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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

UKIP crisis threatens to take them even further to right wing extremes

Faced with an acrimonious extraordinary meeting on Saturday, scheduled to determine the fate of its lotharion leader, Henry Bolton, the disintegration of UKIP is continuing apace.

The Mirror reports that the party's chairman, Paul Oakden has resigned from his role. In an email to party members, Oakden said his last act as Chairman will be to chair Saturday's extraordinary meeting. Bolton is the fifth leader on Paul Oakden's watch, which says more about the identity crisis faced by UKIP than the competence of its chairman.

Presumably, Mr. Oakden cannot face the prospect of a sixth leader, especially if the Telegraph is correct in predicting that the favourite to succeed Bolton is UKIP MEP, Gerard Batten, who described Islam as a “death cult”.

If Bolton loses the no confidence vote then the party's NEC will meet almost immediately to elect an interim leader. This person would then be tasked with steering the ship for 90 days before a permanent replacement is elected.

John Bickley, a member of the NEC and UKIP's treasurer, said that it was the intention of the "majority" of the NEC to "immediately vote in" Mr Batten as interim leader if Mr Bolton loses. Lord Pearson, one of the party's three peers, has suggested Mr Batten could ultimately become permanent leader.

A party which started out on the right will then have moved even further to the fringes as part of its long march back to irrelevance.
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