Dying UKIP prepares for leadership contest

David Coburn (left) with former UKIP leader Nigel Farage

David Coburn (left) with former UKIP leader Nigel Farage

The United Kingdon Independence Party continues its recent record of embarrassment, stumbling around in search of credible leadership, following last week’s disastrous General Election results.

Today David Coburn, UKIP’s sole MEP in Scotland announced that he would contest the leadership vacated on Friday by Paul Nuttall, who had been in the top job for just over six months. Mr Coburn is an ally of former leader Nigel Farage, and has said that if Farage decides to return he will not stand against him.

On the same day that he expressed his interest in the party leadership, Mr Coburn (who is openly homosexual) received unwelcome publicity in the Daily Record, Scotland’s best-selling newspaper.

The Record published its investigation of Scottish Dawn, described as successor to the nationalist youth movement National Action which is banned under the Terrorism Act.

Today's Daily Record front page

Today’s Daily Record front page

Ruaidhri McKim (a Scottish Dawn activist) was secretly filmed discussing his links to National Action and the Polish nationalist organisation NOP, as well as his membership of UKIP.  Mr McKim said:
I was in UKIP for a while. Then after Brexit I just left because I didn’t see a point in it anymore. There’s lots of radical people within it, but no one with any position is a radical. UKIP Scotland was fucked man. I’ve been drunk with David Coburn – he’s really good fun. He’s a fun guy.

Mr Coburn commented:
I think this chap is grandstanding and blethering and I am surprised you are taking him remotely seriously. I am homosexual, speak Arabic and various other languages and I have spent my entire life fighting ignorance, racial and sexual intolerance. Print this crap and I will sue this individual, you and your organ.

As UKIP continues to flounder, the ugly face of British Conservatism was exposed today when it emerged that the managing director of Jennings Racing (Britain’s largest independent bookmaking chain which trades under the name Jenningsbet) had emailed 500 staff before polling day warning them that only the Conservative Party would resist gambling reforms.

British gamblers lost £1.8bn last year on the notorious Fixed Odds Terminals

British gamblers lost £1.8bn last year on the notorious Fixed Odds Terminals

Labour and the Liberal Democrats had proposed reducing the maximum stake on the notorious fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to £2.  FOBTs are notorious for fleecing gambling addicts who pump the entire contents of their wallets and purses into these terminals which have proliferated on British high streets.

Jenningsbet has 400 terminals spread across 100 high street shops.  Each machine brings in an average of £53,000 per year, with Britain’s gambling addicts losing a record £1.8bn on FOBTs in the year to last September. Jenningsbet is co-owned by three Jewish brothers, the Pears family whose ancestor changed his name from Schleicher on arriving in Britain from Austria in the 19th century.

The Pears family are noted for their philanthropy to Jewish charities and Holocaust education, having established the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck College, London.

Gambling and property tycoon Trevor Pears, whose company warned its staff that only the Tories woulod resist reform of gambling laws

Gambling and property tycoon Trevor Pears, whose company warned its staff that only the Tories would resist reform of gambling laws

 

BNP and other nationalist votes

Pendle BNP councillor and county council candidate Brian Parker

Pendle BNP councillor and parliamentary candidate Brian Parker

An extraordinary General Election that wiped out Theresa May’s Conservative majority also saw the electoral eclipse of the BNP and the English Democrats, none of whose candidates even came close to saving their deposits.

Brian Parker – the BNP’s sole remaining borough councillor – polled only 718 votes (1.6%) in Pendle, his party’s main target seat.

BNP chairman Adam Walker managed a slightly better result in Bishop Auckland, but was bottom of the poll with 991 votes (2.3%).

Meanwhile the English Democrats’ results were even worse, collapsing from an already low base. As the SNP lost support north of the border it appears that the Union is safe, and logically ‘English’ nationalism has lost relevance.

BNP results

Bexleyheath & Crayford
Peter Finch 0.6%

Bishop Auckland
Adam Walker 2.3%

Charnwood
Stephen Denham 0.6% (-0.4)

Dagenham & Rainham
Paul Sturdy 0.5% (+0.2)

Eltham
John Clarke 1.6%

Hornchurch & Upminster
David Furness 0.7% (+0.3)

Maldon [listed as ‘Fighting Unsustainable Housing’: BNP name not on ballot]
Richard Perry 0.5%

Old Bexley & Sidcup
Michael Jones 0.7% (+0.2)

Pendle
Brian Parker 1.6%

South Basildon & East Thurrock
Paul Borg 0.8%

——–

English Democrat candidates

Barnsley Central
Stephen Morris 0.5% (-0.8)

Barnsley East
Kevin Riddiough 0.7% (-0.4)

Bradford South
Thérèse Hirst 0.9%

Clacton
Robin Tilbrook 0.7%

Doncaster North
David Allen 0.9% (-0.3)

Holborn & St Pancras
Janus Polenceus 0.2%

NE Cambridgeshire
Stephen Goldspink 0.5%

Paul Nuttall (left) has succeeded Nigel Farage as UKIP leader following a period of internal turmoil. He claims that UKIP will serious challenge Labour in Northern England.

