My UKIP membership is up in January. Funnily enough, I've had two emails from them today and I've replied to both stating that I will not renew while Batten is in place with any relationship with Yaxley-Lennon. Batten is unelected as leader, it was supposed to be an interim measure. We'll see more and more UKIP MEPs resign over the next few weeks.
FYI, I'm also a fully paid up member of the Labour party (for shits and giggles) and the Conservative party, in the hope of voting in anyone but May.
I've got better things to do than 'phone a radio station to attempt a reasoned argument with an ego that thinks talking all over his opponent and drowning him/her out when they put forward a cogent point of view at odds with his own beliefs is the height of mature debate, thank you very little.
I've been doing a bit of closer looking at what they stand for.
I didn't like much about the original set-up of characters involved and the noises they were making. But now, most of what I read I do like the sound of.
I wonder if Nigel is looking for a new job ?
If he approached them and said " Let me lead for a couple of years and I'll bring you 17 million votes " he wouldn't be far out in his offer.
And it would really change the face of British politics.
Just a thought.....
Remarkably similar to several of the responses on why the UK's referendum to join the EEC can't be regarded as the final answer - "They didn't know what they were voting for so it's only right and proper we have another vote."
Referendums only seem to be inalienably binding when they produce the right result.
Senior Ukip figures have been fleeing the party since Gerard Batten took the reins in February 2018. His focus on Islam and his embrace of controversial far-right activist Tommy Robinson have opened up a deep split in the anti-EU outfit, but has also attracted new members and seen a boost in party finances.
Could the move keep Ukip locked out of the mainstream forever? Or could it bring alt-right groups in Britain out from the underground? And how did we get here in the first place?
The Ukip trajectory since the party shook the political system at the 2015 general election and effectively secured Brexit is stark. A series of calamitous mis-steps, as well as political circumstance, has seen it shed support among the general public and descend into a laughing stock.
The first leadership race after Farage stood down in the wake of the 2016 referendum included a punch-up between two MEPs and saw Diane James clinch the top job - a role she held onto for 18 days before quitting.
Her successor Paul Nuttall was caught falsely claiming to have played football professionally for Tranmere Rovers and peddling incorrect or suspect claims about his links to the Hillsborough disaster.
He went on to lose a by-election in Stoke-on-Trent - one of the strongest pro-Brexit areas in the country - and eventually stood down after Ukip sunk from four million votes nationwide to 600,000 in the 2017 snap election, handing Clacton to the Tories in the process.
Nuttall was followed by Henry Bolton - an ex-army officer who appeared almost normal until he suddenly left his wife for new girlfriend Jo Marney, a model 30 years his junior who was later suspended by the party for allegedly sending racist texts.
Bolton refused calls to quit, and after a month of intense infighting, during which a string of senior figures left in disgust, he was deposed by the NEC and replaced by Batten, who took over as an interim leader.
The focus on Islam and immigration at the expense of independence from the EU (now what does UKIP stand for again...)
In January 2018, Batten organised a meeting between then-leader Bolton and a number of veterans groups at the Union Jack Club in Waterloo. He also invited members of the Football Lads Alliance, the far-right movement that the Premier League has warned pushes an anti-Muslim agenda. The FLA were “pretty feisty” at the meeting, Bolton recalls. “For them it was about Islam - it was about the takeover of our culture and so on.” Batten had made contact with the FLA during the previous year and met them in December. He thought it was time he introduced them to Bolton. But the Ukip leader was late to the meeting because the story about his new girlfriend was just about to break and he was taking calls from Sunday paper journalists. He also had to leave early to go to a Ukip dinner. But Batten encouraged members of the FLA - which later split and re-branded as the Democratic Football Lads Alliance - to join Ukip and endorse its recruitment drive, and he later marched with them at an anti-Muslim rally at which he said the Prophet Muhammad was “a warlord who took many sex slaves”.
But it was the growing love-in with Tommy Robinson that tipped other senior figures over the edge, including Nigel Farage. Robinson - real name Stephen Yaxley Lennon - is an English Defence League founder and former BNP member. He has spent years campaigning against Islam and amassed a large online following on social media, most recently with videos for alt-right Canadian outfit ‘Rebel Media’. Robinson boasts a string of convictions for various violent incidents, alongside one for trying to enter the US illegally and a count of mortgage fraud. Batten says he was taken with Robinson when he agreed to be interviewed by him in April. The Ukip boss was moved to support the activist the following month when he was jailed for live-streaming outside the Huddersfield grooming trial despite reporting restrictions imposed by the judge. Robinson was later freed after an appeal bid was accepted, and the case is due to be decided by the Attorney General. On the day of his release, Robinson walked straight out of court and into the House of Lords where he had lunch with Batten and Ukip peer Lord Pearson - sparking outrage in Westminster.
Many of those who have departed the party in recent weeks find themselves plagued by the idea that Batten is positioning Robinson to take over as Ukip leader. Suzanne Evans says: “I hope to God it doesn’t turn into a party led by Tommy Robinson, but my worry is that is what Gerard is grooming him for.” Henry Bolton adds: “I don’t think politics needs that.” But Batten insists seeing Robinson take over is not part of his strategy. “The trouble with politics is everybody's got a conspiracy theory and most of them are rubbish,” he says. He argues potential Ukip leaders need a better “track record of loyalty” to the party - including membership for at least five years, experience fighting several elections and time serving in an official capacity. He adds: “I don't think Tommy Robinson is cut out for the leadership of the party anyway. That's not what he does. He's more of a maverick.”