Party Leaders React to European Election Results

The main political party leaders have reacted to the European Election results in the UK, which showed strong performances by the Liberal Democrats, the Greens, the Brexit Party and the SNP. There were low shares of the vote for the Conservative and Labour parties, with the Labour party losing all of its seats in Scotland.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, posted on Twitter:

“A very disappointing night for @Conservatives. Some excellent MEPs have lost their seats, some excellent candidates missed out. But Labour have also suffered big losses. It shows the importance of finding a Brexit deal, and I sincerely hope these results focus minds in Parliament”

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, issued a statement:

“After three years of Tory failure to deliver a Brexit that works for the whole country, these elections became a proxy second referendum. With the Conservatives disintegrating and unable to govern, and parliament deadlocked, this issue will have to go back to the people, whether through a general election or a public vote. Labour will bring our divided country together so we can end austerity and tackle inequality.

Over the coming days we will have conversations across our party and movement, and reflect on these results on both sides of the Brexit divide. We will not let the continuing chaos in the Conservative Party push our country into a No Deal exit from the EU. Parliament can and will prevent such a damaging outcome for jobs and industry in the UK.”

Vince Cable, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats posted on Twitter:

“A clear, honest, unambiguous message has won @libdems our best ever European election result. We have shown ourselves as the strongest Remain force in British politics. Thank you to everyone who put their faith in us. We will stand up for you and keep campaigning to #StopBrexit.”

Nigel Farage, the Leader of the Brexit Party, posted on Twitter:

“Never before in British politics has a party just 6 weeks old won a national election. If Britain does not leave the EU on October 31st, these results will be repeated at a general election. History has been made. This is just the beginning.”

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP, posted on Twitter:

“Outstanding results so far tonight for @theSNP – on course for our best ever Euro election result. Polling way ahead of any other party. Higher % in Scotland than Brexit Party’s current share in rUK. Emphatically clear that Scotland doesn’t want Brexit”

Nigel Farage Faces £35,000 Fine After EU Mis-spending Fraud

Nigel Farage, the former leader of UKIP, has been fined £35,000 after being found guilty of mis-spending EU money. The European Parliament investigation found that Nigel Farage had employed a member of staff who was then not employed entirely on dealing with EU matters, which was a requirement of the funding.

The EU auditor discovered the discrepancy in Nigel Farage’s claims, but Farage said to the Daily Mail:

“It is guilty until proven innocent, they can do whatever they like. Since Brexit they are just being vindictive”.

Nigel Farage Says There May be a Second Referendum

Nigel Farage, the former leader of UKIP, has said that there may be a second referendum on leaving the European Union and that the leave campaign should be prepared for it. Farage said that although he didn’t want a second referendum he felt that it might “kill off” future demands for a vote.

Farage said earlier today on Twitter:

“Maybe, just maybe, we should have a second referendum on EU membership. It would kill off the issue for a generation once and for all”.

He later clarified his position by posting another Tweet saying:

“The last thing I’ve ever wanted is another EU referendum, but I fear it may be forced upon us. We have to be prepared”.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said though there are no plans for a second referendum.

Nigel Farage Issues Apology Over Comments on Hope not Hate

Nigel Farage, the former leader of UKIP, has apologised after comments had made on LBC Radio last year. He associated the Hope not Hate organisation with violence and initially refused to apologise. Legal action against Farage was initiated which was paid for by crowd funding from over 16,000 people.

Farage had said in reference to Brendan Cox, the husband of the murdered MP Jo Cox:

“Well, of course, he would know more about extremists than me, Mr Cox, he backs organisations like Hope Not Hate, who masquerade as being lovely and peaceful but actually pursue violent and very undemocratic means”.

Farage issued a statement saying:

“Having now considered the position further I am happy to acknowledge that Hope Not Hate does not tolerate or pursue violent or undemocratic behaviour”.

Douglas Carswell, the MP for Clacton, Quits UKIP

Douglas Carswell, the MP for Clacton, has quit UKIP meaning that the party now has no representation in the House of Commons.

Carswell said:

“I switched to UKIP because I desperately wanted us to leave the EU. Now we can be certain that that is going to happen, I have decided that I will be leaving UKIP”.

He added on an interview with the BBC that he wouldn’t be calling a by-election as it wasn’t his intention to rejoin any party and that he would sit as an independent MP.

Paul Nuttall, the Leader of UKIP, said:

“UKIP has not benefited financially or organisationally from having Douglas in Westminster. With this in mind, his departure will make no difference to my ability or focus on delivering the reforms I promised when elected as leader”.

Nigel Farage, the former Leader of UKIP, said:

“Carswell has jumped before he was pushed. He was never UKIP and sought to undermine us. He should have gone some time ago”.

The full text of Douglas Carswell’s resignation statement is available at http://www.ukpol.co.uk/douglas-carswell-2017-statement-on-leaving-ukip/.

Nigel Farage, former UKIP Leader, Launches Attack on Widower of Murdered MP Jo Cox

Nigel Farage, the former leader of UKIP, has been criticised following his attack on Brendan Cox, the widower of Jo Cox who was assassinated by a political extremist.

