Monday, 30 March 2015

Can UKIP win in Portsmouth South?

The decision of Mike Hancock, the current MP for Portsmouth South, to stand again as an independent candidate opens up the opportunity of a UKIP win in this constituency, which must be regarded as prime UKIP territory.

Hancock was thoroughly disgraced and had the Liberal Democrat whip withdrawn after he was forced to apologise for sordid and inappropriate conduct after sexually pursuing a constituent with mental health problems, which he was forced to apologise for in 2014.

I used to live in Portsmouth South and rumours of Hancock's sexually predatory nature had been circulating in the constituency for more than a decade before his sleazy conduct was finally exposed. Like most Lib Dems Hancock is a cynical careerist and it is speculated that his decision to stand again is just to gain the MP severance allowance of £33,000 he would otherwise lose by voluntarily standing down - an allegation Hancock has, of course, denied. He certainly has form for cynical campaigning in the amoral Lib Dem tradition, heavily distorting the truth about rival candidates in his election literature. Despite his party's rabid pro-Europeanism, he also once campaigned on a platform to give people a referendum on Europe in what is a strongly nationalist constituency thanks to the Royal Naval and military traditions of the area - a classic case of the Lib Dems telling local voters what they want to hear whether or not it is party policy.

It's hard not to take pleasure in the fact that  the Lib Dems have once again found their cynicism has come back to haunt them. Currently the party have a majority of 5,200 in the constituency over the second place Tories but with Hancock standing as an independent this will split the vote: despite his despicable behaviour, like all Lib Dem MPs Hancock will have worked hard to gain a personal following down the years so this should count in his favour. Secondly the general unpopularity of the Lib Dems nationally will severely dent their chances.

The question is: can UKIP win it? In many ways it is prime UKIP country, demographically having a strong white working class make up. UKIPs defence policies and promise to spend more on the Navy will go down very well there given the town's proud naval traditions and reliance on defence industries. UKIP got 24% of the vote in the 2014 local elections for the city council and gained 6 councillors from a standing start. A local UKIP branch has also been formed in the area.

Realistically the Tories, who got 33% of the vote in 2010 must now be the favourites to take the seat but UKIP may well come a strong second and turn the seat into a future three way marginal.

Who knows - we may just win it!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

UKIP Brighton & Hove councillor calls for reserves to be used to save children's centres

UKIP Brighton & Hove City Councillor, Leigh Farrow, has called for some of the council's £39.5m reserves to be used to save children's centres that are under threat of closure.

The council's Chief Financial Officer says that the council needs to keep only £9m for contingency but the ruling Greens would rather cut front line services or put up council tax by 6% and then blame the British government.

Derbyshire Conservative councillor brought position into disrepute

A Conservative district councillor in Derbyshire has been reprimanded for bringing his position into disrepute.

Cllr Martyn Ford was found to have brought his position into disrepute with an aggressive campaign against a funeral director who wanted to convert a closed village pub into a funeral parlour. Ford claimed that posts to Facebook and Twitter were "in jest" but they were deemed to be threatening an intimidating by the council's standards committee.

Former Lib Dem PPC under investigation for being a company director whilst banned

A former Lib Dem PPC is being investigated by the police for becoming a director of a company whilst being banned.

Dr Vincent McKee was banned from being a company director for 14 years after receiving a two and a half year prison sentence for fraud.

McKee ripped off students using his old companies which were eventually wound up and he was charged with 25 counts of fraud and one of breaching professional due diligence. He has since set up another company pitched at students, charging up to £1k for rewriting their essays for them.

McKee claims that the business is only a partnership and isn't incorporated so he hasn't broken any laws. However, the Companies House website clearly shows that the company was incorporated in 2014 and registered at his home address.

Stafford Labour councillor charged with misconduct in public office

The Stafford Labour Party have suspended one of their councillors after he was charged with misconduct in public office.

Cllr Rowan Draper is the secretary of Littleworth Labour and a founder member of Young Labour. The Staffordshire Newsletter have tried to get more information on the misconduct charge but the Labour Party have closed ranks. The maximum punishment for misconduct in public office is life imprisonment.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Lib Dem councillor and PPC arrested for child sex offences

A Lib Dem councillor and PPC in Ashfield has been arrested over accusations of child sex abuse.

Cllr Jason Zadrozny was arrested by Nottinghamshire Police to answer allegations of "buggery and gross indecency with a male under 16 between September 2003 and April 2004, sexual activity with a child between May 2004 and December 2007 and an allegation of meeting a child under 16 following sexual grooming from May 2004 and December 2007".

Zadrozny has resigned as a PPC and been suspended by the Liberal Democrats.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Macclesfield Conservative Councillor to stand trial for assault next week

A Conservative councillor in Macclesfield is standing trial on Monday for assault.

Cllr Damien Druce was arrested in January and appeared before magistrates in February where he pleaded not guilty. He has been suspended by the Conservative Party.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Former Labour chairman Harriet Yeo replaces Janice Atkinson in Folkestone & Hythe

Janice Atkinson has been replaced with former Labour Party chairman, Harriet Yeo, as UKIP PPC for Folkestone & Hythe.

