This week we look at the Kippers’ second leadership contest in several months, a controversial proposal to check refugees’ age through their teeth, and a report claiming Britain has too many graduates.
Ukip selected Peter Whittle as its candidate for next year’s London mayoral election, fulfilling previous reports that deputy chair Suzanne Evans would not be chosen for the role despite her public stature.
A journalist before entering politics, Whittle has been the party’s culture spokesman for two years, and stood in Eltham in South East London during the general election.
In the past he has been a critic of multiculturalism, a potentially controversial view for a London mayor to hold given the diversity of the capital, a British city where white Britons do not constitute a majority.
Speaking to Ukip Daily in March 2014, Whittle said:
“I think it is a priority now to look at how we best achieve integration, as opposed to the failed policy of multiculturalism which had been entrenched for years. Voices from both the left and right have admitted that a doctrinaire multicultural approach has led to social segregation, and a fragmenting of the kind of communal values which are crucial to the survival of any society.”
Whittle also topped the list of Greater London Authority candidates that Ukip is putting forward, with Evans placed third behind David Kurten, a chemistry teacher who stood for the seat of Camberwell and Peckham in May against Labour MP Harriet Harman.
Challenged by the BBC over whether Evans, who was interim leader during Nigel Farage’s temporary retirement after the general election, would have made a better candidate, Whittle said this was not the case.
In August party members briefed the press that the central committee used to select the London mayoral candidate was being harnessed to block Evans, a potential rival for Farage.
In the general election Ukip underperformed in London compared to the rest of the country, with the party picking up 8.1 percent of votes in the capital to put it at third place, below the 12.7 percent it scored nationally.
A poll by Survation earlier this summer also put Ukip ahead of both the Lib Dems and the Greens in the contest for first preferences in the London mayoral election.
Sian Berry, the Green candidate for London mayor, previously told the Right Dishonourable that the interest in Ukip would not last until the election in May, the implication being that its poll ratings would soon shrink.
Image Credit – Peter Whittle outside National Gallery via Twitter
Trouble appears to be brewing within Ukip as a squabble threatens to break out over who will stand for the party in the upcoming London mayoral election due to take place next year.
Insiders within the party are briefing the press that Kipper leader Nigel Farage is hoping to block deputy chair Suzanne Evans in favour of a more pliable candidate and culture spokesman Peter Whittle, in the latest evidence Nige is unwilling to relinquish control of the party.
Central to this scheme, first reported by the Spectator, is the use of a central committee for vetting candidates which replaced a one-member-one-vote system, with the panellists Chris Bruni-Lowe, Paul Oakden and Mick McGough said to be loyal to Farage.
As one “senior Ukip insider” put it: “It looks like a stitch-up, and smells like a stitch up. I just hope it isn’t one.”
In response an anonymous party source claimed that the previous voting system was a “disaster”, leading to a “shambolic” 2012 London mayoral campaign that ended with Ukip failing to get its name on the ballot paper.
This oversight occurred after the clown doing the admin for Ukip candidate Lawrence Webb signed him up under “Fresh Choice for London”. Ukip ended up second-last in a field of seven, with a mere 2 percent of the vote.
The Farage defender added that it would be be strange if Farage did not have loyalists on the panel, given he is the leader.
Suzanne Evans is the bookies’ favourite to take over from Farage in the event he resigns without immediately rejoining the party, as he did in the wake of the general election despite promising to quit if he failed to win a seat in the Commons.
She said it was a “shame” that the one-member-one-vote system had been dropped, but optimistically added she had “trust” that the panel had the party’s interests at heart rather than Nige’s.
Update: Contacted by the Right Dishonourable to comment on the story, Kipper head office staffer David Challice said: “This is a nonsense story invented by political journalists who are fed up writing about Jeremy Corbyn. Please ignore it. We are.”
Image Credit – Nigel Farage in May 2008, by Euro Realist Newsletter