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This afternoon will kick of with a speech from the Party Chairman, Paul Oakden, followed by speeches (in order of speaking) from Roger Helmer MEP, Gerard Batten MEP, John Bickley (Treasurer), Mike Hookem, MEP and Stuart Agnew MEP. Ten there’s a (well deserved) tea break, followed by a speech from Ray Finch MEP, the guest speaker from the Czech free citizens Party, Dr Jiri  Payne MEP, and the last speech before the announcement from the guest speaker Dr Hugh Bronson MEP for the AfD.

That will bring us to 5.15 – and the long-awaited announcement. The New Leader will speak at 5.20.

People are drifting in from lunch – Steve Crowther is talking since Paul Oakden isn’t here as of yet. We were just told that it’s Paul Oakden’s birthday tomorrow …

The ‘Lion Logo’ is now gracing the speaker’s rostrum … ‘fait accompli?

Paul Oakden is giving a resume of the past year when he was Party Chairman. He pays tribute to Paul Nuttall, which the members heartily applauded. He goes on to raise donors, especially Alan Bown. He also gave praise to the staff and finally to all members. He calls for great applause for the unsung members of staff – the crowd happily complies.

Nice rousing end to Paul’s speech, looking to the future.

Next up, Roger Helmer, on energy – but first roger talk praising Crowther’s speech before lunch (which I failed tore port on …)  and Paul Oakden’s work. This is is Roger’s last speech as energy spokesmen after his retirement. 18 years as MEP is indeed, as he said, longer than a life sentence.

Meanwhile the auditorium is filling up – seats have all been taken, and people are standing along the walls.

Roger is in grand form, laying about on climate change, ‘smart meters’, wind farms, the lot. He has the audience in stitches.

Roger adds pointing out that we do not wish to become a single-issue anti-islam party. He wishes well to the Party, the new leader, and offers his help to whoever will take over his portfolio. Steve Crowther gives a brief eulogy to Roger.

Next up is Gerard Batten – long applause for him! He starts with a nice point: “Brexit means ‘Exit” – and we’re off. Gerard nicely points out all the waffle and fallacies made by Ms May from the time she took over as PM. The auditorium gets vocal, shouting ‘no no no’ when Gerard lays out the dangers of our continuing participation in the ‘security’ questions of EAW, European army, European Prosecutor etc.

Gerard ridicules Verhofstadt while criticising May’s shambolic play. The audience loves it. How to leave? Gerard points to his exit plan – repeal immediately the ECA 1972, so we leave under our Law. Trade is an issue: free trade agreement but the Uk has the freedom to negotiate on our terms, or WTO. The audience is in full agreement. Gerard’s plan can be dowloaded from his website.

“Brexit must not be betrayed’ – thus we must rebuild UKIP as electoral threat. And quoting Admiral nelson, whose birthday it is: “Engage the enemy more closely”.

Fine speech by Gerard.

(We’re running late, but I understand that the actual count was started after midday only  …)

John Bickley up next, as spokesman for immigration.

Little footnote: new rosettes have been handed out with the new lion logo – and all speakers are wearing that new rosette.

Bickley is showing graphs and uses the phrases we’ve all heard before. And then Bickley calls on Henry Bolton to speak about borders. Apologies, I’m following this live-streamed in the coffee place so cannot gauge the audience reaction properly, but he does get good applause. Thing is – can’t afford to flag before we know who ‘it’ will be! Anyway, the mic in the auditorium seems to have gone – but major applause for Henry Bolton, some members raising to their feet.

Now Bickley is back on – inaudible.

Next: Mike Hookem, and the sound is back. Mike is talking about fisheries and how our fisheries industry has been betrayed.

Attention: the candidates have been called away, onto the upstairs balcony, doors locked, so general assessment is:

the result must be in – the announcement is imminent, probably after Mike’s sppech

Don’t go away!

12,915 votes were received, 45.6% turnout.


3rd Kurten 17%

2nd 21.3% AMW


Audience erupts – they are happy.

Henry is thanking his team, Crowther, and he thanks his fellow candidates.

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