Nigel Farage thanks European Commission President Barroso for making it clear that David Cameron is wrong when he says we can restrict free movement and still remain members of the EU – Cameron “was deceiving the British people and you made it clear”
• Today Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP and co-president of the European of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group (EFDD) in the European Parliament, was back in his front row seat at the parliament after his eurosceptic EFDD group defeated attempts by the eurofanatic leadership of the parliament to disband them and take away their speaking rights.
The victory of the group meant that the German Socialist President of the Parliament, Martin Schulz, who last week was accused by Nigel Farage of “manipulative backroom politics of the worst kind,” was forced to introduce “EFDD Mr Farage” to address the parliament. Farage rose to reply to a speech by outgoing President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso.
The UKIP leader thanked outgoing Commission President Barroso “for appearing on British television, thank you for confirming that the real fantasist isn’t you, it’s David Cameron, the British prime minister, who pretends that we can restrict free movement and remain members of the European Union.”
EFDD Group Press Release
: Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall anounces the re-grouping of EFDD
• Nigel Farage MEP, Co-President of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group in the European Parliament, along with Co-President David Borrelli MEP, announced that a single new Polish member, Robert Jarosław IWASZKIEWICZ has joined the group. His signature was submitted to the Parliament administration service today at 3pm.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage commented: "To paraphrase Mark Twain 'Rumours of our death have been greatly exaggerated.' The Eurosceptics are now back with a bang, indeed we have never been away.
"Last week we were done over by the Feds, [European Federalists] but today the EFDD Group is alive obviously having friends in the very highest places.
"In wireless terms, the radio signal was weak for a few days but normal transmission has now been resumed.
"European Parliament President Schulz's part in trying to shut us down last week was contemptible. It was manipulative backroom politics of the worst kind. But in his eagerness to silence the Eurosceptic voice he acted prematurely.
The Rochester by-election is for me, for Ukip and of course for the brave Mark Reckless, political high noon. For Cameron too. - Ukip Leader Nigel Farage MEP (Express)
• The Ukip narrative is changing so quickly, I can barely keep up, let alone the swathes of commentators in Westminster who have become too reliant on reporting a status quo over the last decade that they simply cannot get their head around what is currently happening in UK politics.
Whether old Labour voters, traditional Tories, disenfranchised non-voters or even the odd ex Lib Dem, one thing that unites what seem a disparate band of supporters is the appetite for change.
Of course that sounds like typical politician's cliché. All votes represent change, be it a new government, a fresh manifesto, or the turning of the page into a brighter future. But it's more than just policy. My feeling is that many voters have grown weary of the political game itself.
For decades now the two main parties have passed power between themselves, and never had to face the prospect of actually having to listen to the voter. They were either in power, or in opposition, and focussed entirely on outfoxing the party on the opposite benches.
"I had to do it to get elected"
- Iveta Grigule MEP, former EFDD member [pictured, inset]
"If we are correct in our understanding about the events, President Schulz [pictured] would be more suited to being the president of a parliament in a banana republic."
- UKIP Leader Nigel Farage, Co-President of the EFDD group
• The EFDD Group in the European Parliament has folded after the resignation, yesterday, of Latvian member Iveta Grigule. Concerning her resignation, Ms Grigule told the secretary general of the EFDD Group that “I had to do it to get elected.” She told the General Secretary of the EFDD Group that the EPP chairman Manfred Weber and European Parliament President Martin Schulz told her she must resign from the EFDD Group in order to attain the presidency of a Parliamentary delegation to Kazakhstan.
In this term, EFDD Group members have been systematically excluded from their expected positions in EP delegations and chairmanships under the D’Hondt system which is the normal practice over many years.
Ms Grigule signed her letter of resignation in the office of Mr Schulz yesterday morning following which he informed the Conference of Presidents of her resignation, thus folding the group.
Statement by Gerard Batten MEP
• Panorama filmed an interview with me during the European elections in April. They said that they wanted to focus on UKIP’s electoral prospects, and the kind of people who support us.
I agreed to be interviewed in June, and a Panorama presenter came to Romford to film me there. He then asked for a further interview at my office. During the interview it became apparent that he was more interested in trying to dig up dirt on Nigel Farage than talking about politics.
Since then various sources have informed me that they were contacting people long-ago disassociated from the Party and I believe, attempting to procure hearsay evidence regarding various unfounded accusations.
I am sorry to conclude that Panorama is planning a hatchet job on UKIP, far removed from what I was led to believe I was participating in. I am very sorry that this once again supports my view that the BBC is institutionally politically biased. The BBC is of course on the Brussels payroll, the EU gave the BBC €24,435,906 (£19.2m) in funds between 2007-2012, Panorama didn't mention this.
