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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

UKIP continue to lose Parliamentarians

UKIP's unique record of losing MEPs at a rate unparalleled amongst any other political party has continued with the departure of their former leader, Diane James. Of the 40 people ever to have served as UKIP MEPs, thirteen, 32.5% of the total, have either now quit the party or been expelled

Once considered a rising star, Diane James left Ukip, saying her relationship with the party had become "increasingly difficult" and will now sit in the European Parliament as an Independent.

As the Independent reports, infighting has plagued UKIP since Mr Farage stood down, with one high-profile dispute involving leadership hopeful Steven Woolfe culminating in him leaving the party and claiming it was in a "death spiral":

In a statement, Ms James said the president of the European parliament, Martin Shultz, had accepted her request to stand as an independent.

"At a high profile public event in Cambridge last week, I was asked why I had not completed the process to become leader of UKIP," she said.

"I had little option, but to give the truthful response that, although nominated leader by popular vote in the membership, I found that I had no support within the executive and thus no ability to carry forward the policies on which I had campaigned.

"My decision to retire from the election process and not complete it was very difficult personally and professionally, given that Ukip has dominated my life and all my efforts for over five years.

"In recent weeks, my relationship with the party has been increasingly difficult and I feel it is now time to move on."

It is looking increasingly like Steven Woolfe may have been right and that UKIP, now devoid of a purpose, is in a death spiral.
We may not have seen the last of Ms James, who proved to be a considerable campaigner during the Eastleigh by-election. For the time being, she is content to draw salary and expenses from the European Parliament solely for herself rather than contribute to a party for which she sees no future.

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