This is a live blog – so the latest entries will be at the top, i.e. you’ll have to read from the bottom up – that’s the ‘convention’. And let me apologies in advance for any typos – my laptop is indeed on my lap, all a it uncomfortable, and I don’t know if the lights will be left on one the proceedings start …

 

While the count is going on, some camera people were allowed in to film the count. There were also photographers. They had been excluded during the speeches, but obviously, the announcement of the ballot is of importance even to the MSM, so they are now infesting the front of the hall and the aisles.

Many members have already or are going home – after having cast their ballot. The Welsh coach leaves at 5 pm – let’s hope we have the result before that.

~~  00  ~~

As I mentioned at the beginning (see below): all members had to register before they were allowed in. Upon registering they ere issued with an orange card which they had to present on entry into the hall. Those cards were exchanged for the ballot paper. The ballot had two boxes: support the NEC decision – no support for the NEC Decision.

Right now the orange cards are counted and checked against the ballot paper numbs. The numbers must be the same.

~~  00  ~~

15.55: The vote counters are the ladies and gentlemen from Lexdrum House. The count is taking place on the stage.

~~  00  ~~

Now we go to cast our ballots.

~~  00  ~~

More of Bolton – after a noticeable pause – people leaving but they will cast their votes on their way out. So Bolton ‘refutes’ – first against Oakley: ‘I challenge him to produce that record’.  Obfuscation again … cry me a river, Bolton. He’s going back to the AMW challenge – but hey, now the challenge was not about AMW but about the NEC!

Oh, and he can assure us about a follow-up action after the EGM: huge booing from the members, Oakden has to intervene..

More stuff from his hustings … nothing new … shouts from the floor. More shouts from the floor while Bolton shouts, saying what he’s said in the hustings. Whistling.

Oakden gives Henry the opportunity to read his last paragraph.

Gawd, we’ll die of being fair to Bolton.

~~  00  ~~

Now to conclude: four minutes for the NEC: Paula Walters. (Bolton will speak for himself.)

‘For a leader to call the NEC, made up of people like her who stands for the grassroots, a swamp.’ Someone who threatens to sue the Party – that is not a leader. we gave him every opportunity, the plans were  already put in motion by Paul Nuttall. “we waited and waited and waited. He talked and talked and talked, but didn’t walk the walk.’

Dunno how effective this will be.

~~  00  ~~

Two-minute speeches from the floor.  Three for, three against. For: we must keep Bolton because —>> Brexit. (But what the heck has he done for it?). Applause for his call to support HB. Speaks over his allowed time – gets boos.

For the motion: we must have pride for our party, pride for our leader. Difficult decision to make, but don’t get confused by what will happen. Nigel never said anything that he didn’t mean. Our leader however threatened twice to take the Party to court. Do you want a leader who proposes a Putin constitution?  (Great speech!)

Next: support Bolton because he’s a strong leader. A bit shouty. Leader wants to lead, and we must support him. Shouty, stick with Bolton – huge applause. Gawd. He backs Bolton because of –>> Soros.

(‘Great entertainment’ says a Kipper sat next to me.)

Next, Jeff Locke for the motion: it’s  a sad occasion because the outcome will trigger a significant number of resignations. After six months splitting the Party and dividing friends is a very damaging legacy for a new leader. The concentration of power has led to the abuse of power. – just like the EU. Now we’re urged to retain Bolton on anew constitution giving him unfettered powers. UKIP should not mirror what we voted against when voting for Leave.

If a leader cannot be trusted by his wife and daughters, why should he be trusted by the Party and the voters?

Finally, against the motion/for Bolton. Sorry, it’s nice, but irrelevant, about his(the speakers) many wives …

~~  00  ~~

Bolton’s supporter’s speech (Paul Richardson) actually mentions the future of the Party. He goes on about Bolton’s proposals – again, like Henry, missing the point entirely. It’s all  about the hated NEC. And he accuses Bickley, attacking him, also naming Wauchope and Crowther, referring to the Jane Collins case.

Methinks the the vote is not about Bickley … but he does get applause for this.

Now he attacks Gerard Batten – and as soon as he mentions Batten’s name people cheer for Batten.

IMHO, this is a disgraceful speech – attacking people from the floor (yes, also all who are ‘on Social Media’).  Neither he nor Bolton even contemplate that without us they will not have a Party.

~~  00  ~~

Oakley mentions a legal action threatened by Bolton, threatening judicial review to prevent the EGM. On Feb 16th! ” We stood up to him”, says Oakley to thunderous applause. Oakley stuck the knife in good and proper.

