Could UKIP lose its only MP over election feuds?
The UK Independence Party could be at risk of losing its only remaining MP – after internal party feuds over campaign finance and Nigel Farage’s decision to re-instate himself as party leader.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage initially fulfilled his promise to stand down on Friday, after he was beaten by Tory Craig MacKinlay in the South Thanet constituency.
However, just three days later the politician withdrew his resignation – claiming the party’s execs had convinced him to stay on as leader.
Amid fallout from the hugely controversial move, the party its only remaining MP, Tory defector Douglas Carswell – who is at the centre of a feud over Short Money that the party is legally entitled to claim from taxpayer funds after the election.
Guido Fawkes reports that Mr Carswell – who retained his Clacton seat last week despite Mark Reckless losing out in Rochester – is refusing to claim the full £650,000 per year that the party is entitled to after winning 4 million votes, instead suggesting they claim accept a lower amount of £350,000.
He said in statements to the blogger and to the Spectator: “I’m not an American senator and not even an American senator would have 15 staff and a parliamentary office that spends £650,000 on staff. I am sure that common sense will prevail.”
“I don’t think we need a vast amount of taxpayers’ money to do the job. We should be different, we should be prepared to reject taxpayer funding.
“We don’t need to be on the gravy train to fund staff. UKIP should be about saying no to the political trough. Not taking our fill.”
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Mr Carswell was also reportedly not informed in advance about Mr Farage’s decision to stay on as leader, which has caused conflict within the party.
Repeatedly asked Douglas Carswell if will quit Ukip after Farage return. He responds: “No comment.”
— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) May 11, 2015
The politician usually refuses to comment when asked about the extreme opinions espoused by UKIP politicians.
He has also been challenged over Mr Farage’s claims that the NHS shouldn’t treat “foreigners with HIV” – as his father was a pioneering AIDS researcher.
Piers Morgan challenged him to condemn the comments while appearing on Question Time earlier this month – but he failed to do so.
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