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

Sunday, February 11, 2007 

UKIP finance irregularities investigation

I have been following the workings of the UK Independence Party for more than five years. Initially as a disappointed conservative supporter frustrated over Iain Duncan-Smith's wavering on forthright opposition to the EU, then as a UKIP party member and prospective MEP candidate and finally having resigned in frustration at the party's methods of administration and management as a blogger hoping to expose the internal problems that I believed would eventually frustrate what should have been the best force for reform of Britain's endangered democracy.

In the course of several years detailed coverage of the party there are many pages in the archives of this blog on possible financial irregularities. I will try to summarize and link these below to give an easily referenced resource on the main problem areas. In a later post I will provide my own opinion on the problems raised and the best way forward for the UKIP.

Lacking the power of political patronage which present police investigations forcefully demonstrate has been a major factor in Britain's political system for many years, new parties will always be disadvantaged in raising finance. It is doubtful if the UKIP would have ever made political headway were it not for the system of EU subsidy of political parties with elected MEPs.

UKIP's success under the leadership of Michael Holmes in gaining three MEPs in the European elections of 1999 was the springboard for all later progress. One of these three was of course Nigel Farage MEP, present day leader of the party.

One of the earliest money related problems for the party was the sale of pirated video tapes which Mr Farage later attempted to explain as a matter of the party being deprived of the oxygen of publicity by the BBC rather than a straightforward cash raising exercise. My research is detailed from here.

Nigel Farage was at the centre of the next PR disaster namely the "blackmail" claim by the Conservative Party over an offer not to run certain candidates as was detailed in a report in the Daily Telegraph of 19th June 2001 linked here. This blog commented on this affair in August 2003, linked here.

The real problems over party financing only graduallybegan to emerge after a large overspend in the Welsh Regional elections and the attempted sacking of the Party Treasurer, as blogged here in September 2003. By the end of that week the first reference to the problems in the Party's SE region began to be revealed with this statement from the party's General Secretary, here, on the Treasurer's dismissal which opened with this startling statement:

Removal from office of the Party Treasurer I feel it is my duty to inform you of a serious situation that has arisen as a result of yesterdays NEC meeting, which I fear has placed the Party in an unconstitutional position for the first time since 1999 and has potentially put it in financial peril.

and later contained this reference:

"Also he (the Treasurer...ed) has been attempting to ensure that proper financial and database protection controls are implemented over the new operation in the South East region."

The Ashford Call Centre

The background on this operation must be close to the centre of the upcoming investigation of the UKIP by the Electoral Commission as revealed in the Sunday Telegraph this moring, here.

In September 2003 I concluded a posting under a report on the party's NEC discussion of this matter, linked here, as follows:

We wonder if those with the patience to grind through all this detail are left with the same impression as ourselves, namely that now only some outside authority backed by the full force of the law seems likely to get to the bottom of this situation. It certainly is obvious that the party Chairman, who should be now leading ruthless inquiries, apparently lacks both the inclination and also the necessary steely determination.

It would appear from the above that a rogue financial unit has been operating within the party for some months, with no commitments to the party whatsoever, while being the recipient of various fund-raising activities, and that an attempt has been made to keep the Party's NEC in ignorance of this operation. The role and reaction of the Party Chairman when questions on these matters have been raised at the NEC meetings would quickly provide a guide as to whether or not he can now be expected to root out the truth.

Nothing until the report today seems to have occurred!

Reports on the problems surrounding Ashford may be read here, here, and here. The publishing of a party advert in the Daily Mail was the flashpoint for some on the party's NEC to seek clarification. Exchanges between an NEC member and the Party Chairman may be read here, here , here, and here.

I apologize if there has been some duplication of links but a problem encountered in preparing this post has been that my archive file link for the critical month of October 2003 (and others) seems to be inoperative.

posted by Martin |11:00 AM
www Ukip Uncovered
This site is a member of WebRing.
To browse visit Here.
Copyright © 2006 Martin Cole.
contact us
my other blogs
nigel farage
landmark links
fired treasurer
glw incitement
glw & farage
a complaint
a neutered nec
graham booth
derek clark
mark croucher
michael harvey
roger knapman
mike nattrass
buy my book
Copyright © 2003/6 Martin Cole.