As you are now probably aware, Tony McIntyre has taken the decision to stand down as Party Chairman. He dedicated far more than was expected and he was a pleasure to work with. It is right that he puts his own health first and I would personally like to offer him the thanks he clearly deserves. He has made clear that he will remain a loyal supporter and activist.
I have had the pleasure of meeting many of our members but for those I have not, let me give you a brief introduction; I began working for UKIP in the lead up to the 2014 European elections, answering the relentless telephone calls from supporters and detractors alike and administering donations and new members onto the party database. There were approximately 30 people working from Lexdrum House at that time and the atmosphere was truly electric.
Some of you may remember the late Ralph Gay. A founder member and an extraordinarily hilarious and grumpy character who acted in the capacity of Branch Administrator. After his untimely passing, I took over as Branch Administrator for a brief period whilst also setting up the UKIP vetting process. Thankfully, Ruth Purdie was able to take on the branches while I focused on vetting and candidates which is most likely how those of you who do recognise my name have come to know me. I must emphasise that having worked with the team at Lexdrum house, they really are an invaluable asset to our party.
It is an honour to have been appointed by Gerard as your new Chairman and having worked closely with 3 former Chairmen now, I have a pretty good idea of what I’ve let myself in for. I can assure you that I will work hard to support the entire 23000+ strong UKIP team and we certainly have an awful lot to be working towards. For me, the thing that I believe should be at the top of everyone’s priority list is Brexit! The nation WILL be shafted in one way or another and the path is clear for us to save it but we have to do this NOW. UKIP has the only Brexit plan that is truly for the people! CLICK HERE to read it (if you haven’t already) and please share with everyone you know. I’d like us to get some Brexit Plan leaflets ready in the next couple of weeks to distribute to regions and branches but they aren’t cheap. We need to raise around £30,000 for printing costs and delivery to regions. If you would like to donate to this vital cause, please CLICK HERE. If you can’t donate financially but have an hour or two to spare, please get in touch with your branch and ask for information on getting involved with leaflets or canvassing. If you’re not sure who your branch chairman is, contact HQ on 01626 830630 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Local elections are also just around the corner. It would be unrealistic and naive to expect us to have a candidate in each of the 8000 or so seats up for grabs, but we should try for at least half. If you are prepared to stand as a candidate, or even a paper candidate, please CLICK HERE to complete the short vetting form and let your branch chairman know that you’re ready. Of course, we still need to be prepared for the next General Election – whenever this may be. If you would like get started with the parliamentary candidate selection process, CLICK HERE but please note that you will need to be registered to myukip.com in order to access this page. We also need a strong campaign team and this is something I plan to get sorted straight away. I cannot stress just how important it is that the British public have an opportunity to vote for UKIP. Every vote against the establishment sends a clear message for Brexit.
You may also be wondering – Where do I stand on Tommy Robinson? Well, I’ve taken a rather simplistic view, and while I agree it is an important issue that warrants discussion, right now, we should be united in our fight for one issue – BREXIT! We have all worked too hard to let Brexit be betrayed and we must put all other internal matters to one side until it is achieved. For this reason, I would not be inclined to allow membership of anyone from any proscribed group at this time. Having said that, I entirely believe that our Leader has every right to seek support and advice from whoever he wishes. Gerard is doing an incredible job and has made some excellent decisions which have indisputably saved our party. I say we let him get on with speaking to people from all walks of life, in the interests of policy development and contributing to our party’s strategies going forward.
I’ve probably said more than enough now but I look forward to working with you all and I will try to keep you updated regularly and honestly.