THIS IS THE ROLLING BLOG OF THE MORNING SESSION OF THE AGM 2017

New entries added at the bottom

We’re a few minutes away from the official start. We’re also only about nine hours away from finally knowing who the new leader is.

This morning’s programme is mostly given to welcome addresses, with the first guest speaker, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali booked for 11.30.The auditorium is slowly filling up (I’ll get the number from an official later. Got the number: 1,000 in the auditorium)) and here’s some astonishing news: I’ve got a ‘press pass’, i.e. a red wristband (no idea how that happened, but hey, gift-horse and all that! – so I promise I’ll be present at the press conference the new leader is obliged to hold after the announcement.

Meanwhile, one of our associate editors has found these three links you might like to check for live streaming:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b099573f

LIVE: UKIP Conference 2017- Leadership Election, Fringe Events, Speeches and Much More!

First speaker (Cllr Julian Parrot) is up, to good acclaim, and so is the next one, William Dartmouth MEP, who is talking about Brexit: “we owe the EU nothing” – strong words, well applauded by members. He calls out the usual suspects, from Clarke and Soubry to Mandelson and Blair: the audience shouted and boo-ed loudly when hearing those names.

(Big beasts sighted coming in late: Paul Oakden, Steve Crowther, and this morning’s guest speaker, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.)

William Dartmouth MEP has given a great tour-de-force on Brexit, Labour, and why we do not want an European superstate. He definitely got the audience going.

“Divorce can be expensive, but freedom is priceless”, he concluded. Yes!

Next, Mark Harland talks about Sovereign Draw – a great way to get money for branches and indeed the Party.

He is followed by the first guest speaker, Klina Jordan, “Make Votes Matter”, on proportional representation. It’s interesting, but a bit dry. Audience slowly having a mid-morning kip.

And: Roger Helmer just walked in.

Paul Oakden just clarifies: the count is starting in London just now – results to come in between 4.15 and 5.15, the returning offer Piers Wauchope is at the count – nobody knows who the leader will be, any other rumours are just rumours.

Next: Steve Crowther, to huge applause. He’s speaking on’Our Brand”: historical review of how we got to were we are now, seeing the ‘full horror’ of the 2017 elections. He goes on on ‘brand theory’. ‘The UKIP Brand represented a clear promise: to get us out of the EU.’ – so how to get on. He defends himself, saying that he was asked by Paul Nuttall last year to review Brand UKIP, as member of the NEC.

“We need to define our band and our mission”: what are our USPs: “we do not seek power for our own sakes, we don’t promote an ideology, we have a mission.

We champion causes which are not taken on by the establishment: common sense issues which re commonly ignored and suppressed.

He enumerates the things we believe in, and the audience is enthused. Do watch – he is socking it to the members, and they love it.

“UKIP’s overall mission, post-Brexit, is National Revival” – Crowther keeps asking if we agree … yes, we do.

He goes on to define British values: Democratic, tolerant, Christian.

(Look – there’s Peter Whittle!)

So – our brand: we won’t change the colours (huge applause); but the £ is no longer resonating with the voters, it’s not forward looking.

The logo should say “UKIP – for the Nation”; the audience will get a reminder of what we offer them. Then – a streamline: Great Britain – United Kingdom – Sovereign State, because we are great, united and sovereign.

Crowther thinks this does not pre-empt the new leader.

(He’s still not showing the new logo!)

So – in the end, two logos were chosen by six designers (Kippers all). we’re supposed to vote for them during the coffee break.

So – Design One has the British Lion incorporated, Design Two is a modern, swoosh – and the audience is already booing!

I predict: the lion gets it!

And now for the coffee break. Most members I overheard think the Lion should get it. It was a very good and very clever speech from Steve Crowther.

Here are the logos (h/t Rob McWhirter, who sent them in):

 

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali’s speech is very well received, the audience has grown, people are standing against the back walls.
Many are however taking the opportunity to got outside on the terraces, or sit next to their cup of coffee.

It is interesting to watch the speech outside the auditorium (yes, I’m on a much-needed cup of coffee myself!) on a big screen. Even here people applaud.

This speech  was just excellent, the applause was thunderous.

The final speech is by Steve Crowther (again) – we’ve calculated that he got to speak for one whole hour this morning …

THIS CONCLUDES THIS MORNING’S SESSION – COME BACK IN FOR THE AFTERNOON WHERE THE NEW LEADER WILL BE REVEALED – UNVEILED – ELECTED!

DON’T MISS IT!

 

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