Two UKIP parliamentary candidates have put their names to a motion of no confidence in Winston McKenzie standing for the party at the General Election in May.
Gaffe-prone McKenzie, the “Chump from the Dump”, was suspended as chairman of the Lambeth and Croydon North UKIP branch last week, and the entire branch’s activities suspended while an investigation is conducted into the local party’s affairs.
Paul Oakley, from UKIP’s London regional office, distributed an email to Lambeth and Croydon North members late last Wednesday ordering them not to speak to the media. This email followed a meeting of members, organised by Coulsdon parking campaigner Peter Morgan, who was suspended from his UKIP membership by McKenzie last month.
The email from Oakley, seen by Inside Croydon, said:
“No member is to approach any press or media outlet about the branch suspension and if contacted is to refuse to comment.
“Posting on social media about this matter is similarly unacceptable. Failure to comply with this will be considered a disciplinary offence.”
The unauthorised meeting at Morgan’s house – apparently UKIP High Command is totalitarian enough to determine who may or may not meet at someone’s home – discussed a number of moves to unseat McKenzie, both as a local party official and as the parliamentary candidate for UKIP in Croydon North in the General Election.
The group has also been critical of Marianne Bowness, the ex-wife of Tory peer Lord Bowness and the treasurer of the suspended UKIP branch.
A number of motions critical of both McKenzie and Marianne Bowness have been discussed, as members have become angry about the treatment of committee member Peter Kirby, who was removed from office and then expelled from the branch by McKenzie. One of the motions calls on McKenzie to step aside as UKIP parliamentary candidate for Croydon North, and asked for the party’s national executive to remove him if he refuses to do so.
These motions were all signed by several members, and more than just a couple of “disruptive characters” and troublemakers, as McKenzie has claimed. Significantly, the signatories included Bruce Machan and Ace Nnorom. Machan is UKIP’s parliamentary candidate in Streatham, while Nnorom will be standing in Vauxhall.
Today, Nnorom, a former Labour Party activist, confirmed that he had signed the various motions, including that of no confidence in McKenzie as an election candidate.
Nnorom told Inside Croydon:
“It was an email written by a member and my name was used because I said I will support the outcome of the meeting. There has not yet been any meeting for this vote to take place.
“Members just have disagreements on certain issues, that is all. And these issues can be resolved amicably.”
Nnorom denied that he had been instructed not to speak to the media “by anyone”. He also said that he has a “good working relationship with every member of the branch, including Winston”.
“The problem within UKIP’s Lambeth and North Croydon has been taken out of all proportion. This matter was a simple internal issue concerning the branch, which should have been resolved amicably by all and sundry.
“I supported the outcome of a meeting held to discuss matters related to financial dealings within the branch but the meeting came out with a proposal of vote of no confidence. Now, the party leaders are seeking to resolve all issues related to Lambeth and North Croydon.”
Ukip has suspended one of its branches, including a senior figure in the party, during an investigation but have refused to comment on what they will investigate.
Winston McKenzie, the party’s Commonwealth spokesman, has been stripped of the local role as chairman of the Lambeth and North Croydon branch, a spokesman said, along with the rest of the branch.
Ukip declined to say what the investigation will look into or why it was launched but the suspension comes after a letter of no confidence in Mr McKenzie was backed by a number of members, according to the Croydon Advertiser.
The Lambeth and North Croydon branch of Ukip has been suspended, along with its officers, pending the outcome of an internal inquiry into its activities.
Winston McKenzie remains our PPC.
We don’t comment on internal investigations.
– Ukip spokesman
Mr McKenzie has regularly hit the headlines for his outspoken views, including describing placing children for adoption with same-sex couples as “unhealthy” and “tantamount to child abuse.”
During a Ukip carnival held in Croydon earlier this year that quickly descended into chaos, he described the area as “unsafe and a dump.”
During his political career he has been a member of Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives and the now defunct Veritas party as well founding his own group, the Unity Party.
UKIP has been kicked out its offices in Croydon, after a group of HIV activists dumped a pile of horse manure outside on World AIDS Day.
ACT UP London staged a protest outside UKIP’s Croydon North and Lambeth office last week, in reaction to “bulls**t” offensive statements by UKIP on HIV.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage said in October, when asked whether which kinds of people should be allowed to enter the UK: “People who do not have HIV, to be frank. That’s a good start.”
The party’s local chairman Winston McKenzie told Steven Downes of Inside Croydon that the protest “was the last straw” for their office owners – and UKIP will have to find a new home.
An email to party members said: “I have recently been informed by our Deputy Chairman, Barry Slayford, that after careful consideration and advice from the Police, who he informs me have been very specific, Barry Slayford is no longer willing to allow his premises to be used to accommodate UKIP Branch meetings.
“In view of the continued arguments, accusations, disregard for Party Rules and complete disruption by certain members of the Branch, he insists that he has no alternative but to adhere to the advice of Croydon Police.
“He assures me that he will email all concerned imminently. Any Meetings that were scheduled for December are now cancelled with immediate effect.
“The matter has been referred to the R.O., Paul Oakley. On Monday morning I will notify the Party Chairman accordingly.”
Mr McKenzie initially refused to discuss the matter with Inside Croydon, saying: “When you wrote about me last time, you made me look like an idiot.”
However, he eventually confirmed: “I’m in the process now of looking for new offices. [The protest] was the last straw.
“It’s not just police advice… there’s been some disruption within the local party, with a couple of people who continue to disrupt the meetings.”
Dan Glass, a spokesperson for ACT UP, told PinkNews: “ACT UP can’t say we’re overcome with sympathy, having heard UKIP are being kicked out from their London office.
