Authorization

UKIP MEP quits over leader's support for Robinson

By Greg Heffer, political reporter
An MEP quit UKIP after 22 years due to the party's support for anti-Islam campaigner Tommy Robinson.
James Carver resigned from UKIP, which he first joined in 1996, earlier this week claiming he found himself "increasingly out of kilter with the party".
Explaining the reasons for his departure further to Sky News, the West Midlands MEP cited UKIP leader Gerard Batten's attendance at a demonstration in support of Robinson.Mr Carver said: "I haven't left UKIP, UKIP has left me."On Tuesday, Robinson, real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, was jailed for 10 months for contempt of court and a further three months for breaching the terms of a previous suspended sentence.Robinson was arrested on Friday outside Leeds Crown Court after using social media to broadcast details of a current trial which is subject to blanket reporting restrictions.His arrest prompted protests by Robinson's supporters - including Mr Batten - outside Downing Street, during which some were pictured climbing the gates leading to Number 10.
UKIP MEP quits over leader's support for Robinson

Image:
James Carver will now sit as an independent MEP
Mr Carver claimed Mr Batten had "completely misread" the Robinson case and revealed "a lot" of UKIP's membership are "very, very disappointed" by their leader's stance.Mr Carver suggested UKIP's previous record of being "strong on law and order" had been put in doubt by Mr Batten's support for Robinson.He will now sit as an independent MEP in the European Parliament, adding: "I've got to have a clear conscience, if my conscience isn't clear I can't serve my constituents."Of the 24 UKIP MEPs elected to the European Parliament in 2014, four now sit as independents, one defected to the Tories and one has been expelled from the party.Responding to Mr Carver's comments, Mr Batten told Sky News the MEP hadn't made the same remarks to himself.He said: "If he disagreed with me on something he could have told me. He could also have stayed in the party and argued his case."Mr Carver [as an MEP] enjoys a very good salary, expense allowance and will eventually get a pension. Party members provided that for him and he's betrayed the membership in my opinion."He hasn't provided me with a coherent reason for why he's gone."
UKIP MEP quits over leader's support for Robinson

Image:
Gerard Batten attended a protest in support of Robinson
Mr Carver revealed - with 10 months left until Britain quits the EU - he had been told by the two candidates below him on UKIP's list for European Parliament representatives not to give up his seat for them.On his decision to leave UKIP, he added: "Everybody's entitled to change their views."
Mr Carver claimed both Brexit and UKIP are neither "left wing or right wing" and that his former party needs to again reach out to those "completely disenfranchised" voters who supported leaving the EU in 2016.He added, as an independent MEP, it will now be "far easier to talk about the Brexit narrative" and "what sort of country" the UK should be beyond Brexit.However, Mr Carver did praise Mr Batten for a "fantastic job" in reorganising UKIP's structures after a lengthy bout of party infighting and a series of leadership changes since the EU referendum.He will now concentrate on his family umbrella business if Brexit, and the end of the UK's representation at the European Parliament, brings to an end his involvement in politics next year.Mr Carver quipped: "It's disappointing, but maybe it might rain forever?"After taking over the UKIP leadership from ousted Henry Bolton, Mr Batten was reported to have warned local branches of insolvency if the party could not raise more funds.He recently declared the party was "now back in the black".On Wednesday, it was revealed UKIP offered no reportable donations to the Electoral Commission between January and the end of March this year.UKIP's ex-MEPs:Amjad Bashir: Defected to the Tories in January 2015 claiming he had "experienced racism" in UKIP.Janice Atkinson: Expelled from UKIP in March 2015 for "bringing the party into disrepute" amid allegations about her expense claims.Steven Woolfe: Departed in October 2016 following an "altercation" with fellow MEP Mike Hookem in the European Parliament. He claimed the party had become ungovernable and was in "a death spiral".Diane James: Quit UKIP in November 2016 weeks after she ended her 18-day tenure as party leader, during which she suggested she served "under duress".
More from UKIP

Neil Hamilton sacked as UKIP's Wales leader


All you need to know about the local elections


UKIP confirms Gerard Batten as new leader


Nigel Farage: UKIP faces 'real battle to survive' over ?175,000 legal costs


Tories heading for 'record all-time low' in London local elections


UKIP peer Lord Pearson invites ex-EDL leader Tommy Robinson to Parliament

Jonathan Arnott: Resigned from the party in June last year and launched an attack on the party's "anti-Islam messages" after it shed millions of voters at the snap general election.James Carver: Resigned in May this year citing party leader Gerard Batten's support for jailed Tommy Robinson.
news.sky.com
See also:
Leave a comment
News
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    Июнь 2018    »
ПнВтСрЧтПтСбВс
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930