Thursday, 3 June 2010

Lord Monckton appointed Deputy Leader

Lord Pearson has appointed Viscount Christopher Monckton as Joint Deputy Leader of UKIP, alongside David Campbell Bannerman.

Lord Monckton is an outspoken and respected climate change realist and a controversial public figure - exactly what is needed to attract publicity and show the voting public that UKIP is different to the tired old parties.

However, this appointment does raise some concerns for me personally.  Of the three top people in the party, two are Scots and two are Lords.

Whether we like it or not, UKIP is an English party.  In the general election this year, UKIP retained only one deposit in both Scotland and Wales.  A party led by Scots opposing devolution for England does not sit well with English voters and having two Lords in charge isn't going to do a lot for our ambition to attract voters from all parties rather than the Tories (we do attract members from other parties but it's still mainly the Tories).  And Lord Monckton isn't without his Scottish ties either - he's pictured on the UKIP website wearing his family tartan and he founded the Tory breakaway group, the Scottish Peoples Alliance (now the New Party).

I remain as committed to UKIP as I always have been but the Brit/Scot leadership is really not going to improve our chances of electoral success.