To lose one MEP … ah, but the remains of the motley convocation of saloon bar propper-uppers otherwise known as UKIP has now lost ten of them, the latest to depart leaving only this morning. Patrick “Lunchtime” O’Flynn, who left another sinking ship, the increasingly desperate Express, to join the Kippers’ Brussels contingent, has added his name to those unhappy at the alleged leadership of Gerard Batten.
As the Guardian reports, “Lunchtime” “is the third MEP to leave in two months over Batten’s anti-Islam views and policies … said the final straw for him had been Batten’s ‘apparent and growing fixation with Tommy Robinson’”. The appointment by Batten of Stephen Yaxley Lennon as an advisor, along with involving the Kippers in next month’s protest against Theresa May’s Brexit deal, pushed him over the edge.
He has told that “[Instead] making a broad offer to Brexit voters … he has done the opposite, appointing Robinson as his policy adviser and announcing a plan for Ukip to be centrally involved in a mass demonstration being planned by Robinson on the issue of Brexit. This is despite the last two street demonstrations attended by Gerard ending up with some demonstrators engaging in very ugly scenes”.
Strangely, O’Flynn has joined the rump of the SDP, the party formed amid much fanfare by the ex-Labour “Gang of Four” in the early 1980s, which under the leadership of Roy Jenkins could not have been more pro-European. Most of the SDP’s representatives and members became part of the Lib Dems; the remainder were effectively David Owen’s personality cult. The party now supports Britain leaving the EU.
So what has Adolf von Batten said about the latest MEP departure from his party? Nothing. Not a peep. His Twitter feed has been silent for some hours now. Nor has his new pal Yaxley Lennon. Is he worried about Nigel “Thirsty” Farage having him removed? The former UKIP Oberscheissenführer wasn’t impressed with his latest appointment.
As the BBC has reported, “Last week Mr Farage said he would write to UKIP's ruling National Executive Committee to demand a vote of no confidence in Mr Batten as leader, saying he was damaging both the party and the Brexit cause … He described Mr Robinson as ‘a man who's done four prison sentences, lives under a pseudonym and wherever he goes there's violence’”. Batten’s reply was risible.
“Mr Batten defended his decision, describing Mr Robinson as ‘courageous’”. Stephen Yaxley Lennon “courageous”? The thug who turns up mob-handed on people’s doorsteps in the dead of night? The same person who, according to Football Lads and Lasses Against Fascism, turned up at a reunion for Luton FC “firms” with ten bodyguards? The one who can be heard after he got decked shouting “where’s my fucking bodyguard”?
Gerard Batten took over a party which had leadership problems, but a reasonably stable membership and more than 20 MEPs. Now it has neither. This is not a coincidence.
So inept, he destroyed his own party. Just rejoice at that news.
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