In my blog of 11th Dec I noted how proud I was of my local branch committee over the support they gave me following my illegitimate expulsion from the NEC. I reproduce it below.
"On Tuesday, 9th Dec, I attended a meeting of my local branch committee to which our excellent chairman, Ken Perry, had invited our RO and long time friend of Mr Farage, Malcolm Wood to explain by what authority the NEC could remove an elected member whose only crime was to disagree with some of the great leader's views. Ken and the other committee members were clear that they were minded to dissolve the branch if necessary. I was humbled and proud of the way Ken and all the committee members refused to be distracted by Mr Wood's dissembling and obfuscation. They repeated their argument that UKIP's ruling cabal had no democratic authority to expel me. That by so doing they were behaving just like the EU and were turning UKIP into a Fascist organisation. Why do we have elections at all if the NEC ignores the result? How can the NEC be prosecutor, judge and jury in its own case? They have written to Nuttall demanding I be reinstated.The decision to disband will be deferred until they get his answer but they demand his answer by Xmas. "
Mr Nuttall's reply came by snail mail. Mr Nuttall does not like using email as it can be copied on too easily so UKIP has to live with the resulting inefficiency.
Dear Mr. Perry,
You are absolutely correct to state that NEC members are elected. Equally, when a member chooses to put their name forward to the NEC, they are making a commitment that they will behave with integrity in certain matters.
They agree to the principle that they will not publicly criticise NEC decisions. They agree to the principle that they will conduct themselves in a reasonable manner during meetings. Should they 'fall far below these standards, they have let down both UKIP and all of the members who voted for them. As with any election, they are elected subject to the standard rules that members have to follow.
The NEC has the right to expel or suspend a member of the commit-tee under Rule 7.l 8 of the UKIP Constitution, however, due to the seriousness of such a move, it requires a two-thirds majority. Rule 7. 1 8 of the UKIP Constitution states that grounds for expulsion/suspension from the NEC shall be the following:
· Public opposition outside the NEC to measures duly approved by it if it is considered that the said public opposition has caused or is likely to cause the Party or its leadership to be brought into public disrepute.
· Breaching of NEC or Party confidentiality.
· Persistent non-attendance at its meetings without good cause.
· Unbecoming conduct in the course of NEC meetings.
Eric Edmond's case concerned a breach of the fourth of these, namely unbecoming conduct in the course of NEC meetings.
At the meeting of and November, the NEC considered that it had no option but to make such a decision.
Having been present at that meeting and having spoken to some of the NEC members concerned, l know that this action was taken with a heavy heart. Nevertheless, the breaches of the rule were deemed so serious that without such action being taken, the integrity of UKIP'S highest decision-making body would have been undermined. Consequently, the votes taken on the expulsions of Eric Edmond and David Abbott were passed by a majority of 1 1-0 and 9-0 (2 abstentions) respectively.
I cannot, as Party Chairman, override a unanimous decision taken by the democratically-elected committee and therefore I am unable to agree to your request for Eric Edmond to be re-admitted to the UK Independence Party NEC.
Paul Nuttall (Chairman, UK Independence Party)
First note there are no specific details given of my alleged mis-conduct. That is because there was no improper conduct by David Abbott or me. Consider however the conduct of my accusers.
At the NEC on Nov 3rd N Farage admitted he had deliberately set up Martin Haslam to be phoned by a journalist from the Independent so that he, Farage, could then demand Martin's resignation for speaking to the press without informing NF. NF then brazenly added he had done this to 'test' Martin's loyalty. David, Martin and I told NF that this was a despicable thing to do to his blameless NEC colleague and we left the meeting in protest. Del Young left 5 minutes later and in our absence we were voted off the NEC. Is not entrapping NEC colleagues unbecoming conduct? It is difficult to work with some one who you know at any time will be seeking to entrap you.
This is the reason the expulsion votes were unanimous. They were taken in the absence of me, David and Del, all of whom would have voted against. The authors of the allegations, Bannerman, an EU employee and Oxley were both allowed to vote on their own case. Clearly UKIP NEC believes in EU style justice. UKIP now behaves like the EU, a worrying development.
A few weeks earlier D Bannerman had attempted to entrap David Abbott into leaking by sending out a spoof email appearing to go to all the NEC but in fact only going to David Abbott. David and I spotted this crude device. We demanded an explanation from Bannerman for his duplicitous behavior but of course got none. Is Bannerman's deceitful action not conduct unbecoming an NEC member? How can one trust and work with someone who does this to their colleagues?
At an earlier meeting in September, M Zuckerman went off on a loud rant against me that was heard in the corridor outside accusing me of being mentally ill with Tourettes. This was a slander on me and a deeply hurtful insult to those genuine sufferers from Tourettes. Is this not unbecoming conduct?
On a number of occasions after David Abbott has spoken N Farage broke out into a schoolboy chant, "BNP, BNP, BNP". Is this not unbecoming, childish conduct?
I have never seen or been given any NEC rules of procedure. D Denny claimed he had such rules but when I asked him for a copy he said he would have to 'get them typed up'! That says it all about UKIP NEC procedures. They are made up to suit the ruling cabal as circumstances demand.
Nuttall's statement, "As with any election, they are elected subject to the standard rules that members have to follow." is quite ludicrous. Did UKIP insist Mr Spink resign and fight his seat when he left the Tories for UKIP? The only 'rule' is to honestly represent the electorate to the best of your ability. Of course not every party member will have voted for me but my job was to try and represent the views of all the members as honestly as I could. I chose to do this by upholding a policy of truth, decency, honesty and transparency. One thing however is certain, no one voted Nuttall, Arnott or Andreasen onto the NEC. They have no democratic legitimacy. They are Nigel Farage's place men and can be removed by Farage any time he chooses. They therefore cannot disagree with Mr Farage.
Nuttall's final comment "I cannot, as Party Chairman, override a unanimous decision taken by the democratically-elected committee" is pure Animal Farm. All democratically elected members are equal but some are obviously less equal than others as in the case of David Abbott and myself.
The history of UKIP NEC speaks for itself. It is people like N Farage, D Bannerman, and M Zuckerman etc who have exhibited unbecoming behavior at the NEC. Nevertheless I would never have voted for their expulsion on such a charge as they were democratically elected. Democracy means accepting you have to work with people you don’t like or agree with. In Bannerman’s position however I would have stood down when I became a hired hand of the EU.
The truth is David Abbott, Martin Haslam and I have behaved correctly but we have asked questions about subjects, particular party finances, that the cabal wish to keep secret from our members. That, and that alone, is why we were expelled.