Atkinson has been expelled from the party along with her chief of staff over a dodgy expense claim.

Yeo was chairman of the Labour Party between 2012-13, a member of the Labour Party's national executive and Treasurer and President of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) trade union. She resigned from the Labour Party earlier this year and announced her support for UKIP but stopped short of joining the party. She has now joined the party and will contest the Folkestone & Hythe seat for UKIP.

Janice Atkinson expelled over dodgy expense claim

Janice Atkinson and her chief of staff, Christine Hewitt, have been expelled from the party over a secret recording showing Hewitt haggling with a restaurant for a higher bill to make a fraudulent expenses claim.

MEPs aren't allowed to claim expenses for food so it's either a claim by her staff or Atkinson was claiming through the EFDD group. It's unlikely that Atkinson has been expelled because her staff were doing something behind her back so presumably it's the latter.

The following statement has been released:
Janice Atkinson MEP and Christine Hewitt (assistant to Janice Atkinson) have been found to have brought the party into disrepute. As a result they have been expelled from UK Independence Party. They have 14 days to appeal.

This means that Ms Atkinson no longer represents UKIP in the European Parliament and she will no longer be our prospective parliamentary candidate for Folkestone and Hythe.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Tory PPC for Dudley North tries to recruit EDL to campaign for him

The Conservative candidate for Dudley North, Afzal Amin, has been suspended after trying to get the EDL to fake a protest in Dudley and break election law by paying EDL supporters to campaign for him.

Amin met with the leader of the EDL, Steve Eddowes and former leader Tommy Robinson on several occasions. During these meetings he asked them to announce a protest in Dudley that would never happen so that he could claim to have convinced them to back down and look good to voters. He also said he wanted to pay Tommy Robinson to get EDL supporters to campaign for him which is illegal.

The prospect of another EDL protest so soon after the previous one which resulted in a number of arrests of far left thugs from Unite Against Fascism would have inflamed racial tensions and spread fear far beyond Dudley. Amin clearly gives no thought to the effects of his dishonest scaremongering and only cares about winning the election, even if he has to break the law in the process.

Dudley North is a key marginal currently held by Labour's Ian Austin MP and a UKIP target seat. Polls show that UKIP's Bill Etheridge MEP is drawing level with Austin with the Tories a distant, vote-splitting third. They had very little chance of winning Dudley North before this story, they won't even be coming close now. The best thing the Conservatives can do to prevent Labour winning is sack Amin and not bother replacing him because a vote for the Conservatives in Dudley North is a vote for Ian Austin and Ed Miliband.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Former Labour mayor and councillor jailed for theft and fraud

The former Labour mayor of North Lincolnshire has been given a three and a half year prison sentence for defrauding a Yemeni man.

Jawaid Ishaq was a Labour councillor for 30 years, the Labour mayor of Sunderland and the Labour mayor of North Lincolnshire. He faked a power of attorney and helped himself to shares and bank accounts owned by Ali Sultan, defrauding him of £66k. He was found guilty of 9 charges of fraud and one of theft and cleared of a further 5 charges of fraud and another of theft.

Derby Labour attack UKIP councillor for missing meeting after suffering stroke

The Labour Party in Derby are putting out a leaflet claiming credit for UKIP's hard work tackling parking problems Chaddesden and criticising the UKIP councillor who's actually been doing the work for not attending a meeting when he was recovering from a stroke.

UKIP councillor, Bill Wright, has been visiting shops on Sussex Circus and talking to council officers to get action on parking problems. He missed a recent meeting regarding the parking issues after suffering from a stroke but it seems that isn't a valid excuse for the dirty tricks department of the local Labour Party.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Former Lib Dem councillor "acting like a predatory paedophile"

A Lib Dem ex-councillor has been given a 2 year suspended sentence for child sex offences.

Bob Thompson was described as "acting like a predatory paedophile" by the judge who said he couldn't give him a sex offender treatment programme because he refused to accept that he had done anything wrong. He gave him a two year prison sentence suspended for two years because of his ill health.

We already know that Thompson likes them young after marrying a Gambian woman half his age in 2008. He met his wife Fatou when he was 52 and she was 26 and living in a hut with her young daughter. He converted to Islam and married her within a week and then spent a year getting her a visa.

Thompson will be electronically tagged for a year and has been given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Janice Atkinson MEP suspended

Janice Atkinson MEP has been suspended from the party after one of her staff was videoed allegedly trying to inflate a restaurant bill so she could claim it on expenses.

A party spokesman said:
The party is incredibly disappointed with Ms. Atkinson, who appears to have exercised extremely poor judgement in acting in a way that the party has never, and would never condone. The party has acted swiftly and immediately, and just as we showed when we suspended another MEP for financial irregularities, we always maintain a zero tolerance attitude towards acts of this nature.

Conservative councillors in Medway defect to UKIP

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