Arron Banks's toys have officially left the pram
The UKIP collapse continues. Millionaire donor Arron Banks has has given Paul Nuttall a stark ultimatum: make me party chairman or I walk.
Speaking to the Sunday Express, Banks said the party was being run like a ‘jumble sale’ and insisted he would be the man to fix it. He said that if Nuttall didn’t comply, he would establish a rival political movement that would ‘destroy’ UKIP.
“I am giving Paul Nuttall an ultimatum that either I become Chairman and sort out UKIP by bringing in business people and professionals to make it electable or I am out of there.
“The party cannot continue to be run like a jumble sale. If Nuttall doesn’t professionalise it and toss out the likes of Douglas Carswell and the rest of the Tory cabal then the party is finished anyway.
“These dullards aren’t bringing in Tory votes, Stoke proved that. So what are they for? The party now needs to bring in serious people to fix its ramshackle administration, stay relevant and stay radical or it will die.”
Banks — an insurance broker, diamond mine owner and self-appointed man of the people — has donated upwards of eight million pounds to anti-EU causes, including UKIP and Leave.eu, of which he is a co-founder.
He is well-known for his tantrums, most recently insisting that he was ‘sick to death’ of hearing about Hillsborough.
His latest rant traps Nuttall between a rock and a hard place. While the party, already in crisis, can’t afford to lose supporters, appointing Banks as chairman would, of course, confirm that the UKIP has become a tin pot organisation, tied to the whims of its donors.
Meanwhile, party grandee Nigel Farage is doing what he does best: awkwardly trailing around after Donald Trump.
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.
Dinner with The Donald. pic.twitter.com/KAdvZ84d2Y
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) February 26, 2017