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Ukip donor Arron Banks threatens to quit in ultimatum to Paul Nuttall

UKIP was plunged into a new crisis last night as its biggest donor threatened to quit unless he is allowed to take over the party.

Millionaire businessman Arron Banks said the party was being run like a “jumble sale” as he issued a dramatic ultimatum to leader Paul Nuttall in the wake of last week’s Stoke-on-Trent by-election defeat.Mr Banks said unless he is made chairman he will quit and invest his millions in a new, rival political movement that will “destroy” Ukip.He also claimed that Nigel Farage shared his frustration and could consider “heading in a different direction” if things didn’t change.

Arron Banks

If Mr Banks became chairman, he revealed that his first act would be to expel Ukip’s only MP, Douglas Carswell, whom he accused of “treachery” following a row over claims he blocked a knighthood for Mr Farage.The claims that Mr Carswell had stood in the way of an honour were made on Question Time last week.The MP, who has had a long-running feud with Mr Farage, said the suggestion was “absurd,” adding: “That’s simply not the case. I would love it if I had the power to award knighthoods.”

However the bad blood within Ukip has now erupted into civil war, with Mr Banks seeking to take control.

Arron Banks, Nigel Farage, Paul NuttallGETTY

Ukip donor Arron Banks threatened to quit the party in ultimatum to Paul Nuttall


“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.”

And he alleged: “From what I hear, far from winning elections, Carswell’s main concern is sabotaging Nigel’s knighthood, which is why he must leave the party.”

Mr Banks, who has launched the Right-wing website Westmonster and says he will set up his own movement to rival Ukip if he doesn’t get his way, now intends to make a formal complaint about Mr Carswell’s behaviour to Ukip’s National Executive Committee for bringing the party into “disrepute”.

Paul NuttallGETTY

Paul Nuttall lost the Stoke on Trent by-election


He said that if Mr Carswell had blocked a knighthood it would be “disgraceful and treacherous behaviour”.He added: “Losing the by-election was the final straw. Mr Carswell is a career politician and doesn’t care about Ukip. He has got to get out. So my first job as chairman would be to purge the party of these sorts of people.“Carswell is welcome to go back to the Tories or stand as an independent but he will not be welcome under the Ukip banner. He has always been a green-eyed, jealous monster when it comes to Nigel.”

Mr Banks said: “The vast majority of Ukip people are lovely but there is an element that causes trouble and I’d want to eliminate that.”

He believes business backers who supported his Leave.Eu group during last year’s referendum campaign, including Peter Hargreaves, Richard Tice and Jim Mellon, would come to Ukip if it were put on a professional footing.

MP Douglas CarswellGETTY

Mr Banks has branded Douglas Carswell disgraceful


He vowed he would use his position as a platform to bring in a chief executive to help oversee the running of the party, which he said would be rebranded and modernised. He believes that Mr Farage would also play a “more fulsome role” if it was brought under his control.“At the moment Nigel is fed up and could be heading in a different direction purely out of frustration,” Mr Banks warned.Friends of Mr Farage told the Sunday Express that the former Ukip leader was on the verge of quitting the party entirely last week following the humiliating by-election defeat, which has reopened divisions.

Ukip had seen Stoke, which voted overwhelmingly for Brexit in last year’s referendum, as fertile ground for a challenge to Labour in a contest triggered by the resignation of former shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt.

But Mr Nuttall’s gamble to stand himself failed to come off as Labour’s Gareth Snell held the seat with a majority of 2,620, raising questions as to whether Ukip can defeat Labour in its traditional heartlands.

Arron BanksGETTY

Mr Banks wants to became chairman and expel Ms Carswell


Mr Farage denied that he was preparing to quit Ukip but he went on to criticise the running of the party’s by-election campaign.Mr Farage, who was last night expected to attend the Governors’ Ball in Washington alongside US President Donald Trump, said he still had “full confidence” in Mr Nuttall.However, he suggested the by-election campaign had not been good enough, adding: “Ukip needs to own the immigration debate.

“Too many voices at the centre want us to become mainstream, whatever that means, and my answer to that is Ukip are a radical party.”

Last night Mr Nuttall, who has not been seen since the by-election, was unavailable for comment. It is believed he may be on holiday.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/772162/nigel-farage-paul-nuttall-arron-banks-ukip-takeover-donor

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2 Comments on "Ukip donor Arron Banks threatens to quit in ultimatum to Paul Nuttall"

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Margaret robinson
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Couldnt agree more. Prior to the ref. I donated to ukip but never joined. I knew i had done the right thing following leadership chaos and mep fights and especially when PN was elected leader and even more so when he stood as ukip candidate at S on T. Yes people want someone who connects but they also want a person with some integrity and professionalism whom they can respect. Someone who would be comfortable with their parliamentry peers. Not a second rate car salesman Westminster would chew PN up and spit him out in 24 hours. Thank goodness. Ukip… Read more »
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