UKIP update and European Parliament punch up

A UK report from Missy:

UKIP Update

Since the referendum UKIP have been pretty quiet, especially as the the political classes have been watching Labour tear themselves apart, and the rise of Theresa May. So, in all the other dramas over the summer UKIP have pretty much been ignored, but they are front and centre today.

First a bit of background to today’s drama.

After the referendum Nigel Farage stood down as leader of UKIP, so as with Labour and the Conservatives they ran a leadership election.

Diane James was elected as UKIP leader in September, (don’t worry I hadn’t heard of her either), yesterday she resigned as leader of UKIP, lasting 18 days.

After the resignation of Diane James, Stephen Woolfe announced he would stand for the leadership (he did after Nigel Farage’s resignation as well). Stephen Woolfe is a MEP (Member of the European Parliament).

Today UKIP MEP’s had a party meeting in Strasbourg (where the EU Parliament is meeting this week), reports say there was an altercation between Woolfe and another UKIP MEP, in which the other MEP allegedly punched Woolfe. As a result of the punch Woolfe ended up being hospitalised unconcious, initially though to have bleeding on the brain.

Woolfe has been cleared of a blood clot after a brain scan, and has woken up, reportedly feeling much better, despite some numbness down the left side of his face. He remains in hospital for further tests, but it seems he has escaped the serious brain injury first thought.

This extraordinary altercation came about reportedly due to a disagreement between Woolfe and the other MEP over Woolfe’s admiration of Theresa May, and saying he was enthused by her speech to the Conservative Conference. Allegedly Woolfe also stated he had briefly flirted with the idea of joining the Conservatives.

NZ Herald: British Ukip party members’ punch-up leaves one in hospital

Ukip leadership favourite Steven Woolfe is recovering in hospital after collapsing following an alleged punch-up with a fellow Member of the European Parliament.

Woolfe was embroiled in an “altercation” with another Ukip politician – said to be Mike Hookem – at a “clear the air” meeting this morning.

Sources claimed the row was over Woolfe’s admission that he had considered defecting to the Tories after being “enthused” by Theresa May’s new direction.

After being told he was a “joke” during the meeting, Woolfe apparently took off his jacket and challenged Hookem to “settle this outside”.

A party source said: “Words were said, and suddenly the pair had taken their jackets off and went outside to have a fight.

“Woolfe fell over at one stage during the fight and banged his head on some bars. It is thought he was only punched once. He then suffered a fit.”

Despite walking away from the fight, Woolfe then collapsed and had a fit around two hours later – at around 11.20am UK time (11.20pm NZ time) – and was rushed to hospital.

At one point his injuries were thought to be life-threatening, but in a statement issued from his hospital bed this afternoon, Woolfe said: “The CT scan has shown that there is no blood clot in the brain.

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  1. Thanks Missy for that. Isn’t UK politics interesting, well more interesting than ours at the moment.

    Elsewhere from Telegraph dispatches , various Eurocrats are taking aim at any freedom of movement restrictions Britain looks like introducing, although no firm idea yet if his this might look yet ……,

    “Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, defended (potential low skill immigration/ Euro right to work proposed restrictions) . In an interview with Bloomberg he said that the referendum decision had been partly driven by concerns about “pressure on wages from the lowest end of the large scale migration, largely from eastern Europe”.

    He said that “we have to address that issue”, adding: “The problem is not highly skilled bankers, brain surgeons and engineers.

    “You will not find that people have a problem with people with high skills and high earnings coming to the UK. The issue we have to deal with is people with low skills competing for entry-level jobs.”

    He added: The UK’s demographics are different from most if not all of our neighbours in Europe.We have a population which is still growing before immigration. For the UK continued low-skilled migration is not the way forward.”

    I think that worldwide it is encumbent on governments to look protect and upskill its lower skilled workers/youth in entry level positions. I’m sure that the low wages unskilled Brits suffer and the impact that has on communities played a part in the Leave vote. There’s no way May & co can avoid acting on that.

    I see so-called “fringe” elememts on the edges of the Tory Conference were entertained by Tony “pay the traffickers and boatsmen” and his guide on how to stop the migrant flow.

    • Missy

       /  7th October 2016

      The free movement issue will be the defining issue for the Brexit negotiations, it will be interesting how it pans out. It will also be the issue that causes the most animosity.

      I have posted an article on Open Forum about Merkel and how she is essentially willing to risk Germany’s economy to safeguard the ideology of free movement.

      At the moment it is all rhetoric, a bit like the trash talk of boxers prior to a match, with both sides trying to show they are unwilling to move.

      The UK Government’s stance is right for their country, they do have a higher proportion of EU immigration compared to other EU countries, and they are understanding that they need to do what they can to curb it. Many in the UK are willing to take a financial / economic hit in order to reduce immigration, so it will come down to who has the most to lose.

      The best thing Theresa May has done – despite the criticism – is not guarantee the status of EU citizens in the UK. The critics said that people can not be bargaining chips, but it seems the EU countries are willing to use Britons as bargaining chips, but with more EU citizens in the UK (especially Poles) than Brits in the EU they will have more to lose than the UK.

      The EU appear to be behaving as if they are dealing with David Cameron, who was happy to walk away with less than he wanted, but I think they will find Theresa May is a lot tougher. To me the EU leaders appear to be panicking a bit, they seemed to think that the pittance they gave in the negotiations with the UK at the beginning of the year was enough, so the vote to leave the EU, and Theresa May’s determination to follow through with it, has been a bit of a shock to them I think.

      • The EURO stalwarts see the fragility on all fronts. Threats and bullying are not the weapons to use to keep the horses stabled

  2. artcroft

     /  7th October 2016

    Head knocks like this are quite serious and it doesn’t sound like Woolf took the care he needed. From experience I can say it is important to get checked out immediately after being knocked unconscious and to rest up. Woolf didn’t do this but went on to a meeting and then collapsed later. Not a good prognosis.


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