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

Thursday, December 02, 2004 

MEP Loyalty Letter Refusal by Gerard Batten MEP

From: Gerard Batten MEP

Date: 24th November 04

Dear Colleagues,

Last week in Strasbourg Nigel asked me to sign a letter saying that I would not work with Robert Kilroy-Silk were he to become leader of UKIP. I declined to do so. Today, Jeffrey Titford informs me that this letter, which was signed by all the remaining MEPs, is to be published. Therefore it is now necessary for me to put my reasons for declining to sign on record.

In my written reply to Nigel I stated that it was perfectly legitimate for UKIP members to express leadership ambitions provided that these were pursued within the constitutional structures of the party. I also stated my reasons why I would not sign the letter. There were as follows.

1. The letter refers to Robert Kilroy-Silk as an independent MEP. In my view he was elected as a UKIP MEP and is still a member of UKIP, therefore he is a UKIP MEP. The fact that he chooses not to sit in the Independence & Democracy Group is in my view irrelevant as membership of this group is on a purely voluntary basis. I suggested that Robert should be contacted so that he can be formally asked what he considers his status to be so that it can
be resolved rather than relying on statements in the media or press reports.

2. I cannot agree that 'under no circumstances would I serve under Robert Kilroy-Silk were he to become leader of the party'. Were he to become leader by constitutional means that the MEPs who signed the letter would have refused in advance to accept the democratic will of the party.

I do not agree with many of the things that Robert has said, and I am not one of those advocating a 'revolution' in the party or calling for an Emergency General Meeting; equally I feel that Robert has made some very valid points about the direction of the party which need to be addressed if we are to have the maximum effect in the coming general election.

My advice some time ago, and repeated last week, was that a leadership contest would resolve the situation and provide a democratic solution that would enable UKIP to go forward.

Yours sincerely,

Gerard Batten

We are of course trying to obtain the wording of the letter signed by the other MEPs, that does not seem to have been made public! Are they ashamed of having put their names to it?

posted by Martin |8:44 AM
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