UKIP suspensions: going for gold in 2015?

Another day, another UKIP MEP is suspended from the party following an expenses scandal. Last week, Janice Atkinson — UKIP MEP for the South East and general election candidate for Folkestone and Hythe — was suspended from UKIP following allegations of a serious financial nature.

Time and time again, Farage has tried to distance himself from UKIP’s endless parade of suspensions, scandals, resignations and defections.

After no fewer than 25% of all UKIP MEPs in the 2004-2009 Parliament had left UKIP for one of these reasons — several in trouble with the law — Farage told us that these were teething problems for a new party, and that they would choose their candidates more carefully in the future.

But in the 2009-2014 Parliament, things got even worse. Well over a third (5 out of 13) of their MEPs were no longer with them by the end. Of these, two jumped ship to the Tories — though they did receive a Tory defector in return, the climate change denier Roger Helmer — and another was arrested and charged.

Ahead of last year’s European elections, we were yet again told that UKIP’s revolving door was a thing of the past. But, less than a year into the five-year parliament, two have already gone: Amjad Bashir and Janice Atkinson.

In all, since 2005, UKIP has chalked up an astounding 5 suspensions, 3 defections, 1 arrest and 2 convictions — I’ve put together a summary on this new webpage. And that’s just their MEPs. Lib Dem commentator Giles Goodall recently did the maths:

It comes as no surprise that all of UKIP’s MEP defections since 2005 have been to the Conservative party, and the defection to them has been a Tory, just as in Westminster. Not only does this reinforce UKIP’s standing as the party of eurosceptic Tories, but also signals their dedication to betraying the electorate — who presumably voted for their representatives on the basis of their political platform.

This post has been updated since it was first published, to count Nikki Sinclaire correctly in the parliamentary term in which she was arrested and charged.

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  1. UKIP is a party of the lunatic fringe of the right wing, led by a buffoon, attracting disaffected cads and carpet chewers, and with but a single policy (everything else is made up as they go along).

    The only good thing about UKIP is that with any luck they’ll split the Tory vote in some key marginals.

  2. Can anyone explain to me how a defecting MEP can remain an MEP when they were elected simply as a member of a list. Surely that person should have to leave and the next person on the party’s list replace them. In this case people voted for UKIP representation if they had agreed with the Tory position they would have voted for it.

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