This is the second collection of letters we publish today. This unprecedented event shows that members are not content to just listen – they demand their voices be heard.
The letters below were all written and sent in after Bolton’s statement yesterday and after the later interview with Nigel on his LBC Radio show. The first letter is from our contributor Dr Tomasz Slivnik, former NEC member during Nigel’s leadership:
It appears that Nigel is attempting to get his revenge on the NEC, which is why he seems to be spinning a fairy tale that this EGM can change the Party Constitution and abolish the NEC. But the Constitution is very clear on this:
6.23.4 In the event of a motion of no confidence in the Party Leader being passed by the NEC, the Party Secretary shall call an EGM of members of the Party, such EGM to be held within 28 days of the passing of the motion. The NEC may from time to time make Rules as to the conduct of such an EGM. The EGM shall have as its only business a motion to endorse or to reject the vote of no confidence in the Leader by the NEC.
Henry’s posturing (and Nigel’s planting this suggestion in his mind) that he will present proposals of constitutional change to reform the NEC etc. and other distractions at this EGM are a load of rubbish which cannot lawfully take place. This is just an attempt to cause further chaos, confusion and mayhem and to distract from the meeting’s real agenda. This EGM is permitted to discuss and vote on only one item of business: endorsing or rejecting the NEC’s motion of no confidence in the Party Leader, whose outcome is the inevitable and overwhelmingly embarrassing humiliation of Henry Bolton. No other business can be voted on, or discussed at this EGM.
If one of the parties empowered to do so (of which the Leader is not one!) wishes to convene a separate EGM to discuss other business, the procedures for doing so are described in the Party Constitution.
In any event, an EGM (even another one summoned separately to discuss other business) cannot approve constitutional change, this can only be done under Part XIII of the Party Constitution by a postal ballot of all the members who must approve such change by a vote in favour of 2/3 majority of all the members of the Party.
Respectfully, Dr Tomasz Slivnik
The next letter was sent in by our reader and correspondent David Penn:
Nigel’s interview of Henry on his LBC programme (7pm, Monday 22nd Jan) was informative. In particular, there was the moment when he was challenged about the mass resignations from important posts by senior members of UKIP. As a counter Henry stated, ‘The functioning of the party should be taking precedence over anything else.’
Quite, Henry, but YOU are the obstacle that has caused the blockage, not the 16 people who have resigned. By refusing to leave gracefully after the unanimous NEC vote against you, you have left our most senior people with no alternative but to resign in order to demonstrate their absolute rejection of you continuing as leader. Fortunately for you, modern politics no longer follows the route of removing a dictator such as that which ended the dictatorial reign of Julius Caesar in ancient Rome. However, anybody with a modicum of sensitivity would recognise that honour demands it is time for you to fall on your sword, ideally before the membership is forced to convene and push.
Respectfully, David Penn, Watford UKIP
Finally, Brian Lee (read his CV below!) sent us his letter to Bolton, which we publish with his kind permission:
Dear Mr Bolton,
- You are right. The UKIP Party Constitution needs re-writing with a view to the decision making process being effective, democratic, transparent and cost effective.
- One of the basic problems is how those who run the Party are selected and elected. – This includes the Party Leader. (The method of electing the NEC is similarly flawed).
- Before standing for the job of Leader, whatever the system of election, the candidates need to be sure they have sufficient support from those at the top of the Party as well as the leading activists at constituency level.
- The method of electing the Party Leader by the whole membership, based mainly on a puff in ’Independence’, and using the first past the post system is unlikely to be a success.
- Any potential leader has to show they have proved themselves by their work in the party, particularly at constituency level. After all the purpose of UKIP is to get MPs into Parliament.
- You are wrong to claim there is an orchestrated campaign to remove you as leader. It didn’t need orchestration. What do you think party members have been talking about for several weeks?
- It was insulting of you to refer in your press statement today to, “draining the swamp”.
- Coming to the question of yourself as leader. You have no history within UKIP and we are unaware of what you achieved with the Liberal Democrats.
- Why someone from the Liberal Democrats, a long term Europhile Party, should suddenly appear on the UKIP scene and challenge for Party leadership is a mystery. Changing party allegiances is an everyday occurrence but leaving a party and suddenly wanting to be leader of another party with completely opposing views is incomprehensible.
- You have claimed that personal relationships should have nothing to do with being an effective leader. In theory you are correct, but to be married three times, with small children, and having a well-publicised extra marital relationship indicates a serious flaw in your judgement as well as a sense of loyalty. The fact that this woman has made several racist statements doesn’t help.
- Another flaw in your judgement is the assumption that a vote of confidence by the Party membership is more important than the support of activists. Take Essex, a part of the country known for its long term antipathy to the EU, fostered over the years by the hard work and financial backing of its UKIP activists. It is unlikely you will win the majority of the votes from the membership; but even if you do, the branch activists have already indicated their lack of confidence in you as a Party Leader individually and by the decision taken by the Essex Chairman’s meeting on 15th January 2018.
- If you do win the support of the membership, both they and you may have the name of UKIP but you will have no viable party.
- By your defiance of the recent vote of no confidence you are merely postponing your departure from UKIP as well as costing the members valuable resources and prolonging our embarrassment.
Respectfully, Brian Lee, M6833,
Chairman, Castle Point Branch;Chairman, Essex 18 Branches Chairman’s’ Committee. Founder of the South Essex Branch in 1995 and Chairman for 11 years. Former Chairman of the Eastern Counties Committee of UKIP. Parliamentary Candidate in 1997 and 2001. Agent for numerous General and Local Elections and sub-agent for EU Elections.
Please keep writing letters to Bolton and the NEC, and keep sending them to us for publication! Make your voices heard!