Farage had posted on Twitter a comment blaming Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, saying that the Berlin terrorist attack would be “the Merkel legacy”. Cox responded with a tweet saying:

“Nigel Farage – blaming politicians for the actions of extremists? That’s a slippery slope Nigel”.

Farage then said on LBC radio when asked about the comments:

“He would know more about extremists than me, Mr Cox – he backs organisations like Hope Not Hate, who masquerade as being lovely and peaceful but actually pursue violent and very undemocratic means”.

A number of MPs have responded on Twitter condemning Farage’s comments.

Hope Not Hate have issued a statement in response to the comments made by Farage:

“We are aware of a serious and potentially libellous statement made about HOPE not hate by Nigel Farage on LBC radio this morning. We have no idea on what Mr Farage bases his outrageous comments. HOPE not hate has a proud history of campaigning against extremism and hatred.

We will not be making any further comment until we have had the opportunity to consult with our lawyers”.

UKIP Leader Stands Down After 18 Days

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Diane James, the leader of UKIP, has announced that she is to stand down from her job after just 18 days. James, who is the MEP for South East England, she said that didn’t have “sufficient authority” to take on the role, but confirmed that she would continue in her role at the European Parliament.

In a statement James said:

“It is with great regret that I announce that I will not be formalising my recent nomination to become the new leader of the party with the Electoral Commission.

Having won the enthusiastic support of party members, I was nominated by them as the new leader at the recent Ukip Bournemouth conference.

Since that time I have been in discussion with party officers about the role. It has become clear that I do not have sufficient authority, nor the full support of all my MEP colleagues and party officers to implement changes I believe necessary and upon which I based my campaign.

For personal and professional reasons therefore, I will not take the election process further.

I will continue to concentrate fully on my activities and responsibilities as a Member of the European Parliament”.

Nigel Farage, the previous party leader, confirmed that he wouldn’t seek a return to the leadership role.

Jonathan Arnott enters UKIP Leadership Contest

Jonathan ARNOTT - 8th Parliamentary term

Jonathan Arnott, the UKIP MEP for the North East, has said that he intends to enter the race to become the next leader of the party. The leadership contest comes after Nigel Farage announced his resignation as leader on 4 July 2016. Arnott has been an MEP since 2014 and is also a former general secretary of the party.

Referring to those people who voted for Brexit at the referendum, but not UKIP at the 2015 General Election, he said:

“These people voted for Brexit in a democratic election and our government must be held to account, to ensure that ‘no’ really does mean ‘no’ and that Brexit really does mean Brexit.

It is increasingly clear, following Andrea Leadsom’s abandoning the race to become Prime Minister, that the establishment is organising itself for ‘business as usual’.

Worryingly, under the new Prime Minister Theresa May, negotiations for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will be in hands of those who do not actually want us to leave.

The Labour Party is of course in complete disarray, so quite frankly UKIP represents the only alternative to the establishment and will be the only unifying force for Brexit.

Since June 23, the entire DNA of UKIP has changed. We are no longer a party of protest, but a party of the future.

There are many challenges that lie ahead but first we must hold the government’s feet to the fire to enact the will of the 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit in the referendum.

I envision a party which will use the opportunity provided by Brexit to create jobs for working people, to protect our steel industry and manufacturing, to rebuild our fisheries and deregulate our small businesses.

We will stand up for the working people who Labour ignore and the Conservatives despise. And we will be the party that stands up for our small businesses, helping them to create jobs and become the big businesses of tomorrow.

We are not anti-immigrant or anti-immigration, but we are fiercely opposed to uncontrolled mass net immigration, which drives down wages and ultimately costs jobs.

We’re finally moving power back from Brussels to Westminster, but now we must campaign further to devolve that power from Westminster to the people.

I do not fear taking on the rudderless Labour Party in its heartlands. In my region, the North East of England, I led the UKIP fight at the 2015 general election.

We went from having below-average UKIP results in 2010 to gaining the highest UKIP share of the vote of any region in the country and we stand poised to gain Westminster seats.

My two years as local elections co-ordinator, and six as the party’s general secretary, have given me an intimate understanding of the internal workings of UKIP and I propose constitutional reform that will achieve a dynamic, democratic party where the views of grassroots members and branches have greater input.

Standing for leader has not been an easy decision for me to make, as I know the level of hard work and commitment that will be required.

I have nothing but praise for the way that Nigel Farage, the greatest orator in modern politics, was able to devote so much time and energy to UKIP”.

Nigel Farage Stands Down as Leader of UKIP

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Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP, has confirmed that he is standing down from the leadership of the party. He had been leader of the party from September 2006, with a gap between November 2009 and November 2010.

He added on Twitter:

“Thank you to all my supporters in @UKIP and beyond. Delighted with the result we fought for so long to achieve”.

Nigel Farage Attacks MEPs in European Parliament Speech

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Nigel Farage, the Leader of UKIP, has been booed by other MEPs after he launched a personal attack on them. Farage said in his speech that none of the MEPs had ever done a day’s work.

Farage also said:

“Isn’t it funny? When I came here 17 years ago and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign go get Britain out of the European Union, you all laughed at me. Well, I have to say, you’re not laughing now, are you?”