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

Thursday, December 09, 2004 

UKIP Loughborough Branch Meeting 8th December

I received the following which seems of broader interest:

Dear friends,

Last night the oldest branch of UKIP in Leicestershire made a rousing call for reform in the party.

Branch chairman, Ron Burton had responded to a demand from members to debate the leadership problems by calling a branch EGM. All members were invited to debate a motion calling for a full party EGM and a vote of no confidence in the leader and the NEC.

There was a good turn out at Cotes Mill for the meeting. However at the start, the chairman announced that the party secretary had advised him that any vote taken would be considered invalid as insufficient notice of the meeting had been given. The recently revised constitution, which Ron did not have at the time of the call, apparently demands 21 days notice. Nevertheless, the lively debate went ahead.

The meeting was conducted in a proper and courteous manner by the chairman who allowed all members to speak their minds freely and without acrimony. He also read out a statement from Derek Clark MEP (well known to many branch members) who had telephoned him earlier urging support for the leadership. During the debate, however, many members voiced their support for Robert Kilroy Silk's unofficial leadership bid.

At the end of the evening, a vote was taken and the motion carried UNANIMOUSLY.

Given the supposed constitutional irregularity of the branch EGM, the branch will notify all its members of the result and provide a summary of the debate. The matter will be considered again for a formal vote at the branch AGM in January.

Members believe this enforced delay is unhelpful to the party's aims. It is known that other branches that have passed similar motions (there are at least 50 of them) have suffered similar delays.

For information: The Loughborough Branch contains many party stalwarts with long service. It also contains a number of former and prospective parliamentary candidates and members of the East Midlands Regional Committee. In the June Euro Elections the joint constituencies of Loughborough and Charnwood (covered by the branch) the UKIP polled 27.7% just behind the conservatives at 28.2% with Labour on 18.2% and LibDem on 12.3% - the remainder went to smaller parties. UKIP came top of the poll in the adjacent North West Leicestershire constituency which was part of the branch at the time but has since been formed into a separate constituency organisation.

Peter Willmot, Branch founder member
(released with the permission of the branch chairman)

posted by Martin |1:36 PM
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