UKIP response to allegations of financial abuse

The mainstream media are currently reporting that UKIP are under investigation by the EU for misappropriation of funds.

Here is the response of Party Chairman Paul Oakden to these unfounded rumours –

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Eurosceptic witch-hunt directed at UKIP

It was reported today that UKIP had misspent nearly £400,000 of EU money to help in its 2015 General Election and referendum campaigns.

Not only is this accusation wrong, it relates to an audit report leaked by the European Parliament, on a pan-European group called the ADDE. Whilst UKIP representatives in the European Parliament are members of the ADDE group, so too are members from a number of other EU states.

UKIP and the ADDE are far from being one and the same thing. The suggestion that UKIP might have to pay back money that was spent by the ADDE is simply wrong.

That said, this is clearly another step in the increasingly hostile and aggressive attitude that the EU administration is taking against political parties who believe in genuine democracy and freedom.

I want to reassure members that whatever the outcome of the current situation, it will not affect or disable our ability to campaign as the only true Eurosceptic party in Britain – in fact, this vendetta only reinforces the importance of why we have to succeed.

 

Rumours of UKIP’s demise are greatly exaggerated

The following article is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the official view of the party

DSC_0404It is often said that a week is a long time in politics – with the events of the last seven days it has certainly seemed that way!

Following on from the surprise resignation of leader Diane James MEP after just 18 days in the role, we have now seen media headlines surrounding an altercation between two of our MEP’s in the EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Party is currently investigating what actually happened and as such it would be wrong for me to speculate before that investigation is concluded. I feel sure that we all wish Steven Woolfe MEP, a personal friend and a thoroughly decent man, a speedy recovery.

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A message from Party Chairman, Paul Oakden

It was with great sadness yesterday that we received confirmation of the death of Dr Raj Chandran, a loyal member of our party who held a position on our National Executive Committee at the time of his passing.

I had known Dr Chandran personally since he joined UKIP in my home region of the East Midlands a few years ago. Since that time, Raj never failed to demonstrate his commitment and dedication to serving our members, whether it be by sponsoring meetings or hosting fundraising events at his own home.
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His experience of being a former Mayor and candidate both in Parliamentary and Police & Crime Commissioner elections was invaluable and he was always happy to pass that experience on. Raj was also a former Commissioner for Racial Equality and believed strongly in our party reaching out further to different communities – something he was talking about just a few short days before his death at our candidates training day in Bournemouth last Thursday.

During his time on the NEC, Dr Chandran served our members with honour and integrity and he often spoke of his pride at helping our party by serving on it’s governing body.

On the conference stage in Bournemouth a week ago, I asked for a minute’s applause to celebrate the lives of those members who had worked so hard for our cause and yet were sadly not with us on June 23rd to celebrate our victory. Whilst I’m so pleased that Raj was able to be a part of that historic night, I offer him my own “minute’s applause” for all his efforts in working for the betterment of our party.

Our final thoughts go out to his wife and family as we thank them for sharing him with us over his final few years.

 

Kind Regards

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Paul Oakden
Party Chairman

“Managed Decline ” ? No Thanks !

This article was originally published on The Commentator The-Commentator-01

For over 50 years, the mindset of the British establishment has been of “Managed Decline”. But the idea Britain is no longer good enough to maintain past glories and achievements, and the best we can hope for is to manage our fall with as much grace and dignity as possible, is quite ridiculous.

This position undermines British achievements, and limits the UK to an increasingly minor role in the world. With Brexit, we now have the opportunity to break this mentality and see the UK stand confident on the world stage once again.

This has been a rot which set in after the Suez Crisis. While the failure of Britain to maintain control of the Suez Canal toppled the Prime Minister of the day, Anthony Eden, it also toppled the establishment’s faith in Britain.

To them it signalled the end of the UK as a world power; a country reduced in size and stature to the extent it was no longer capable of being able to shape events in the world on its own. We now have a chance to reverse this historic mistake through the Brexit vote.

So why is Brexit so important in ending Managed Decline and for the UK to no longer see itself as a failing nation?

Europe — and what was then the European Economic Community (now the EU) — was the crutch the politicians reached for. Why they made this choice is fairly obvious. Germany and France were booming economically, whilst Britain was becoming known as “the sick man of Europe”.

In their panic over Britain’s flailing economy, they turned to the European Community, and in doing so abandoned the global trading outlook which had served Britain so well in the past.

Tying the UK into the European Community has not been a success. A predicted export boom to Europe never happened, with Britain importing more and more from the European Community. Our Balance of Payments has never recovered and, to this day, we still import far more from the EU than we export to them. The UK joining the European Community was far more of an economic bonus for the EU than it has been for the UK.

Managed decline through the EU has entailed more than the economy. On the international stage, there has been a lessening of Britain’s role, and on many occasions it’s been a retreat to hide beyond the EU despite its repeated incompetence.

It is true, on some issues Britain has stood strong, but often only after suffering through the failures of the EU. The humanitarian efforts in Kosovo were eventually a success, but only after Britain acted outside the EU framework, acting as a global nation and not merely a European one.

The foreign policy interests of the EU will always be limited. With the possible exception of France, no other country within the EU has the same global outlook the UK has. Yet, because of our EU membership, we have progressively regressed, with our world view becoming smaller and smaller, less global and more focused on Europe.

This is what managed decline looks like: a nation in retreat from its global role and responsibilities.

