Dear Fellow UKIP Member,
I would like to start by clarifying the position regarding three former UKIP MEPs.
1. Jim Carver MEP
On Monday 28th May, Jim Carver resigned from UKIP. His decision came out of the blue and was totally unexpected.
I spoke to Jim on the telephone that day, and he was not able to give me any coherent reasons for his resignation. I asked him to do the decent thing and vacate his seat and pass it on to the next UKIP person on the Party List.
He refused, and will now sit as an ‘Independent’ MEP.
2. Tim Aker MEP
Tim Aker effectively ‘unmembered’ himself. He has not paid his UKIP membership fee since January 2018, and he fought in the recent English local elections for another party, the ‘Thurrock Independents’.
After I became Leader I, and others entreated Tim not to fight for this party but to resign from the Thurrock Independents and fight for UKIP. Tim declined to do so despite my best efforts to persuade him.
For a UKIP member to be a candidate for another party is in clear contravention of Rule 4.3 a) of the UKIP Constitution, which says that ‘the Party Chairman shall revoke the membership forthwith of a member who Joins another political party (whether registered with the Electoral Commission or not).’ The Thurrock Independents is registered with the Electoral Commission.
Regarding the two above: they only hold their seats because of the sacrifice of time, effort and money by ordinary UKIP members and activists who put them where they are.
As MEPs, they enjoy a handsome salary, a daily attendance allowance of €300 per day (tax-free) when they attend the Parliament, and they will eventually receive a pension. In my opinion, I feel these people have no loyalty to the Party and its members. The decent and honourable thing for them to do would be to resign their seats and hand them back to UKIP. They have both refused to take this path.
3. Bill Etheridge MEP
Recently, with the full backing of the Party Chairman and the NEC, I withdrew the Whip from Mr Etheridge for a period of six months. He may reapply to have it reinstalled in November if he so wishes.
I took the step of removing the Whip from Bill because he defied my instruction to UKIP MEPs not to travel to Russia. Even though Bill had accepted my veto on a previous trip to Russia, he continued with his plans for a second trip without advising me, or the UKIP Delegation Leader, Ray Finch MEP of his intentions.
Bill took part in a conference, in Russian held territory, in the Crimea. Russia is a state hostile to the UK, and I did not feel it was appropriate for our elected representatives to appear to be giving the Russian regime credence it does not deserve; especially at a time when the Russian state is accused of both attempted murder, and murder, on British soil.
Bill, therefore, does not sit as a UKIP MEP, but I hope that he will return to the fold in November.
I am sorry to be the bearer of this bad news, but I believe that the ordinary UKIP members have a right to know my view on this.
Lewisham Action Day
SATURDAY 2nd JUNE WITH GERARD BATTEN MEP
We are progressing at speed with the campaign of David Kurten AM in the Lewisham East by-election.
To keep the momentum, a second action day has been arranged for this Saturday. We will be meeting outside Bellingham station, Randlesdown Road, London SE6 3BU this Saturday at 10.30 am to leaflet one of our best wards, Whitefoot. There is plenty of free parking in nearby residential streets.
David and his team will be grateful for any help members can offer and I will be rolling up my sleeves to help too.
For more details, please contact:
Keith: 07976 229107 or Julian: 07719 994933
We hope to see you there.
Leader, UK Independence Party