Nigel Farage’s allies have promised to “declare full scale war on UKIP” if Steven Woolfe is kept off the ballot today, as is expected. Multiple allies of Woolfe say they believe the NEC will decide to block their man from standing for leader. Opponents of Woolfe also say they believe the NEC will rule against him. Sources close to Woolfe say they are aware of the speculation but are waiting for the official announcement at midday. So what happens next?
Guido is told that Farage has been keeping a close eye on proceedings. Nigel is still the leader and has the power to appoint a new chairman and cancel the leadership process. He is firmly of the view that Woolfe is being stitched up by anti-Farage factions on the NEC. Farage allies say they have evidence of conflicts of interest among anti-Woolfe NEC members, including personal relationships, which they believe make the leadership process not fit for purpose. Farage is ready to press the nuclear button if necessary…
Arron Banks, UKIP’s largest donor, says he will call an Extraordinary General Meeting to effectively abolish the NEC and reshape the party’s entire structure. Banks says Woolfe is the victim of a “coup” attempt by allies of Neil Hamilton. Raheem Kassam, Farage’s former chief aide, threatens:
“If Steven Woolfe is kept off the ballot for spurious reasons, I will declare full scale war on UKIP, using all the assets and sources at my disposal to topple the Tory establishment that is trying to take over the party. That’s a warning and a promise.”
TAP – Guido’s headline isn’t quite justified. Farage has had enough of the NEC. That’s obvious enough, and he won’t allow the cardboard cut-outs that sit on the NEC to destroy the Party. Thank heavens for that.