UKIP Leadership elections – A Personal Meeting Report from Phil Cunningham (Treasurer), Wokingham Branch:

I attended the Basingstoke UKIP branch meeting (see the minutes here) on 7 September as it included UKIP leadership candidates as special guest speakers.

The UKIP Leadership candidates in attendance were Anne-Marie Waters and David Kurten.

They both gave 15 minute introductory speeches and then questions were asked from the floor.

Anne-Marie Waters stated she wants to ‘shake things up’, speak about things that concern ordinary people around the Country without concern for how controversial the subject might seem.

She wants to make sure that UKIP’s message chimes with the conversations that people are having at home or in the pub.

Brexit is the prime importance, the one that was voted for NOT some watered down version that might as well end up that we haven’t in fact left the EU.

Anne-Marie liked much of the 2015 manifesto which was a well-rounded offering and could be built upon.

The NHS should come under intense scrutiny, kept publicly funded and owned, but areas of gross waste and layers of unnecessary management should be dealt with. Anne-Marie worked within the NHS for 10 years.

Immigration should be controlled from the day after Brexit and immigration rules should be concentrated on what benefits the UK.  She would advocate even looking at the source of immigration as a criteria in evaluating suitability.

Political correctness is stopping solutions being discussed or implemented for issues which are harming the Country in every area including government (local and national), housing, schools and law and order.

When asked if she would reform the NEC structure she replied ‘absolutely she would’, an audience member then commented it had been tried before but had failed, Anne-Marie said “it hasn’t been tried by me yet!”

David Kurten stated he was a teacher for 20 years before becoming a UKIP London Assembly Member.

Teaching gave him skills to be UKIP leader – management, communication, evaluation and teamwork.

In the London Assembly he led a motion to have Sadiq Khan take down the EU flag from outside the assembly building.

When with a photographer outside the Houses of Parliament, there were EU remainers protesting and holding up EU flags. He had a Union Flag with him and he held it up in front of them. When they booed and complained and told him they were going to do whatever necessary to keep us in the EU. They weren’t all British protesters, there were some from various EU countries.

He would initially focus on Brexit but then look at the policy offering for UKIP.

He would keep some existing UKIP spokesmen, recruit others and put a policy unit in place and make sure the pathway for policy ideas from members to policy-makers was straightforward and reliable.

In education and NHS straight talking and sensible changes need to be made. Crazy that we take nurses and doctors from Philippines, India and Spain instead of training our own. The same with engineers and other technical skills. He is concerned about the left-wing indoctrination of children in schools.

He would strengthen the local, regional and national structure of the party and seek funding/donors.

Questions came from the audience and on many issues the two candidates agreed such as increasing defence spending, tackling the scourge of Political Correctness, dealing with the damaging financial and religious influence of Saudi Arabia (which current leaders seem to have no intention to do). Both said they were prepared to stand up for UKIP and its ideals in the mainstream media and tackle difficult issues head-on. Both said that pride in our country should be reinvigorated at school and in society. Both said they wanted the decision-making to be based around the ordinary citizen, not the political elite who seek to ignore the ordinary citizen.

In his closing remarks, David said that he wants to unify the party, sort out the structure, ensure the funding is in place, get the policies front and centre.

In her closing remarks, Anne-Marie said she wanted to be controversial, take on the other political parties where it is letting political correctness damage the Country in all walks of life, deal with immigration. She added that if she says or proposes something and there is a huge outcry from the Left, it meant that she was talking on the right lines.

No recording was allowed and therefore I have done my best to represent what occurred during the meeting and to report the salient points.

Kind regards, Phil

Short report on Ukip Leadership Hustings which took place at The Great Barr Hotel, Birmingham on Monday 11th September 2017 at 7.30pm, from a personal perspective.

Seven revved up candidates sat before their judges in a packed Leadership Hustings at The Great Barr Hotel, Birmingham last night organised by Ukip West Midlands.    Hearts were beating and expectations high as speeches and visions of Ukip’s future were delivered at warp speed!  

In the line up left to right from the audience perspective were Henry Bolton, David Kurten, Ann Marie Waters, John Rees-Evans, Peter Whittle, Aidan Powlesland and Ben Walker(standing in place for Jane Collins who sent her apologies unable to be present due to necessary attendance at the EU Parliament.)  Members had travelled from across the Region and south west to produce a brilliant turnout. Introducing the event was Regional Organiser Andrew Illsley and WMRC Deputy Chairman Paul Williams who outlined the running order and rules.

Each candidate was then asked to give their opening speeches of 5 minutes duration and we were off  – I was riveted to my seat.

The underlying theme with all was their passionate belief in an independent Britain, to ensure Brexit happens and how best to achieve this plus their personal visions of a future Ukip.  Later several questions were asked including how a new leader would attract more to the Party, how to increase Ukip chances in future elections, what the Party would look like after their first 100 days as leader plus the contentious matter of any potential MEP resignations likely to happen following the leadership announcement which prompted vigorous exchanges between one or two candidates aided by audience murmurings gradually increasing their velocity.   

Candidates were then invited to give their short closing speeches which amounted to one line statements of Churchillian inspiration of patriotism, sovereignty and freedom.

The meeting officially closed around 9.15pm and some candidates stayed and mingled to answer any more questions to an audience now presumably more enlightened as to the path a new Leader would take for the future of Ukip.

Rosemary Herbert, Observer


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