The front-runner in the UKIP leadership contest, Nigel Farage MEP, was on the receiving end of an astonishing attack from a fellow UKIP MEP today, who criticised Mr Farage for being a "control freak" and damaging the party by monopolising power.
The front-runner in the UKIP leadership contest, Nigel Farage, was on the receiving end of an astonishing attack from a fellow UKIP MEP today, who criticised Mr Farage for being a “control freak” and damaging the party by monopolising power. The letter was published by Junius, a blog run by a disaffected UKIP member, and was written by Mike Nattrass, an MEP for the West Midlands region.
Mr Nattrass accuses Farage of discrediting his opponents in the leadership bid and dominating all media coverage of the party. He wrote:
“Increasingly I am hearing the word ‘Spiv’ used to describe him, from people who are not members but see his image. I am concerned that the UKIP party brand will be tarnished, even holed below the water line, by his monopoly of power.”
Mr Nattrass said Mr Farage’s dominance was adversely affecting the party, and he provides an insight into the discontent of UKIP MEPs in Brussels. He is particularly critical of Mr Farage’s relationship with Nikki Sinclaire, who resigned from the Europe of Freedom and Democracy grouping in the European Parliament. Nattrass also said Farage managed MEPs and their staff poorly – giving them no say in the hiring of new support staff.
“Whilst Nigel is a very good speaker, he is also a control freak. He grabs all UKIP publicity to the detriment of any other UKIP spokesperson or MEP. I expect that Nigel will be elected leader as no one else is effectively allowed to stand without a spin campaign against them. I can see less MEPs in the UKIP squad when he does win.”
Mr Nattrass, who says Mr Farage “does not like truth or competition”, also hints that Mr Farage was the source of The Sunday Times allegations of fraud, which he said appeared at the time of his own leadership bid. Mr Farage is also accused of “derailing” previous UKIP leaders.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.