Want to help? Join the campaign to elect Mark Reckless!
• Infectious enthusiasm was the mood on Rochester High street for Saturday's launch to send Mark Reckless to Westminster under UKIP colours.
Fresh from making British political history by the seaside in Essex, Douglas Carswell MP told gathered supporters in Kent that he would be 'chief leafleter in Rochester's most marginal ward' seeking the election of his friend of twenty years.
After UKIP's combined vote in the Clacton and Heywood & Middleton by-elections defied the pundits to total more than the vote of the next four parties combined, UKIP leader Nigel Farage told Rochester activists 'we are targeting everyone in this campaign'.
And highlighting his opposition to plans to impose a massive unwanted development of 5,000 new homes over Rochester & Strood's environmentally-crucial bird sanctuary, candidate Mark Reckless pledged a 'positive campaign on the local issues'.
It's been twenty years since I scraped a handful of votes in the party's first ever by-election - UKIP Leader Nigel Farage in the The Independent.
• How extraordinary it is to walk around Clacton and see the town painted purple, to glance at the front pages of the local papers to see the word Ukip writ large, to speak to voters not only pledging their support, but fired up and excited about the prospect of playing a part in history.
The Frinton and Walton Gazette has the most astonishing splash of all. On a whole-page black background, the date 10.10.2014 jumps out at any gaze that happens graze the paper’s cover. The subtitle: “The historic date town reveal their new MP and change British politics forever.” Honestly, not a word of persuasion from Team Purple. The electricity of being part of a schism in UK politics that could alter the narrative forever is palpable. The people lining up at polling stations, many of whom hope to touch the page that could turn over a new chapter for this generation of voters.
What a far cry from Ukip’s ever first by-election two decades ago. None could have predicted what would be taking place today. It was 1994 and the party’s candidate was a raven-haired, fresh-faced 40-year-old commodity broker, with a big mouth and even bigger ideas.
"As I know from direct experience with constituents, the EAW denies basic rights, and imposes huge injustices on British citizens,"
writes Roger Helmer MEP
, Head of UKIP Delegation in the EP
• On Oct 7th, I stood in for Nigel at the Conference of Presidents’ meeting in Brussels to interrogate Mr. Frans Timmermans, Commissioner-Designate as First Vice-President for Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and Charter of Fundamental Rights. (Honest. I’m not making this stuff up).
I had two one-minute slots. I used the first one to ask about the ECHR, and our inability to deport foreign criminals, terrorists, murderers and rapists. I was told we in the UK should not consider leaving the ECHR, because it would encourage and justify an illiberal stance by countries like Russia and Kazakhstan. My view is that it’s the job of British politicians to worry about the UK first, and Russia and Kazakhstan a poor second.
But for my second turn, I decided to ask a question on the vexed issue of the European Arrest Warrant:
The next time I write this column, we will have the results of two Parliamentary by-elections, both of which see Ukip as a front runner, writes UKIP Leader Nigel Farage in the Daily Express.
• Of course, a week is a tremendously long time in politics. It's been less than a week since we learned we would see a third by-election, driven by the defection of Mark Reckless to Ukip, who like Douglas Carswell before him, put principle before party and bravely chose to test his decision by public vote.
The core belief in direct democracy is the driving factor for both of these honourable MPs, who no longer feel that the mandate upon which they were elected by their constituents is being upheld by the Government and the party which they had once represented.
Ukip is of course the greatest champion of direct democracy and politics proper and fully support both men's noble decision to let the people be the boss.
The general public has become so conditioned to accepting a two-party political system, that Left and Right no longer represent different sets of beliefs, and neither party needs commit to seeing through promises made on election material.
Both parties have become so complacent due to the death of dependency on the voter, that they have been happy to exchange power between themselves and focus their energies on trying to gripe at and outsmart the other.
We had an amazing array of speakers: women and men; young and old; former Tories and former Labour Party members, writes UKIP MEP Roger Helmer
« VIDEO, Roger Helmer speaking at the conference
• In my political career I must have been to twenty or so political conferences, Conservative, and in recent years UKIP. After so many, it’s easy to get a bit cynical. But any cynicism was blown away by our 2014 Doncaster Conference which closed on Saturday.
I have simply never seen such a level of enthusiasm, involvement, commitment. Mostly at conferences I’ve got into the habit of avoiding the predictable and formulaic speeches in the main auditorium, and instead focusing on the trade stands and the fringe meetings, and simply networking. At the last few Tory Conferences I went to before I joined UKIP, I focused almost entirely on The Freedom Zone (run by TFA and Simon Richards) where real people had real debates — in contrast to the official programme.
In Doncaster, I found I wanted to be in the main auditorium (and was acutely disappointed when I found I had to miss Diane James’ presentation on Justice & Home Affairs to go and chair a Countryside Alliance fringe).
