13 Aug 2013

‘Bongo bongo’ Bloom hangs on in Ukip Euro election list

The controversial Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom, who was last week exposed on camera as having talked about “bongo bongo land”, has retained his place in the Ukip list of candidates for the European elections next May.

There was some speculation that Mr Bloom might fall victim to a late purge after the broadcast of his remarks, which were denounced by the party leadership.

Other names on the Ukip list, which was published today, include Diane James (in the South East region), the highly rated candidate who fought the Eastleigh by-election, and the Express newspaper political editor Patrick O’Flynn (in the Eastern region).

Others on the list include Ukip’s highly paid and flamboyant press officer Gawain Towler (in the South West), and Margot Parker (East Midlands), who fought the Corby by-election last autumn. Viscount Christopher Monckton, who used to work on Margaret Thatcher’s policy unit, is among the Ukip candidates who will fight the Euro elections in Scotland.

Britain's member of the European Parliament Bloom waits for the start of a voting session in Strasbourg

Despite much speculation, the controversial former Conservative minister Neil Hamilton has not been included on the list, even though Hamilton made it clear he would like to run. Nor is his wife Christine a candidate.

Ukip members will now be asked to vote in order to rank these contenders in order or preference in each region. In most cases it will be this internal election, rather than the public poll next May, which will determine whether or not individuals become MEPs. Top spot on each list almost gaurantees success.

I agree with many observers that as things currently stand Ukip is likely to get more MEPs elected than any other British party.

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