Paul Nuttall (left) succeeded Nigel Farage last year as UKIP leader following a period of internal turmoil. He resigned today after electoral humiliation,

Meanwhile those racial nationalists who believed that UKIP offered us some hope must think again after the party suffered a series of crushing defeats, ending with the resignation of humiliated leader Paul Nuttall.

Notable UKIP disasters included Clacton (formerly their sole parliamentary seat until Douglas Carswell’s resignation) where UKIP’s vote fell from 44.4% to 7.6%; Thanet South (where re-elected Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay still faces criminal charges for fraudulent overspending during his defeat of Nigel Farage in 2015) – UKIP vote down from 32.4% to 6.0%; and Boston & Skegness, a key target seat contested by Nuttall himself – UKIP vote down from 33.8% to 7.7%.

The only vaguely credible UKIP result came in Thurrock, where UKIP’s Tim Aker (an MEP from a part-Turkish background) fought a vigorous campaign against pro-Remain Tory MP Jackie Doyle-Price.  However even here the UKIP vote fell from 31.7% to 20.1%. Ms Doyle-Price survived, and Labour pushed UKIP into third place.

 

Arron Banks announces plans for post-UKIP movement

Arron Banks

Arron Banks says that UKIP has dispatched itself with “a strategic bullet to the back of the head”.

Following this week’s catastrophic election results which signalled the death of UKIP, the party’s former chief donor Arron Banks has issued a statement condemning new leader Paul Nuttall and confirming plans to launch “a new movement with radical policies and direct democracy”.

According to Banks this will “launch in the autumn after the General Election, once the electoral map has been redrawn”.

A close ally of ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage, Banks contrasted the successes of the Farage era with the shambles that UKIP has become:

“If we use the analogy of UKIP as a racing car, Nigel was a skilled driver who drove the car around the track faster and faster, knowing when to take risks, delighting the audience.

“The current leadership has crashed the car, at the first bend of the race, into the crowd, killing the driver and spectators.

“As one of the Leave.EU team said to me: a strategic bullet to the back of the head.

“It’s a sorry state of affairs.”

Click here to read H&D‘s report on this week’s local elections.

Both here and in the journal Heritage and Destiny, we will continue to bring you updated news of the general election campaign as it affects racial nationalist parties and the broader movement.

 

UKIP disappears from the political map

Will Nigel Farage return to spearhead UKIP's General Election campaign, displacing his useless successor Paul Nuttall (right)

The Party’s Over: Nigel Farage (left) is no doubt relieved not to be sharing the blame for terrible UKIP results in 2017.

The 2017 elections have been even worse than predicted for UKIP – wiped off the map with not a single councillor re-elected. The collapsing share of the vote across what were once UKIP’s strongest counties repeated the pattern observed over the past year in H&D‘s regular analysis of local by-elections: down from 14.3% to 7.4% in Lincolnshire; from 20.0% to 6.3% in Suffolk; from 23.5% to 6.0% in Norfolk; and from 27.0% to 7.4% in Essex.

The party’s only success was in Padiham & Burnley West, Lancashire, where UKIP’s Alan Hosker won the county council seat once held by the BNP’s Sharon Wilkinson. (Strangely UKIP had failed to contest this in 2013 when Cllr Wilkinson stood down.) Elsewhere in Lancashire there were some UKIP disappointments in target divisions such as Preston East, where they polled 11.3%. (H&D editor Mark Cotterill had polled 22.3% in Preston East on slightly different boundaries in 2009.) In the neighbouring Preston South East UKIP fared even worse with just 6.7%, justly punished for failure to do any campaigning in these White working class areas of the city which voted heavily Leave in last year’s EU referendum.

Total UKIP support in Lancashire was down from 14.7% to 3.0% (partly reflecting a reduced number of candidates); similarly UKIP’s vote in Devon fell from 23.3% to 4.4%.

