Since February, Ukip has been heading for extinction after its leader Henry Bolton was ousted over his racist girlfriend, its interim leader Gerard Batten was forced to beg for £100,000 to prevent insolvency, and then the party was billed £175,000 in a libel case.
Countering overstatements about the party’s early demise, Kippers have come through, with branches raising £79,477 and individuals £215,411 for a total of £294,888.
It is surprising the party still has life left in it. Since the referendum on EU membership the purples have suffered scandal after scandal, seemingly unable to co-ordinate without full-time pundit and occasional politician Nigel Farage.
But more intriguing than the turnaround is the statement from Batten that the £175,000 libel costs were paid ‘by other means’ in addition to the £300,000 raised. The press release goes on:
‘With great energy and speed our new Treasurer, Sebastian Fairweather put together a plan to raise the money, which he did, and it was paid on 29th March. This money did not come from the funds raised by means of the current fundraising initiative.’
Given the party’s empty pockets and the allocation of the £300,000 elsewhere, just who saved Ukip from death by libel?