Friday, 11 December 2009

John West wins in court against UKIP

When on UKIP NEC I opposed the despicable treatment John West received at the hands of the UKIP cabal. This matter is now running on the democracy forum and I copy the post I made there below in response to a comment made by Tony Butcher describing the incident as 'an unfortunate episode'.

"Tony, it was not an unfortunate episode, it was a deliberate nasty attempt to smear a decent honest man who had worked hard for UKIP in the Eastern region to ensure he would not be on the Eastern Region MEP slate and hence enhance Bannerman's prospects in the MEP selection poll. It was for this same reason that Robin Page was fiddled off the UKIP Eastern region MEP slate on very spurious grounds.

Bannerman had a clear interest in this matter but I do not recollect him recusing himself from the NEC discussion of the John West or Robin Page issues.

Del, David and I fought hard at the NEC for exactly the course you suggest, an unreserved apology by John Whittaker, then party chairman, to John West. We also asked for a full internal investigation to establish who posted this person's confidential material. My understanding was that the only people who had access to this video were Clive Page & Annabelle Fuller. I also understand Nigel Farage saw all these trial media videos.

John Whittaker stated at the NEC that he was 'not minded to take the matter further' and left John West with no option but to take court action to defend his reputation.

Sending little Arnott and Reeve to represent UKIP was pathetic. It was a job for the party chairman, presumably still Paul Nuttall until Pearson replaces him, and UKIP's solicitor and NEC member, Zuckerman. Their failure to appear in court to put UKIP's case speaks volumes.

I should add that Zuckerman and Bannerman were on the NEC that considered what action to take on this matter. They both supported the do nothing line. They are both still on UKIP NEC. David Abbott and I were voted off the NEC on charges trumped up by Bannerman. Del was so disgusted he refused to stand again for the NEC. Nuttall subsequently threw him out of UKIP on other erroneous charges.

It was a sordid and disgraceful episode that I know David, Del and I still feel soiled and dirtied by. We did all we could to rectify the situation. The Cabal has an overwhelming majority on UKIP NEC. The UKIP constitution allows them to remove on trumped up charges democratically elected members from the NEC who disagree with their actions."

I should add that the jockying for position on MEP lists in UKIP is a sordid business. EU MEPs are not elected on their own merits. They are party nominees voted onto an ordered list by party members. The amount of money, easily over a million ponds that finds its way into MEPs pockets makes people of little ability and qualifications behave quite disgracefully as they cannot hope for such recompense in any other walk of life. The late Piers Merchant, returning officer for these party elections, wrote a scathing report on improper practices in many regions but particularly the Eastern Region where I know his view was the whole election should be re-run.

There is no doubt in my mind that had Robin Page and John West been included on the Eastern MEP slate they would have come very high up the list indeed.

In the North West, the poll was originally won by Greg Beaman whom Farage dislikes. Within one day of winning he stood down in murky circumstances in favour of Farage's favourite Nuttall who had finished second in the poll.

In my own region the South West Malcolm Wood, the then RO, arranged speaking engagements for the Earl of Dartmouth at a number of the larger branches. Alan Wood protested that this was unfair to other candidates. Wood desisted but of course a number of these speeches had already been given. Malcolm Wood is now employed by the Earl as an advisor.

In the South East it was quite disgraceful that Andreasen, then not even a member of UKIP although waived through by ex Tory MP Chris Gill, was put on the South East slate.

In London there was similar shenanigans and Gerard Batten had to fight very hard against some dirty tricks to win through.

As St Paul said, "The love of money is the root of all evil"

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