In overnight results UKIP votes collapsed across two former strongholds, Essex and Lincolnshire.

The landslide win for ex-UKIP councillor Kerry Smith, re-elected as an independent, contrasted with the near-annihilation of his former party.

The landslide win for ex-UKIP councillor Kerry Smith, re-elected as an independent, contrasted with the near-annihilation of his former party.

Ex-UKIP county councillor Kerry Smith (who was forced to quit the party in 2014 after a row over “offensive remarks”) retained his seat with a vastly increased majority, standing as an independent in the Basildon Westley Heights division of Essex. UKIP didn’t put up a candidate against him. Cllr Smith won 60.6% of the vote this time, compared to 29.0% when he first won the seat for UKIP in 2013.

But UKIP’s own official candidates were badly beaten. Every Essex UKIP seat was lost, including another Basildon division, Laindon Park & Fryerns, where they were pushed into third place.

Staying in Essex, UKIP lost the Thundersley division (part of the Castle Point constituency) to the Tories by almost 2,000 votes.  (Last time UKIP won this by 200.) Another Castle Point seat was lost to the Tories, again by more than 2,000 votes, in the South Benfleet division; while in the Harlow divisions UKIP incompetence led to their candidates failing to be validly nominated.

Labour’s defeats last night and today will make bigger headlines (especially some heavy losses to the Tories in Warwickshire) but by any objective measure this has been an even worse election for Paul Nuttall than for Jeremy Corbyn.

If this disaster is repeated at the General Election next month, Nigel Farage and his financial backer Arron Banks are sure to go ahead with their plans for a new ‘Patriotic Alliance’ to replace UKIP.

By far the best nationalist results were predictably in Pendle, an area of Lancashire where UKIP failed to put up any candidates and where the BNP has its sole remaining borough councillor, Brian Parker.

Mr Parker finished third with 719 votes (20.4%) in Pendle Central; his colleague John Rowe who was the only White candidate for the Nelson East division polled 500 votes (10.8%).

Ex-serviceman Pete Molloy, a former BNP activist, achieved one of the few good nationalist votes standing as an independent.

Ex-serviceman Pete Molloy, a former BNP activist, achieved one of the few good nationalist votes standing as an independent.

Outside Pendle the outstanding nationalist performance was ex-BNP activist Pete Molloy’s 601 votes (14.8%) standing as an independent in Spennymoor, Durham. Admittedly this is one of the rare areas that elects independent councillors, but Mr Molloy polled more than double the UKIP vote. On a bleak night for both nationalists and UKIP this was a rare bright spot.

Another ex-BNP (and in his case ex-BDP) candidate, ex-councillor Graham Partner, polled 66 votes (2.3%) in Coalville North, Leicestershire.

Among the overnight results the BNP highlight was their Eastern region organiser Richard Perry almost overtaking the fading UKIP in Heybridge & Tollesbury, an area of Essex where the BNP has campaigned almost solely on the issue of opposing “unsustainable” housing developments. Mr Perry polled 422 votes (8.2%), only 12 votes behind UKIP – but more than 2,500 votes behind the Tory winner.

In nearby Maldon, Mr Perry’s BNP colleague Trevor Cable (again fighting on the “unsustainable housing” issue and with this slogan on the ballot paper) fared less well with 115 votes (2.4%).

In the Basildon Pitsea division, BNP candidates Paul Borg and Christine Winter finished bottom of the poll with 2.1% (the same as the NF polled in 2013). Again UKIP were badly beaten here, in a division where they had been only just behind Labour in 2013.

The BNP’s Paul Hooks was again bottom of the poll in Halstead, polling 0.5% (down from 1.1% last time).

As in Essex, UKIP was wiped out in Lincolnshire (another former stronghold which includes the Boston & Skegness constituency targeted by Nuttall) losing seats in Boston and elsewhere to the Tories.

The UKIP vote across Lincolnshire was almost halved to 7.4% from 14.3% in 2013.

Robert Ashton, the BNP’s only Lincolnshire candidate, polled 46 votes (1.5%) in Louth South. In Hayling Island, Hampshire, the sole BNP candidate John Moore took 30 votes (0.6%).

Amid the UKIP disaster in Kent, where they lost every single seat, the BNP polled modestly – even in Swanley, where there was no UKIP candidate, BNP candidate Cliff Le May managed only 2.5%, while Ronald Ball polled 1.6% in Dartford NE and Michael Cope 0.9% in Dartford W.