Our membership of the European project may have started as an unnecessary leaning post for politicians whose faith in Britain had been shaken by the difficult times of the 1950s and 1960s, but over time it began to hinder Britain’s growth. Economically and internationally our abilities and national self-belief have been degraded. It has been a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In believing the UK is failing, decisions and policies have been made which reflect this. We do not need to accept this, and Brexit is what can break this mindset.

Brexit is acting as a sharp shock to the political establishment. No longer able to lean on the crutch of the EU, they cannot continue to follow the path of managed decline through it. The biggest problem was indeed our EU membership. Now we are on the way out, it would be impossible to continue in this vein anyway.

So, what is the alternative? The return of the UK as a global trading nation is a start. No longer hindered by the EU, the UK will forge trade deals with nations around the world. Not even a month and a half after the Brexit vote, countries from every continent have already come forward with requests for trade deals with the UK.

This is just the start. Outside the EU, issues such as aid, security and migration will once again be in the control of the British government. These are issues which are, by necessity, global in nature if we want to be a leading nation in the world.

Brexit forces politicians, no matter how unwilling, to embrace this role again. They simply have no other choice, as they will no longer have the EU to act on their behalf in these matters. The Great British Public are rightly proud of their country and can now demand our politicians act in order to develop Britain as a global nation rather than a country in decline.

With the right policies and by engaging with the world at large again, Britain can reclaim her rightful place in the world. For too long we have allowed politicians to dumb Britain down.

Now, once we finally Get Britain Out of the EU, the excuse that we are not good enough on our own will be exposed as the falsehood it truly is. From now onwards, politicians will have to do their utmost to live up to the potential of the UK and not fall for the easy path of managed decline.

 

Independence will continue to win

observerWith many thanks to Andre Walker of the Observer

UKIP on the March: Independence Will Continue to Win

The People’s Army just broke the EU—now their slog through Northern England could change everything

For decades, one of the world’s most significant religious figures was Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a nun who worked with the poorest in India. She was powerful, promoted by one of the most political Popes in the history of the Catholic Church. Teresa met heads of state, religious leaders, all in front of a cast of a TV audience of millions.

Despite her numerous accolades and achievements, her death in 1997 went almost unnoticed. Had she fallen from grace, or did the public’s appetite for her trite piety was diminished? No, it was simply a matter of timing. Teresa died a few days after Princess Diana, and the focus of all the media attention was on the future of the British Monarchy.

An accident of history ensured her death was largely ignored. Circumstances sometimes conspire to ensure important events are ignored because they are eclipsed by something deemed more important.

Since the announcement Britain would leave the European Union, the world has obsessed about the resignation of the Prime Minister, turbulence on the markets and a shake up in Brussels so seismic the bloc might not even survive.

But, just like the death of Mother Teresa, the resignation of the United Kingdom Independence Party leader, Nigel Farage, has been largely ignored. It’s not just that no one cares about his tiny political party—there is also an assumption his whole movement will now simply die anyway.

Farage called his supporters ‘The People’s Army’, implying he stood for the silent majority now rising up against their discredited political masters. At times his supporters looked more like a disorganized rabble than an army. Frequent mistakes on social media led to ridicule by political professionals. But, always remember, in the end they won.

The secret to their success was very simple: there were lots of them and they were astonishingly dedicated. They never believed they  would win the referendum but now they have tasted victory they appear to like it.

I first met Nigel Farage long before most political journalists, it was in 1999 during a parliamentary by-election in Northern England. In a pub in Wigan (he’s famed for his love of beer) he  told me he planned to forge a political movement that would smash the establishment and pull Britain out of the EU. I thought he was insane.

Fast forward 17 years and the political establishment he loathes lays broken on the floor, with Britain’s membership of the EU the price they paid for ignoring him.

The Farage strategy was very simple: to harass Conservative MPs by standing against them, forcing them to choose  between the EU and their treasured seats in Parliament… His candidates did not  need to win, they just needed to ensure they split the vote so the Conservative didn’t win either.

He bet his shirt that Conservative MPs were not willing to lose for the sake of the EU. He told me explicitly once that he only bullied Conservatives because “at the end of the day only a Conservative Prime Minister will pull us out of the EU.”

I’ll let you into a secret: Farage has already told friends (and me) he won’t be leaving the European Parliament when Brexit happens. His anti-EU grouping in EuroParl want him to stay on as leader and have offered him a number of different seats in the countries in which they have representation. As it happens, I expect him to pop up as a Dutch MEP at the next election—but that’s not the important point for Britain.

Brexit happened for two reasons: firstly Farage bullied David Cameron into a  referendum, secondly his people’s army delivered votes from Northern England.

His departure clears the way for a new UKIP leader, both front-runners are working class boys from the North-West of England. Farage is a millionaire former city trader from leafy Kent. His replacement won’t wear a silk-lined suit and handmade shoes.

More importantly, the next UKIP leader won’t have to spend time bullying Conservative MPs to force a referendum. Instead, they can concentrate on soaking up the support of the disaffected working class that Farage never had the chance to dig into.

The next UKIP leader will re-brand the party and attack the liberals that dominate the left in Northern England. Expect fireworks, and do not for one second assume this war is over. The People’s Army just broke the EU—now their march through Northern England could change everything.

In 1999 I thought they were mad to believe they could beat Brussels. In 2016 they say they want government… I won’t be stupid enough to write them off this time.

Andre Walker is a Lobby Correspondent covering the work of the British Parliament and Prime Minister. Before studying journalism at the University of London he worked as a political staffer for 15 years. You can follow him on Twitter @andrejpwalker