Patrick O’Flynn quits as Ukip spokesman while attacking party's ‘Thatcherite’ direction

Written on 27 July 2017 in Diary

A top Ukip MEP has quit his key role because of the "Thatcherite" direction the party is heading in.

Patrick O'Flynn is standing down as economics spokesman of Ukip for the second time. 

The former journalist said his position had become untenable because all of the candidates vying to be the next Ukip leader disagree with his approach. 

In a blog on his website, O'Flynn said he has always argued for Ukip to be "at the common sense centre of politics" rather than on the right-wing.

He said: "It is clear to me that UKIP’s activist base wishes to go in a more libertarian, shrink-the-state and Thatcherite direction when it comes to economic policy.

“Every leadership candidate I have heard appears to disagree with me about our economic approach. So rather than hanging around to obstruct a new leader, I have decided to make way now.

“I will concentrate instead on campaigning for the best possible Brexit during my remaining time as an MEP. 

“I do feel it is a regrettable that the more centrist approach argued for by the likes of me and Suzanne Evans is falling by the wayside in UKIP. But I also acknowledge that shrink-the-state libertarianism is more deeply embedded within the DNA of the party than I had appreciated."

Evans herself rued the loss of her ally from the senior post, tweeting:

The leadership election was triggered after leader Paul Nuttall quit following a year in which Ukip support plummeted.

Candidates who have declared they will be standing include John Rees-Evans - who last year drew criticism after he claimed a homosexual donkey raped his horse - and Mike Hookem who allegedly punched fellow MEP Steven Woolfe. 

Share this page




Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Is a massive bot army behind a wave of 'I support Boris' messages?
10 September 2019

Messages supporting Boris Johnson have begun to flood Facebook and Twitter in the past 24-hours. But who or what is behind the surge?

WATCH: Jeremy Corbyn offered pink blouse by reporter after Boris Johnson jibe
5 September 2019

The bemused Labour leader was offered a size-20 floral blouse after he refused to back the PM's request for a general election.

Sadiq Khan golf jibe triggers yet another Donald Trump Twitter tantrum
3 September 2019

Donald Trump has resorted to making more wild claims about London after Sadiq Khan needled him over his golfing habits.