It is hard to believe in the strategy that UKIP currently appear set upon as the political career of Paul Nuttall seems to be coming to an end. His interview with Michael Crick of Channel 4 on the Streets of Stoke means that even if he was to gain the largest number of votes in the election, that his victory would be shortlived. The inclusion of a residential address on the ‘Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll’ which he openly admitted on camera he had yet to move into is serious breach of electoral law. My own rather limited political experience left me with a number of lessons learned, and what was clearly drummed into all of the candidates or their agents was that they must abide by the rules and fill in the forms honestly or else the whole election could be brought into question. There was no reason for Mr Nuttall to reveal his address publicly, he could have done as two other candidates did and kept the address out of the public gaze. However the constituency in which candidates live must be noted. This means that those who currently live outside of the constituency can be challenged on the basis of them being parachuted in from elsewhere. Mr Nuttall freely admitted that he had been living outside of the constituency when the form was filled in.
In terms of who will replace Mr Nuttall as leader, the most obvious candidate is Arron Banks. Not because he has any electoral experience, but because without his funds and personal energy, the party will need to be completely rebuilt from the bottom up which will not be something appealing to most members. However the prospect of Arron Banks leading the party will give him the same sort of profile as that which is currently applied to Donald Trump across the Atlantic. According to this news report the very demeaning tweets by Banks about Hillsborough are not being defended by his “close friend” Nigel Farage. It is hard to imagine anyone supporting them but no doubt some people will. He was on twitter again yesterday when comments made by UKIP MEP, Jane Collins which were clearly made up where called into question including in this news report. Mrs Collins who represents Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire claimed that 100’s of illegal immigrants were being arrested every week and that her source was a press release from Sussex Police. The Independent looked carefully and the best they could find was a report from a retired officer who claimed 119 immigrants were arrested over a 6 month period in 2016 when there was a great deal more activity than at present. However the inevitable criticism of such extreme exaggeration (5 a week is a long way from 100’s a week) was diverted by Banks who stated on twitter
“Clearly nonsense , the police couldn’t catch a cold let alone illegal immigrants”