The only racial nationalist result in Wales was in Llangewydd & Brynhyfryd, Bridgend, where the NF’s Adam Lloyd polled 21 votes (3.0%).

Likewise the NF was the only racial nationalist party with a presence in Scotland. Outgoing NF chairman Dave MacDonald polled 29 votes (1.2%) in the Tillydrone, Seaton & Old Aberdeen ward of Aberdeen; his colleague Billy Watson had 10 votes (0.2%) in the Torry & Ferryhill ward.

 

Kevin Bryan (right) about to return as NF Chairman, was the only NF candidate in England, with his colleague Adam Lloyd (left) the only racial nationalist candidate from any party in Wales.

Kevin Bryan (right) about to return as NF Chairman, was the only NF candidate in England, with his colleague Adam Lloyd (left) the only racial nationalist candidate from any party in Wales.

NF chairman Kevin Bryan will be disappointed with his 50 votes (1.6%) in Whitworth & Bacup, Lancashire, where even UKIP only polled 9.6%: the local contest there was dominated by the Tories, who gained this redrawn seat from Labour by just 17 votes. Even before this result H&D understands the NF was likely not to field General Election candidates, having quite reasonably concluded that this fake ‘snap’ election is likely to be dominated by the destruction of UKIP and a voter reaction against Corbyn’s Labour – there will be little time for smaller nationalist parties to develop a campaign.

The only British Democratic Party candidate, Kevan Stafford in Loughborough South, Leicestershire, polled 30 votes (1.1%) in Loughborough South, Leicestershire, a division which was similarly dominated by a close Tory-Labour contest and where UKIP slipped to 3.4%. The difference is that both Mr Bryan and Mr Stafford had actually done some work (unlike most UKIP candidates), so their result was scant reward for serious effort.

There were contrasting results for the two British Resistance candidates in Worcestershire.  Party leader and former BNP organiser Carl Mason polled 11 votes (0.5%) in Nunnery, while his colleague Linda Bell fared better with 39 votes (2.0%) in Gorse Hill & Warndon.

Dr Andrew Emerson, leader of another post-BNP party Patria, polled 21 votes (0.5%) in Chichester W, West Sussex. In a simultaneous by-election for East Wittering ward, Chichester, Dr Emerson polled 18 votes (1.4%).

English Democrat leader Robin Tilbrook was the only county council candidate for his much reduced party, polling 1.7% in Ongar & Rural – an Essex division where UKIP lost two-thirds of their 2013 vote. Elsewhere the headline result for the EDs was in the Greater Manchester mayoral election, where ED candidate Steve Morris with 2.0% finished ahead of the scandal-plagued UKIP rabbi Shneur Odze on 1.9%. Meanwhile the ED mayoral candidate for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Stephen Goldspink, polled 1.1%.

 

 

 

 

UKIP’s rabbi candidate exposed in bizarre scandal

UKIP's Rabbi Shneur Odze (right) canvassing for the party with then leader Nigel Farage.

UKIP’s Rabbi Shneur Odze (right) canvassing for the party with then leader Nigel Farage.

Regular H&D readers will remember the name Shneur Odze.  He’s the rabbi from the fanatically pro-Zionist Lubavitcher sect who has long been influential in UKIP, and is contesting this week’s Greater Manchester mayoral election for Paul Nuttall’s rapidly fading party.

Previous scandals involving Rabbi Odze have included the following:

  1. More than a decade ago while serving as a Tory councillor in Hackney, he was censured and suspended from the council for three months for a serious ‘breach of trust’.
  2. At the start of the mayoral campaign a month ago, he was targeted by Liberal Democrat opponents for his politically incorrect (and religiously motivated) refusal to shake women’s hands.
  3. Just a fortnight ago, the national press reported that Rabbi Odze had burned a copy of the New Testament outside his synagogue.

Now comes what must surely be the fatal blow to Rabbi Odze’s political career.  The Mail on Sunday reports that UKIP’s rabbi has been conducting an affair with a young woman he met via a “bondage and sadomasochism website”, where the rabbi had posed as a Roman Catholic priest.

Full bizarre details of this scandal are described on the Mail on Sunday website.

Shneur Odze (right) with successive UKIP leaders Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall (left)

Shneur Odze (right) with successive UKIP leaders Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall (left)

Yet the most shocking aspect is that UKIP has been so desperate to acquire its own ‘Court Jew’, so keen for insurance against accusations of ‘racism’ or links to the BNP/NF, that it has tolerated any amount of disreputable behaviour from Odze, which would surely have led to the dismissal of any other candidate. In February 2014 Dr Fred McGlade resigned as UKIP’s North West regional organiser because the party leadership had refused to back his view that it was inappropriate for Odze to be a candidate.

