Farage's obsession with EU money and leading a Pan European party is nothing new. During the last Euro parliament it drove Roger Knapman out of the IndDem group to sit with the unaligned Hannan and Helmer as Nikki now does. Roger sought a democratic mandate for his action from the South West membership and received 92% support for his actions. I reproduce Roger's letter to the membership below.
UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY
SOUTH WEST COUNTIES
Office of Roger Knapman MEP
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.ukip.org
10 April 2008
I would like to know your views on an important issue of principle that affects our Party and our cause. I am therefore carrying out this thorough consultation exercise and have pledged to be bound by the result.
I enclose a voting paper and freepost envelope. Please return this as soon as you can. This issue is important because it is about where we position ourselves as a Party. It is also about where our priorities lie. These are the fundamental questions as I see them:
Should UKIP concentrate its efforts in the UK and have only a limited involvement in the European Parliament, or should we put major effort into participating fully in the European Parliament process?
Should we join with other Parties in working for reform of the EU from within (whilst retaining of course our long-term withdrawalist agenda) or should we stick solely and purely to the principle of withdrawal?
Currently UKIP is an integral part of the Ind/Dem Group in the European Parliament. At first there seemed to be some attractions in this, but the way things developed has gave me growing doubts. For some time now I have been arguing privately that we should withdraw.
The recent statement from the co-leader of the Group that he has been converted from wanting withdrawal to reform of the EU is really the final straw. I feel I must now detach myself from IndDem. If I did, I would technically sit as a non-aligned UKIP MEP, like the non-aligned Tory MEPs Roger Helmer and Daniel Hannan who similarly object to being part of a European Group.
If I give this lead I hope fellow UKIP MEPs will follow. I would, of course, remain a full member of UKIP and it would be my intention to devote the bulk of my energies to campaigning for the Party in the South West.
To enable you to pass an informed opinion, I enclose a summary of the arguments.
This is an issue of principle and therefore about the direction of our Party. This is your Party and so this is your choice.
Roger Knapman MEP
PS Please let me have your views on the ballot paper in the enclosed newsletter.
It is clear Farage is determined to lead UKIP into a Pan European reformist party with himself as leader at all costs. First Roger now Nikki.
In the UKIP constitution it states UKIP is a non-racist, non sectarian democratic party. Nikki as UK MEP, democratically elected, on that mandate is honour bound to her electorate to refuse to sit with the racist, neo-Nazi parties that comprise the non-UKIP part of the EFD group. I unequivocally support her stand on this huge point of principle. Farage and his Cabal are selling UKIP out to the EU. We must all support Nikki in her struggle and let her know she has her support.
Nikki is due to appear before the NEC on Monday to answer these trumped up charges against her. I have been there. It insults Aussie wild life to describe it as a kangaroo court. She will be judged by people like Clark who signed us up to the EU subsidiarity principle against UKIP policy and Gill who waived half a dozen UKIP rules to allow Andreasen to stand as a UKIP candidate and who has already instigated actions detrimental to Nikki. She can expect no natural justice from the NEC but it does not end there. As an elected representative of the UK people Nikki can, and I hope will, seek the protection of the UK courts in this matter so that Farage and his Cabal can be held up to the public ridicule they deserve for their arrogant and self seeking actions.