We received requests to publicise the following invitations to Q & A sessions in the Leadership Contest which the branches have organised. We’re happy to do so and will publish any other invitations we receive in future:

Dear Editor,

Please could you promote our leadership event?

“Newport (South Wales) Branch are pleased to announce a UKIP members only leadership q&a session at the Neon (Clarence Pl) from 7pm on Thurs 3rd Aug.

Free entry, refreshments available, uncensored questions and grassroots focus.

Non members can join on the night.

Helping you make your mind up!”

Many thanks, Joe Crocker, Membership Secretary

~~~~~~~ oooOooo ~~~~~~~

Dear Editor,

In Norfolk, I’ve organised a Hustings that, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to ‘plug it’ on UKIP Daily:

Hello to all UKIP Daily Readers!

We’re once again in need of a new leader, but who are the candidates?

On August 30th, members of UKIP in Norfolk and the Eastern Region counties are invited to find out!

We are hosting a Hustings, starting at 7:30pm, with doors open at 7pm. It will be at Wensum Valley Golf Club, in the Morton Suite.

Come along, have a drink and meet & greet the leadership candidates. We will be very near to the issue of ballot papers at this point, so having an informed choice is essential! Grill the candidates, ask the questions you need answering!

So, to recap, 30th August 2017 at Wensum Valley Golf Club, Beech Road, Taverham, Norfolk, NR8 6HP, doors open 7pm.

Don’t forget to add the event to your Facebook!

RSVPing isn’t needed, but would be appreciated, just so we know how many are intending to come. Do this by emailing ulh@neo1.uk

Thanks, Jack Smith

We also received the links to both videos (parts 1 and 2) of the informal hustings/London on July 18th, in the following post-mortem on that Q & A session by the chairman of that meeting, Freddy Vachha, which wasn’t covered in our earlier report. We recommend that the chairs of any hustings read them and implement them to guarantee their meeting’s success:

UKIP London recently held a Q&A session for potential candidates. We invited all twelve known at the time (now there’s a thirteenth) – nine were expected, eight came. Present were:

David Coburn MEP (“the Far Left Candidate” was not an appellation he enjoyed), Aidan Powlesland, Ben Walker, David Allen, David Kurten AM, Anne Marie Waters, Bill Etheridge MEP (now withdrawn –  see here for his reasons), John Rees-Evans. Invited but unable to attend: Henry Bolton, Jane Collins MEP, Mike Hookem MEP, Peter Whittle AM.  Marion Mason declared her intentions later.

Here’s what you wanted – the video coverage. Click on hte links and judge for yourself – always best.

http://tinyurl.com/ukip-ref-02   Duration: 1:21:51  (Part 1)

http://tinyurl.com/ukip-ref-03   Duration: 1:12:17  (Part 2)

I would respectfully suggest a similar format is used for formal hustings run by the Party after August 11.  IMO we can’t have micro-managed events again; we need to have events which will ensure skeletons tumble out of cupboards before, not after, election.

The number of participants (8, as it turned out) presented my excellent team with an organisational challenge: Time!

Last year, hustings typically involved 3 or 4 candidates, and no more than 8 questions got put. Ours involved 8 candidates and over 40 questions (including combined ones). Almost all feedback about the event was positive or very positive (as in, it helped with decision-making and it was fairly conducted).

The only criticisms of which I’m aware were:

  • one lady who wasn’t there, who complained about the harsh restriction on the length of any question that I placed in the invitation. This was solely intended to prevent questions turning into speeches by the questioner, as they often otherwise do. Then we wouldn’t have enough time for other good questions and answers. When I did find this happening (once), you’ll see me rushing out and taking over.
  • one gentleman who thought I was favouring (in terms of disproportionately accepting questions from) “elite” people I knew who were sitting in the front row. This is without foundation:  (a) Almost everyone in the room was a London activist and I know or recognise almost every UKIP activist in London’s 73 constituencies and 27 branches.  (b) Seating was at random.  (c) People at the back who wrote questions down (being unsure they could enunciate them in the draconian 15 seconds) often passed them to people in the front row to give to me, thus giving a misleading appearance.  (d) Only one audience member got to speak/ask more than once; this was an NEC member who is almost as voluble as I am.  (e) This is UKIP, we don’t do “elite”.
  • a commenter on the Part 1 youtube video stated that the audio quality wasn’t good because we must have left all the windows open. We hadn’t, though we had doors at each end open to prevent unnecessary overheating.  :–)   The poor audio was more to do with microphone location.  Part 2’s audio is much better; I’m looking to see if we can obtain a matching video for Part 1.

I used the wildcard only once as there was no perception candidates were ducking questions.  But there were so many written questions on economics… and one came from the floor right near the beginning. When AMW didn’t take it, I used the wildcard.  I binned the other economics questions (intricacies of Keynesian principles, how can a socialist be a Party Leader, etc. which seemed to be aimed at AMW) partly because we had little time and partly because AMW had made her position clear already in answering the earlier question.

Some questions had only one person answering, because no other panellist really disagreed.  At least one had no takers.

The question I regret running out of time for was one on the infamous Stoke leaflet.  It was next on the list but it was nearly 10pm; several panelists were at risk of missing their trains to intelligent life north of Watford.  Other casualties were:

(a) Too long or complex (would have taken a minute for even me to ask at machine-gun speed)

(b) Too similar to another question (in many cases, though, I combined them)

(c) Recognised by me to be a personal attack on one or more candidate (several on AMW, one on DK, several on an candidate who was absent)

(d) Ones where every panelist would have had substantially the same answer  (e.g. “would you welcome Nigel back?”)

(e) IMO Irrelevant to a leadership Q&A  (e.g. “do you prefer cats to dogs?”, which I took not to refer to halal cookery)

Freddy Vachha


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