Indeed UKIP continues to indulge the rabbi.  A party spokesman told the Mail‘s reporter: “This is a personal matter for Mr Odze. He has broken no law, and therefore we have no comment to make.”

As with other Christian Zionists and Friends of Israel, the truly masochistic aspect of this whole saga is UKIP’s persistent and degrading surrender to any and every outrage committed by even the most marginal and perverted representatives of Zionist Jewry.

 

Arron Banks stands aside in Clacton as part of long-term plan for post-UKIP movement

Raheem Kassam (far right) visiting the U.S. President-Elect at Trump Tower, with Banks, Farage and colleagues from UKIP and Breitbart

Arron Banks (second left) visiting the U.S. President-Elect at Trump Tower, with Nigel Farage, Raheem Kassam and colleagues from UKIP and Breitbart

Former UKIP donor Arron Banks has announced that he will not after all be standing at the General Election in the Clacton constituency.

Banks had earlier planned to stand against former UKIP MP Douglas Carswell, a bitter factional opponent of Banks and his ally Nigel Farage.

But once Carswell announced his retirement, it was only a matter of time before Banks threw in the towel.

After all, Banks no longer has any real interest in UKIP – and neither does Farage. They will have little or no involvement with the party leadership during what is likely to be a disastrous campaign, but will eschew divisive attacks on the Paul Nuttall regime until after June 8th, and will give support to various constituency-level campaigns.

Then within a day or so of the election results, the Farage faction (bankrolled by Banks) will acknowledge UKIP’s death and announce the creation of a new ‘Patriotic Movement’.

On April 25th Banks issued a Twitter message, very sensibly criticising the UKIP leadership’s anti-Islam obsession

 

Arron Banks
(@Arron_banks)

Not sure campaigning with the national party going in entirely the wrong direction is smart. I don’t approve of the war on Muslim religion https://t.co/BcKQtka2yW

April 25, 2017

Later that day UKIP’s election campaign became even more chaotic when James Carver (a West Midlands MEP) resigned as the party’s chief foreign affairs spokesman, saying that he “strongly disagreed” with the “misguided policy” of a so-called burqa ban.

Farage flies home: last chance for UKIP?

Will Nigel Farage return to spearhead UKIP's General Election campaign, displacing his useless successor Paul Nuttall (right)

Will Nigel Farage return to spearhead UKIP’s General Election campaign, displacing his useless successor Paul Nuttall (right)

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage is flying back to London from his Adriatic holiday, after Theresa May surprised the nation by calling a snap General Election for June 8th.

Farage’s key financial backer Arron Banks had planned to launch a long-expected new movement – the Patriotic Alliance – on May 5th, the day after what are likely to be disastrous local elections for UKIP.

He and other Faragistes were expected to conclude that UKIP was finished and it was time for a new approach.

At a stroke Mrs May has rendered these plans redundant, and just possibly UKIP has been handed a last-minute lifeline: but only if the present party leadership – headed by the hapless Paul Nuttall – has the courage and maturity to end Banks’s suspension and recall Farage for one last campaign.

The next question would be whether UKIP should contest every single constituency, presenting itself as an alternative government, or concentrate on a smaller number of seats held by pro-Remain MPs. The latter strategy would amount to accepting that UKIP is not a challenger for power across a range of policy areas, and is more of a pressure group to ensure that Brexit goes ahead unimpeded by recalcitrant Remainers.

Meanwhile it is understood that because Parliament will be prorogued the day before the scheduled Manchester Gorton by-election, that by-election will be cancelled: a successor to the late Sir Gerald Kaufman will be elected on June 8th as part of the General Election alongside every other constituency.

 

UKIP: The End

(left to right) Douglas Carswell MP, who quit UKIP yesterday; ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage; and prominent former party donor Arron Banks

(left to right) Douglas Carswell MP, who quit UKIP yesterday; ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage; and prominent former party donor Arron Banks

This weekend UKIP moved further towards its long-expected demise.

The party’s only MP Douglas Carswell quit UKIP yesterday to become an independent.  Two days earlier one of Carswell’s many factional enemies – former UKIP donor Arron Banks, who is a close associate of ex-leader Nigel Farage – asked the party for £200,000 payment for call centre and membership processing services that he had previously provided free.