~~  00 ~~

On behalf of the NEC: five minutes by Paul Oakley. He talks about that NEC meeting, of his failures, of sending out private NEC stuff to sixty random people. He mentions how Bolton never raised any of his proposals with the NEC.

“This is a drowning man clutching at straws”- “He came out with his back-of -the fag-pack’ constitution … we already had a taste of what his ‘benevolent’ leadership will mean”, describing Bolton’s challenge to AMW on the leadership ballot.

~~  00  ~~

He gets lots of applause every time he attacks the NEC. In my opinion he has twisted the members votes into a vote against the NEC – and if he wins, then good-by UKIP. He shouts, he splutters.

He gets a standing ovation, which is shorter than that for Crowther.

~~  00  ~~

Half of his speech is smearing members who’ve asked questions. He alleges that NEC members have colluded with the MSM and the tabloids – he does not give evidence. He obscures the issue by alleging that this material was with the NEC – but the tabloid articles came out after the NEC VONC .. he then attacks a member of the NEC personally.

~~   00  ~~

“Some members have engaged on a subversive campaign to attack him, They are the enemy within.” He calls them self-serving. Their behaviour is divisive and despicable. “They attacked my career record”. He didn’t mention names, but we all know who he meant …

~~  00  ~~

Steve Crowther gave a most brilliant speech, ending with challenging Henry to tell us all what he’s done. My impression: he stuck the life in, twisted it, pulled it out and stuck it in again.

Standing ovation,

Henry talks exactly about what he’s already published in his last message, telling us where he all went across the country.

He then goes onto sticking the knife into the NEC – missing the point altogether: this is not about the NEC, attacking the Treasurer.

There’s applause for Henry, especially since he’s going on and on about the NEC.

I am a bit apprehensive now. There’s quite a lot of applause for his proposals.

He is going on about the constitution – about the direction of the Party – none of which he’s provided.

~~ 00 ~~

Live Blog stopped as per instruction by Oakden.

13.45: WE HAVE KICK-OFF! There are still people making their way through registration, so it’ll be another five minutes. Meanwhile I’ve met Toby Micklethwait, Helena Windsor and Roger Turner – all wonderful contributors.

Paul Oakden announced that hopefully everything will be over by 3.30 pm. So – we wait just a bit more. The hall, in case you wonder, is full. The 1,500 we were told had registered seem all to have found their way here.

~~  00  ~~

13.30: still nothing happening, the hall is filling up. First impressions: there are lots of people with placards saying “Bin the NEC” – i.e. vote for Henry. The two buckets put up at the front for submissions from members to speak for and against Bolton show a majority of submissions against Bolton – but we know that only three from each bucket, i.e. three for and three against will be chosen.

One other possible snag: ‘Social Media’ are not allowed inside. UKIP Daily is not ‘Social Media’ – we are Press. But if this blog suddenly goes quiet then you know why: I’ll be told not to do it.

~~  00  ~~

13.20: running late, as per usual, this is UKIP after all. One piece of info: after the EGM is done and dusted, the NEC will meet.

~~ 00 ~~

The Welsh contingent came in a coach. We arrived in good time and while my colleagues peeled off to the nearest pub, I ‘circulated’ in order to meet the many readers and writers of UKIP Daily. Now my feet are killing me …

13,00: doors opened early, many have already made it inside. I’ve met some of our great contributors, for example  David Kurten, ‘Stout Yeoman’ , “Mr Bav” and ‘sponplague’, a.k.a Rob McWhirter. Also met and chatted to were Rosie Beattie and Freddy Vaccha. I’ve also (finally) managed to meet Luke Nash-Jones.

Then I ran into some members of the NEC who’ve published here on UKIP Daily,  such as Mick McGough, Liz Jones, John Bickley and Piers Wauchope. I also took the opportunity to say hello to the outgoing interim Chairman Paul Oakden.

Many readers whom I hadn’t met said hello, as did those I knew already. I’ve missed seeing our Debbie, Associate editor, and I’ve not yet spied Roger Turner who said he’d come.

It’s confirmed that Steve Crowther will speak for the NEC.

Leaflets pro and contra Bolton were handed out.

We all had our membership cards checked twice, registered and were handed out orange cards which we then exchanged for the ballot paper once inside the actual venue. We are not allowed out until the votes are cast. I have refrained from making my cross in the space provided yet – after all, who knows …. Henry may give the speech of his life so that we forget and forgive …  (no I don’t think so either).

 

 

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