I did not go to this event. Like Mr Allen, a moderator on Buthcher's forum not unfriendly to UKIP I found the list of speakers pretty dreadful for a nationalist party. I did not listen to Mr Farage's speech as they are always the same.
How many attended? The BBC report click on link to read put the number at 400 to 500, roughly half that claimed by the increasingly unbelievable Mr Crowther.
The BBC quoted UKIP's founder Alan Sked, who wrote to the The Times to say: "UKIP has been fooling its voters and members for far too long. Its third-rate leaders, propagandists and MEPs all need to be sacked and the party re-established.". The deputy political editor of the Independent on the Friday Daily Politics show commented in similar vein on the low quality of UKIP's leadership citing Malcolm Pearson who went on the UKIP conference Daily Politics show last year admitting he did not know what was in the party manifesto! Unbelievable in any other political party other than UKIP.
The most depressing thing from my viewpoint was the inclusion of Neil Hamilton the former MP disgraced over his alleged involvement in the cash for questions scandal as a platform speaker and NEC candidate. It is reported he now describes himself as whiter than white. Some mistake surely. It was the Independent man in the White suit who defeated Hamilton in the 97 General Election overturning one of the biggest Tory majorities in the country.
It merely adds to UKIP's list of Tory rejects, Gill, Bannerman and now Hamilton. The serious point is that UKIP can never be more than a Tory pressure group with such ex-Tories involved.
Alan Sked made this point many years ago on leaving Farage's EUKIP a party Sked detested. As I opined recently UKIP has to be a clean centre ground party to make real progress and win MPs. Marta Andreasen had her stall in the foyer and has already called for Nigel Farage to resign over the local election fiasco.
As the BBC journo described UKIP,, " the bickering group that numbers council election gains in single figures, despite a knack for attracting television personalities of a certain age?" To which I would add defunct Tories and wannabe juveniles both of little talent