We've got Labour in our sights, and we'll take the fight to their northern heartland
By UKIP Leader Nigel Farage
• I’m on my way to Doncaster for the Ukip conference, which starts Friday and carries on over the weekend and is being held in Ed Miliband's constituency. This is no coincidence. Just as we did when the Tories completely let down their supporters over the EU and over grammar schools, we are parking our tanks on a rival party’s lawn.
For too much of our history, the Westminster commentariat has always assumed that anyone who supports Ukip is an ex-Tory who believes that the death penalty needs to be brought back and the world would be a better place if the young all did national service.
This is not the case. Ever since the Barnsley by-election three years ago, Ukip has been making inroads into seats in the north of England, and has, I think, become the second party of the north after Labour. And it's clear that Labour are rattled for their recent tactic has been to print leaflets packed full of misinformation saying that we would privatise the NHS when they know this is not true. But they can't compete with our clear policies and unequivocal messages directly. They won't even answer questions on the subject of an EU referendum directly from journalists!
• Instead of helping to topple a legitimately elected president and starting a civil war in the Ukraine, the EU should instead find common cause with Russia in the battle with Islamic extremism.
Speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, today, in a debate on EU-Russia releations, and just before a vote on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, UKIP leader Nigel Farage said:
"Perhaps we ought to recognise that the West now faces the biggest threat and crisis to our way of life that we have seen for over 70 years.
"In the war against Islamic extremism, Vladimir Putin, whatever we may think of him as a human being, is actually on our side."
Slamming the actions of the EU, Mr Farage added : "We directly encouraged the uprising in the Ukraine that led to the toppling of the president, Yanukovych, and that led of course in turn to Vladimir Putin reacting. And the moral of the story is if you poke the Russian bear with a stick, don't be surprised when he reacts."
"The terms of reference given to the new Home affairs Commissioner show once again that Mr Juncker remains on Planet EU and will have no truck with any change to a system that is generating widespread social concern and action across Europe"
- Diane James, UKIP MEP, South East Region.
Pictured: President-elect of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker (left) with the designated Home Affairs Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos
• The UK needs to wake up that renegotiation of the Freedom of movement of EU citizens has been firmly kicked into the long grass with the appointmemt of Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos (Greece).
Concerns at migration movements and immigration levels into and across Europe are at an all-time high. The Freedom of Movement principle is one tenent under probably the most scrutiny by politicians sensitive to voter sentiment as expressed in the recent European elections when record numbers of Eurosceptic MEPs were elected.
Anti-English sentiments are fuelling Alex Salmond's campaign but they could land Scotland with much worse masters in Brussels
By Ukip Leader Nigel Farage, MEP
• In a week’s time, Scotland will not hold a referendum about becoming independent. Everybody is describing it as such. But what is being voted on – and only by those who actually live in Scotland – is separation from England. Understand that and much that is otherwise inexplicable falls into place.
The SNP is the voice of anti-Englishness. Like Edward II, another English ruler, arrogant in certain victory, Mr Cameron has walked straight into a long-planned ambush. The year, carefully chosen by Mr Salmond, celebrates the one unequivocal Scottish victory in the long antagonism between the two nations, at Bannockburn in 1314.
To make matters worse, the PM himself precluded “devo max”. The Scots have no way of keeping a UK link while extending the powers of the Scottish Parliament. I believe this option would have won the day but thanks to Mr Cameron, it is not on offer. The choice on the ballot plays into Salmond’s hands: vote to stay subject to the English toffs at Westminster who stole their country under the threat of bankruptcy 300 years ago – the Act of Union – or vote to throw off the hated English yoke.
If the Scots vote Yes on Thursday (and we in UKIP hope they don’t), I predict a new referendum, and a resounding NO, within a couple of years, writes UKIP MEP Roger Helmer.
• So says David Cameron. But as in so many things, he could well be wrong. Most economic commentators expect a very negative reaction to a Yes vote, if that’s what happens on September 18th. This could happen quickly: indeed it is clearly happening already. Funds are moving out of Scotland; investment and house purchases are stalling; mortgagees are worrying about the future status and currency of their debt.
And of course, pace David Cameron, nothing is forever. The original and hugely successful union of Scotland and England has lasted 300+ years, and that’s a good long time. But if the Scots vote Yes, it won’t have been “forever”. And in this modern, internet age, things happen so much more quickly.
The European Union has set a key precedent here which Alex Salmond would do well to keep in mind. On June 2nd 1992, the Danes voted No to the Maastricht Treaty. But on May 18th 1993, they voted again, and reversed the decision. The first decision lasted less than a year – just 350 days, if my arithmetic is right.