Banks was effectively suspended from UKIP membership a few weeks ago for criticising the party’s new leadership, and not unreasonably he now asks: “Why on earth am I going to donate the service for free. I don’t think so. So – yes – there is a bill in the post for the thick end of £200,000.”

UKIP’s most recent by-election outing was in a seat which should be very winnable if the party were to succeed in its stated aim of challenging Labour as the voice of the White working class.  In Higher Croft ward, Blackburn – where the BNP once polled 29.6% and in 2015 UKIP managed 33.3% – UKIP candidate Ian Grimshaw was a distant runner-up to Labour in Thursday’s by-election, polling 22.6%.

Mr Grimshaw obtained 169 votes in Higher Croft: precisely one hundred votes fewer than the England First Party’s Ian Lofthouse received in the same ward a decade ago. Many UKIP councillors are voting with their feet and deciding not to stand for re-election.

Raheem Kassam (far right) visiting the U.S. President-Elect at Trump Tower, with Banks, Farage and colleagues from UKIP and Breitbart

Raheem Kassam (far right) visiting the U.S. President-Elect at Trump Tower, with Banks, Farage and colleagues from UKIP and Breitbart

Arron Banks is clearly planning to set up a new organisation. It is still unclear whether this will take the form of a political party, and whether former members of parties such as the BNP or NF will be allowed to join.  Most ex-members of racial nationalist groups and some anti-Islam outfits such as the EDL have long been excluded under UKIP’s constitution.

Last year UKIP leadership hopeful Raheem Kassam (an ally of Banks and Farage) argued that the party should change this policy and accept some former BNP members and others previously excluded.

A dark day for the Union

DUP chairman Lord Morrow (left), who lost his Assembly seat in Fermanagh & South Tyrone, with outgoing First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster at the election count

DUP chairman Lord Morrow (left), who lost his Assembly seat in Fermanagh & South Tyrone, with outgoing First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster at the election count

Thursday’s Northern Ireland Assembly election proved a sad day for all Loyal Ulstermen and their friends across our increasingly Disunited Kingdom.

The costly shambles over the Renewable Heat Incentive (otherwise known as ‘Cash for Ash’) was cynically exploited by two parties – Sinn Fein and (shamefully) the Official Unionist Party – but predictably only Sinn Fein benefited.

Terrorist sympathiser Michelle O’Neill thus took a step closer to becoming First Minister of Northern Ireland, while the IRA godfathers behind her celebrated yet another own goal by the Unionist establishment.

With the Assembly reduced to 90 seats, the target for the Democratic Unionist Party was 30 seats – enough to ensure an effective veto known as a “petition of concern”, but they have fallen two seats short.  Critically this means that even with the support of Jim Allister, leader of Traditional Unionist Voice, who retained his seat in North Antrim, the DUP will not have the 30 votes required for an effective block on (for example) gay marriage.

As for broader issues of who now runs Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein are likely to use their strengthened position to claim the scalp of Arlene Foster, DUP leader and outgoing First Minister. Edwin Poots, re-elected for the DUP in Lagan Valley, supported his leader today but hinted that she might be considering her position.

While it is unlikely that the DUP and Sinn Fein will be able to agree a new coalition within the official three week deadline, something will doubtless be patched up in due course to avoid a return to direct rule from London, which would be a disaster for Prime Minister Theresa May.

The big loser on Thursday – deservedly – was Official Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt who resigned after the failure of his opportunistic effort to destabilise the DUP. Nesbitt had called on his supporters to give their second preference votes to the nationalist SDLP rather than to the DUP, a shocking betrayal of the unionist interest.

Meanwhile UKIP confirmed their utter irrelevance in Northern Ireland.  They contested just one Assembly constituency – East Antrim – but this tactic of concentrating their resources failed miserably. UKIP candidate and Carrickfergus councillor Noel Jordan was eliminated with just 4.2% of first preferences. (The Assembly is elected by the Single Transferable Vote system, with each constituency now electing five MLAs.)

Mr Jordan told the Belfast Newsletter:
“We just don’t know what happened. I can’t explain why our vote has dropped.”

 

 

UKIP’s Paul Nuttall: manifestly unfit for office

 

Today UKIP leader Paul Nuttall appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, no doubt hoping to repair some of the damage from the disastrous Stoke by-election campaign.

In fact he showed yet again that he is unfit for office.  The sooner Arron Banks calls time on this UKIP pantomime and starts a new movement free of politically correct baggage and cranky “leaders” like Nuttall, the better.

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