UKIP’s Interim leader Gerard Batten has written to those members who have e-mail. The letter is reproduced below:
Dear Fellow UKIP Members,
I am only able to write to those of you for whom we have email addresses, but I want to update as many of you as possible with how things are progressing.
This is now the start of my third week in the role of Interim Leader, and the last two weeks have been extremely busy, to say the least. I inherited two significant things: one bad, one good. The bad thing is a financial shortfall that threatens the very continuation of the Party.
The good thing is our HQ at Newton Abbot and its small band of dedicated staff led by David Challice. These ladies and gentlemen are the unsung heroes of the Party. Without them, there would be no Party. We should be extremely grateful to them and I thank them on your behalf for all their efforts.
Let me summarise what I have done so far:
My first actions were to appoint the chief officers of the Party:
- Party Chairman – Tony McIntyre
- Deputy Chairman – Margot Parker MEP
- Deputy Leader – Mike Hookem MEP
- Treasurer – John Bickley (who kindly agreed to remain in post)
2. Actions to raise money and recruit members
All members will shortly receive a fundraising letter from me which explains the immediate actions I have taken. I am also writing to 20,000 ex-members inviting them to rejoin the Party and initiated a recruitment campaign.
We now have a special offer £20 membership time-limited to 31st March 2018. This is to encourage our former members to rejoin and to recruit new people from among groups such as the Veterans Against Terrorism and Football Lads Alliance. Following talks with me going back some months, the leadership of these two groups have endorsed UKIP to their members who will decide to join on an individual basis.
I ask existing members who paid the full membership fee to understand the urgent need to rapidly expand our membership. We need more revenue and more people. Membership fees, in general, will be reviewed at the next NEC meeting.
These are being appointed gradually and positions will be limited to the most important areas of policy. I want people with real experience and knowledge to develop policy and speak authoritatively. A full list will shortly be available on the Party website and will be added to as necessary.
4. Local Elections
I was disappointed, to say the least, that I found we are far behind in our plans to fight the local elections taking place on 3rd May. It is vital that we put up a fight to defend the seats we already hold and to show we are still in the fight nationally.
We need at least 740 candidates in order to qualify for a Party Political Broadcast. We need people to step forward now to be candidates.
We are now putting together aids for candidates consisting of:
- A template leaflet that can be adapted to include candidate details.
- A centralised call-off system for printing.
- A Candidate Guide.
If you would like to be a candidate or support a candidate please contact your local Branch Chairman or County Controller.
I will do my best to keep you in the picture of how things progress and I trust the news will continually improve as we go forward.
Interim Leader – UK Independence Party
Member of the European Parliament for London