If Ukip wins a Westminster seat next month, Nigel Farage cannot be excluded from TV debates at the General Election, writes UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott.
• Barring any massive shift in public opinion, Ukip will gain its first elected MP in just a few weeks time on 9 October. Parliamentary by-elections may normally be of interest only to political anoraks, but this one could have a profound and lasting impact on the UK.
Douglas Carswell did the honourable thing by 'resigning' his seat and forcing a by-election (MPs can't legally resign of course, so the arcane method of forcing a by-election is for him to become the Steward of the Manor of Northstead which disqualifies him temporarily from being an MP). He was elected as a Conservative, so when he changed parties to Ukip it's commendable and utterly democratic that he chose to ask the electorate whether they still want him as a Ukip MP.
Ukip members are still in shock from the two opinion polls conducted in Clacton. They show Ukip on an astronomical 56% and 64% of the vote (the 56% poll being conducted by the Conservative Lord Ashcroft). Carswell is certainly opposed to British membership of the European Union, but I think his decision to join Ukip is about more than that.
David Cameron is as out of his depth on international matters as he is on domestic ones, writes UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP in the Daily Express
• The problem with using conveniently-timed foreign crises to distract from domestic difficulties is that they depend on favourable subsequent developments in order to endorse the claim of being the saviour of the hour, rather than the failure.
David Cameron boldly told assembled MPs during the first PMQs of the new term that he would strive to remove the passports of militants from Britons fighting in Syria and Iraq, but could not explain how he would traverse the legal implications that come with being a member of the EU and being under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.
Not only would the European Convention not permit rendering somebody stateless in the case of a British born national fighting in the Middle East, but in cases of dual nationality, where David Cameron is confident he would have the legal power to revoke citizenship, he could still face appeals at the European level where losing a British passport also means losing right of residence in the EU as a whole.
A vote for the Tories is a vote to stay in the EU
By Roger Helmer MEP (East Midlands
• Westminster was stunned on Friday when Douglas Carswell left the Tories to join UKIP, resigned his seat, and triggered a by-election. And I must admit I was stunned this morning when I saw the headline in the Mail: SHOCK POLL: CAMERON FACES UKIP BY-ELECTION BLOODBATH: Farage’s 44-point lead over Tories. Forty four points. Almost too good to be true.
It seems there’s a groundswell of support for UKIP, especially in the south-east, and in Clacton this effect is reinforced by a very strong personal following for Douglas. He deserves that support, because in standing down and triggering a by-election, he has been both courageous and honourable. Those Tories who have accused him of vain posturing and conceit are beneath contempt. Many MPs in the circumstances would have said “The general election is pretty soon, so we’ll let it ride”. Douglas did the decent thing and sought a new mandate as a UKIP MP.
The Tory reaction has been predictable, if heavily orchestrated after the Tory Whips’ phone-round. They’re saying that only the Conservatives can deliver an EU Referendum, and that therefore Douglas by switching parties has damaged the chances of what he wants most. This is, of course, self-serving nonsense.
Donald Tusk is a rabid EU centralist, happy to milk the British taxpayer for child benefit and an ardent enemy of press freedom in Poland – Cameron should be opposing, not supporting him
"It is a scandal that David Cameron would back Poland’s Donald Tusk for the powerful position of President of the European Council. It shows that Cameron is so weakened by his failed attempt to stop Jean-Claude Juncker for the Commission job, that he is now happy to back anybody, even a dogmatic EU federalist such as Tusk.
” - UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge
UKIP Press release
• Present at the environs of the European Council today in Brussels, UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge said:
“When David Cameron raised the scandal of the UK taxpayers being forced to fork out £55 million per year in child benefit to kids who live in eastern Europe, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in January, his comments were ‘unwarranted and unacceptable’.
“Poland’s foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski - who was, like Cameron, a member of the infamous Bullingdon Club while a student at Oxford, said Cameron suffers from ‘a kind of incompetence in European affairs’.
"As a new member of the European Parliament, the whole process seems undemocratic to me. We’re often voting on things that haven’t even been debated, and when something is ‘debated’ there’s no time for anything more than soundbites
," writes UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott
• At the speed of a charging train, the votes follow one another thick and fast. “Amendment 5/1 - votes in favour, votes against, abstentions, carried. Amendment 5/2 - votes in favour, votes against, abstentions, rejected.”
Each vote takes around six seconds. I’ve not yet seen a voting session with more than a hundred votes, but seasoned colleagues tell me that they once had to vote 900 times in three days. The average is somewhere around 500.
This is how new laws are made in the European Parliament. No-one could understand the detail of all these votes, so instead they rely on voting lists prepared by teams of staff with a brief explanation of why they’re supposed to vote in a particular way.