“They’ve expended a great deal of energy sowing division between neighbours and hostility against minorities. This just reinforces our original message: what goes around comes around.
“We’re confident the vast majority of Londoners would be happy to send the message that UKIP are not welcome here. ACT UP will continue to expose UKIP for the bigots they are.”
Confusion over Ukip future of gaffe-prone Matthew Ellery after winning seat despite branding women ‘pug ugly’Posted: December 21, 2014
A Ukip candidate who branded the women in his town ‘pug ugly’ and whose future with the party is in doubt after he said he ‘felt like stabbing someone’ on Facebook has remarkably won a seat in Basingstoke.
Matthew Ellery, 22, earned a place on Basingstoke and Deane borough council after winning one of two seats in Brighton Hill South, a result that prompted party deputy chairman Neil Hamilton to explain ‘perhaps some women like people talking dirty to them’.
But Ukip appear to be unsure as to whether Mr Ellery is still one of their representatives, after distancing themselves from him following his Facebook gaffe.
In an awkward interview with BBC Berkshire, Ukip councillor Stephen West insisted that Mr Ellery was still a part of Ukip.
‘He’s going to be a Ukip councillor,’ he said. ‘He’s been elected on a Ukip mandate.’
But Ukip party agent Phil Heath interrupted the interview to say ‘nothing’s been decided’.
‘He’s an independent and we’ll see what happens,’ he added.
After Mr Ellery took to Twitter to defend himself, Alan Stone – the Ukip leader on Basingstoke council and the father of the 22-year-old Bournemouth University student – defended his Facebook comments to the Basingstoke Gazette.
‘Bear in mind he is a student and the comments were what you would expect from a student,’ he said.
‘As a lad, he is extremely intelligent.’
The technique of insulting your constituency didn’t work so well for Winston McKenzie, who was not elected after as Ukip councillor of Croydon after branding it ‘a dump’.
Godfrey Bloom, the outspoken MEP who had the Ukip whip withdrawn after jokingly calling a roomful of women “sluts”, has made another gag – involving child molesters.
Speaking to the Huffington Post UK, Bloom, who is currently an independent MEP and not standing again in this Thursday’s European elections, said that he was looking forward to no longer having to tell people that he was an MEP. “Sometimes I try and pretend that I’m a child molester,” he quipped.
In less close-to-the-knuckle remarks, the ex-Ukip MEP, who infamously derided Britain’s aid to “bongo bongo land”, weighed in over Ukip’s disastrous carnival that the party hosted in Croydon in a bid to rebuff allegations of racism.
Bloom said that events like Ukip’s carnival smacked of “tokenism” and were a sign that the party was “slipping into political correctness”.
He said: “Ukip have got a problem and that is you tend to inherit the politically correct lexicon and you start nodding in the direction of tokenism and it follows through for policy. They’re slipping into political correctness.
“I fear we may be drifting into a ‘don’t frighten the horses’ policy,” he said, warning that the party was adopting an attitude of “let’s go mainstream and let’s do all the things the main parties do”.
Nigel Farage has fought to dismiss suggestions that Ukip was racist, with the Ukip leader using a London rally earlier this month to show off the party’s ethnic candidates, saying: “Please do not call us a racist party.”
Ukip’s Croydon carnival was thrown into chaos on Tuesday after the steel band walked out and dozens of anti-Ukip protesters had assembled for the carnival, with one holding up a sign saying: “We are Romanians and we don’t feel comfortable with your racism.”
Bloom said that Ukip’s tactics to rebuff allegations of racism “ring a little like saying ‘Some of my best friends are black'”, but admitted that it can be “very difficult’ to avoid doing anything else.
“If you accuse a party of being racist, they’re going to stand up and say well that’s not true we’ve got lots of BME people. It’s very difficult, how would you counter that accusation?”
Farage was forced to back out of appearing at the Ukip carnival, where he was set to make a speech and an appeal to black and ethnic minority voters, citing security concerns.
Winston McKenzie, who stood as the Ukip candidate for parliament in the constituency’s 2012 by-election and organised the carnival, said there were “certain situations you have to avoid” and that Croydon had “become a dump”.
Bloom declined to say if he agreed with McKenzie’s about the area becoming a “dump” as “I don’t think I’ve been to Croydon for 40 years and I couldn’t tell you how it is.”
The ex-Ukip MEP, who used by the party’s economics spokesman, attacked the reporting of the carnival for “keeping out” Mckenzie but “interviewing the British blacks playing in the steel band.”
Farage earlier this week tried to explain away controversial comments about the desirability of living next door to Romanians by saying he was “tired out”.
Bloom, who shares a flat with Farage in Brussels, said that the Ukip leader would be “over-tired at this stage of the campaign” and “been run ragged”.
He partly blamed the fact that Farage was a “hopeless delegator”, remarking: “General Monty made sure he got his 7 hours a night, and he wasn’t making mistakes!”
The steel band booked to play Nigel Farage’s carnival in Croydon refused to play after learning the show was for UKIP.
Dressed in their bright orange t-shirts Endurance Steel Orchestra got half way through a track when they decided to stop playing.
Speaking to UKIP candidate Winston McKenzie the band leader Marlon Hibbett said: “I did not know what we were coming here to do and if it had been made clear I would not have been here today.
“UKIP is not something that I agree with and I feel like I have been used.”
But Mr McKenzie said “I said to you we are holding a political conference, can you play and you said ‘no problem’.”
Mr Farage was due to appear in Croydon at 2.30pm but has yet to appear.
It is understood his team is assessing the security risks.