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UKIP suspends member for speaking to newspaper

A former chairman of UKIP has been suspended for 100 years for “bringing the party into disrepute” by speaking to a Sunday newspaper.

Paul Henke, the former party chairman in Scotland, has been barred after speaking to the Sunday Herald to complain about the behaviour of a fellow party member.

The paper reported that Mr Henke was hit with the ban, which would in theory last until his 163rd birthday, after he spoke to the title about a row within the party over the selection process for the European Parliament elections.

One source in the party described the 100 year suspension as a “fatwa” and a number of senior party members have written to national UKIP chairman Steve Crowther to demand the withdrawal of the suspension.

The Sunday Herald reported that there had been infighting within UKIP in Scotland, which came to a head during the internal selection process for the European Parliament vote, during which six of the nine shortlisted candidates quit before ballot papers were sent.

David Coburn, who was chairman of UKIP in London, won the contest but 10 party members later signed a complaint against him, making various allegations.

The complaint was passed to the Sunday Herald and Mr Henke commented to the title about it, saying the party “should have honourable people as candidates”.

Days later, he received an email from Mr Crowther suspending his membership of the party for 100 years.

Sunday Herald editor Richard Walker told HTFP: ‘’UKIP say they have banned their former Scottish chairman Paul Henke for 100 years for bringing the party into ‘disrepute’ and ‘deliberately sabotaging’ their election campaign in Scotland.

“The UKIP stories the Sunday Herald has covered recently suggest the party is doing a very good job of achieving both those ends all by itself.

“Henke’s comments to the Sunday Herald were in fact pretty mild and it doesn’t reflect well on UKIP that it should inflict such a ridiculously over-the-top punishment.’’

The email suspending Mr Henke said: “This is to you inform you that I am today suspending your membership of the party for a period of 100 years.

“As a signatory of the complaint against our Scottish candidate which has been passed to the Sunday Herald, and having given your opinion on that subject to the Sunday Herald last week, you have brought the party into disrepute, and appear to be engaged in deliberately sabotaging our election campaign in Scotland.”

Following Mr Henke’s suspension, UKIP’s former Scottish leader Lord Monckton and seven other senior members wrote to Mr Crowther demanding withdrawal of the suspension and also calling for his resignation as party chairman.

UKIP had not responded to requests for a comment at the time of publication.


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  • February 5, 2014 at 9:06 am

    At least he’s got a punishment of a decent length.
    Used to drive us daft when we’d bring a Rule 18 complaint against someone who thought democratic decisions didn’t apply to them, and the NUJ would give them a small rap on one finger.
    A century is more like it though.

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  • February 5, 2014 at 10:44 am

    It’s a shame that a party with what could be construed as a serious agenda, namely making sure that UK citizens are getting a good deal out of EU membership, has been hijacked by crackpots, racists, bigots and butters.

    This wouldn’t have been tolerated in Athenian democracy some 3,000 years ago, where all citizens gathered on Pnyx hill to hear arguments, and crackpots would have the joy of witnessing their ideas being torn to shreds in open and immediate debate.

    It’s about time the local media did its job and highlighted the nutters and cranks fro those with a serious agenda.

    How can anyone take UKIP seriously now, after it has been revealed that it promoted a Pakistani gangster (not even a UK citizen) as its Commonwealth spokesman, just to get the Muslim vote?

    Even Nigel Farage’s German wife is in despair.

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  • February 5, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    If they were so democratic in Athens 3,000 years ago how come they ended up owning slaves?
    This is not a criticism but a serious question. Was it because they did not have a media like today?
    This could have implications for the United Kingdom if newspapers, the traditional watchdog of the people, go into complete collapse.
    Relying on social media for information will just create anarchy. You need a balanced, accurate source of media to provide a yardstick to judge events by. Also, that media needs to be local or it won’t be accountable. If there was something you didn’t like in your old fashioned newspaper you could go down to their office and have it out with them.
    On stuff like YouTube there are all sorts of conspiracy theories. You don’t know whether it’s a load of b—-cks or the shape of things to come because you don’t know the credibility of authors of those videos.
    We could all end up being slaves.

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