himself Treasurer and thus controlling them.

3 Intimidation of members and officials in order to stop them from voting for an EGM on the issue of the Party Leadership.

Details are as follows, and I need your comments and commitment to stop fraud and gerrymandering, and to call a halt to the intimidation which will be counter-productive; I appreciate you have set yourself against an EGM at all costs, even if it means legal action, but I am sure you do not support intimidation and fraud to achieve your aims.

1 The setting up of a ghost branch within the area of which I am Chair.

A member of Kensington & Chelsea (Central London) which I chair has told me of a secret move to set up a branch called Westminster by John Moran who is, as you know, a business associate of Nigel Farage in Ashford Telesales. John Moran was expelled from the Democracy Movement for unlawful use of the movement's money, and he does not live in Westminster (he lives in the South East region and is a member there).

It was made clear at the meeting that the branch was a ' ghost ' branch to enable you to stop anyone calling an EGM under the disputed 20 per cent rule. By setting up a large number of ghost branches under the control of the leadership, it is claimed that you can therefore suppress any move towards an EGM to deal with matters that members want raised. This supposed branch and meeting was not notified to the London Region Organiser, no account was taken of existing arrangements in central London, and setting up rival branches in this way is clearly wrong. The Regional Organiser has written to Party HQ making clear that this is wrong. John Moran said that other branches like this would also be set up. Would it not be odd if I came down to your branch and set up a rival branch within it?

Can you confirm that you will deal with this matter, and stop other ghost branches being set up?

2 The claim that the Party Treasurer is to effectively create 60 "legally constituted branches" by making himself Treasurer and this controlling them.

At the NEC last Monday, the Party Treasurer suggested making himself Treasurer of 60 branches to make them legitimate. This subject came up at the rogue Westminster meeting and it was claimed that this move will enable the leadership to avoid having to call an EGM under the 20 per cent rule: i.e. if there are really only 130 functioning branches but the leadership claim 230 (including a host of false or ghost branches), it will be very difficult for anyone to hit this moving target. It was further claimed that because 50 branches are calling for an EGM, the aim is to get to "over 260 branches".

I need you to confirm that you are satisfied that all the branches listed are properly constituted and that you will not use a moving target to frustrate the EGM.

3 Intimidation of members and officials in order to stop them from voting for an EGM on the issue of the Party Leadership.

At the South Holland and Deepings meeting to call an EGM, to simply cite the latest instance, leadership plants from outside the area were present and had to be removed - but not before they spread untruths and lies about individuals involved in the call for an EGM. In Cornwall, threats of disciplinary procedures have again been made against members and officials.

While I appreciate the position of the leadership in trying to stem the growing calls for an EGM, can you please confirm that you will take action against intimidation and against those who infiltrate meetings and who establish ghost branches in order to attack and smear those involved in the call for an EGM?

Tony, although you and I have often disagreed over the matter of the leadership, I just cannot believe you can continue to be supportive of people who resort to such underhand tactics of smears and lies and what amount to illegal and immoral actions. You must have seen the outrageous smears put around by Nigel Farage's other professional contact Greg Lance-Watkins. You know full well that he is used as a PR to write libels on behalf of his employers and to spread it around the internet.

Yours sincerely,

Damian Hockney

posted by Martin |5:15 PM
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