One of the most senior figures in the UK Independence Party, David Campbell Bannerman, has defected to the Tories.
- eleven of the UK’s 72 MEPs (€7665 each, plus exes, per month, plus lump sums paid to the party group), though the UKIP website is still claiming twelve: Good grief, they look a miserable bunch). That number is testimony to the depth of unpopularity the Labour government suffered at the pit of the banking crisis, not to any mass-appeal among the general populace.
- two members of Parliament (both Tory defectors in the near-800 House of Lords) and
- claims 85 of the thousands of councillors, at all levels from parish pump up, across the whole of the UK.
It is hard to take UKIP seriously at any level, least of all its claim to be a credible political force. Currently, one struggles to find a reputable polling operation which finds any measurable UKIP vote. UKIP, at best, is the vote for “none of the above”.
Yet its massive operation at the European Parliament deserves a leader (the genial Nigel Farrage) and a Deputy Leader. Briefly, Campbell Bannerman was that Unterführer before he was replaced by a Nuttall (name and nature?).
It represents something of a homecoming for the two-time UKIP leadership contender, who was chairman of the Bow Group in the early 1990s, a special adviser to Patrick Mayhew when he was Northern Ireland Secretary and a Conservative candidate at the 1997 and 2001 general elections.
He joined UKIP in 2004, serving as party chairman between 2005 and 2006, when he was appointed deputy leader by Nigel Farage, a post he held until 2010. He was elected a UKIP MEP for the East of England in 2009.
That omits the four years of loyal service to Tunbridge Wells Council’s Conservative group.
Churchill defended his 1924 defection back to the Tories as:
“Anyone can rat,but it takes a certain amount of ingenuity to re-rat.”
If WSC was a rat (and few would completely deny the claim), this DSB is a pygmy jerboa (above right):
It is a long tailed rodent that can jump long distance by using its hind legs similar to a kangaroo.