This is a blog from 7 June 2011 regarding the defection of David Campbell-Bannerman from UKIP to the Conservatives. UKIP have continued to have problems holding on to their MEPs. Since this blog was written Marta Andreasen’s public row with UKIP leader Nigel Farage has resulted in her defecting to the Tories.
UKIP’s remarkable ability to shed MEPs
David Campbell-Bannerman who defected last month from UKIP to the Conservatives has written an interesting justification on Conservative Home. He argues that the Conservatives are the best placed party to secure Britain leaving the European Union:
‘I believe it is only the Conservative Party that can realistically offer a way out of the EU, through a future manifesto or through support for an In/Out referendum.’
I do wonder when he applied for membership which David Cameron category of UKIP member he was listed under – fruitcake/loony/closet racist?
This does seem a very sudden decision, as in the current edition of this newspaper David Campbell-Bannerman criticises the Conservative-lead government’s defence and foreign policy in very robust terms. UKIP reaction has alleged careerism, and this image from the Independence Home website encapsulates many of their views.
I think the British media generally still underestimate how Eurosceptic the Conservative Party is, and this defection makes the Conservative MEPs an even more right wing grouping. UKIP do have a singular ability to lose MEPs. In the 2004-9 Parliamentary term a quarter of its MEPs departed for the delights of Spain and Her Majesty’s Pleasure. Since 2009 Nikki Sinclaire MEP no longer follows the UKIP whip following her complaints about homophobia and now another MEP leaves. Nigel Farage and Marta Andreasen are conducting a very public row at present. It will be little surprise if we reach the 2014 European elections with a quarter or more of UKIP MEPs no longer representing the Party the public thought they were voting for.