Statement on my resignation from the UK Independence Party

Politics has a reputation for nastiness, in-fighting, backstabbing, shameless self-promotion and over-inflated egos. That’s not what it should be. Politics should be about helping to make people’s lives better; I happen to believe this is best achieved through less State control of citizens’ daily lives. Many years ago I joined what was then a tiny political party, speaking about how we can bring democracy back to the people, how we can better protect people from crime, and regain control of our own lawmaking by leaving the European Union.

Under the leadership of Nigel Farage, it succeeded in forcing the Brexit referendum, achieving something historic. It was always a flawed party, but it was the only show in town for anyone who – like me – felt let down and abandoned by an out of touch political establishment.

Give me a lever long enough, Archimedes said, and I will move the world. I do not have a long enough lever. I had hoped that I might be able to help that party to realise its true potential as a Party of the people. I fought hard to persuade it to adopt the ‘no tax on minimum wage’ policy which proved so popular with working people. I worked to get it to broaden its horizons to focus more on helping people with true ‘pavement politics’ and working on behalf of local people in local communities. I took, as a member of the European Parliament, a different approach to most. I made sure to have an excellent attendance record, to speak out in debates, and to try to change things. Consequently, I became the only one of our MEPs to get any of my amendments passed by the full European Parliament – to stop British (and other EU) taxpayers’ money being used to subsidise bullfighting through the EU budget.

I tried my best to avoid the nastiness that pervades modern politics. I believed my party to be different, or at least to be capable of becoming something different. I, like so many others, believed it to have potential and I continued to believe in that potential long after the evidence no longer supported it – out of loyalty to the many honest, hard-working members who still believed in it.

Yet the unpleasant nature – the Steven Woolfe fracas, the Diane James fiasco, the Anne-Marie Waters  debacle, the John-Rees Evans bizarreness, the countless leaks, briefings and character assassinations – became almost as bad as the political establishment I had hoped to counter.

Perhaps there have been occasions where I have been sucked into that atmosphere of negativity and nastiness. If that has happened, I unreservedly apologise.

With yet another new Leader came new forlorn hope. Over the last week it has become abundantly clear that the current Leader is not the right person for the job, but likewise that those jockeying for position and hoping to take his job would be no better. Politics has always been like that, but as true believers in a cause, we always thought ourselves to be different. Once, maybe, but no longer.

I’ll continue to work for all the things I was elected to achieve. I’ll continue to speak out against the unrealistic Corbynista world-view, the Lib Dems’ hypocrisy, and the dog’s breakfast this government is making of the negotiation through its negative, surrendering mindset.

My Party has, over the last year, significantly shifted its position on cultural and religious issues. This has, as is a matter of public record, placed it at considerable variance with my own views.

All of this, however untenable my situation became, I would have continued to work from within to change – if the Party were still a vehicle for achieving positive pressure on the government over Brexit. That is no longer the case. The lack of response to Labour’s betrayal over the EU Withdrawal Bill speaks volumes about a Party attacking itself rather than attacking its opponents.

There have been lovely, caring, wonderful people in UKIP over the years – people who are as far from the media stereotype of UKIP members as the North Pole is from the South. Many, like me, have seen no alternative but to take the course of action I must now also take with a heavy heart.

As an independent, I’ll continue to represent my constituents to the very best of my ability. Hopefully, unencumbered by the sewer of Party politics, I’ll have more time to devote to what should always be the most important part of anyone’s job in politics: representing and serving people.

After nearly 17 years of trying to make this Party something I could be proud to represent, I do not take this decision lightly but there is no longer any alternative.

28 replies
  1. Catherine cockburn
    Catherine cockburn says:

    I have always admired you I am sick of all those ukip people who we trusted at the head of my party it is us who elect you all and trust to work for us I am sick of Woolfe and the others who resign People voted for you as ukip candidates not as independent At this so crucial time you are giving all those who want to get rid of ukip as a party and you are all giving them what they want I as a ukip member am so because I want a ukip government In Westminster I will never vote for any one else Henry Bolton Has done nothing wrong his private life is his the majority of people have these personal problems he has a right to be happy like us all we are not out of the eu with May and all the others I don’t think we will ever be the free country that we voted for You and the others who are betraying ukip supporters by resigning I am in tears as I write this You were one of ukip greats who I believed were part of ukip for us the ordinary people s benefits unlike the other coc lab lib etc

    Reply
    • Alan Bowles
      Alan Bowles says:

      Bolton, let us down, as a leader he had a resposibility to keep the party from disrepute. That is what a leader has to do. We UKIP must keep fighting and I think and have said that if a person gets elected as UKIP, I ask they remain and that is the case here with Jonathon Arnott. – I hope he returns. Good bloke. With respect to you Catherine, I think we feel very much the same. Alan

      Reply
  2. Jason B
    Jason B says:

    Jonathan is a person of good principle. It is UKIP that have changed the goal posts. It is their past folly has made them unacceptable to become a leader. People’s private lives do matter if they are to represent a responsible position in leading the Country. Nigel’s great weakness was to place his arms around clowns from the celebrity world unfit for purpose. Many sober genuine ukippers have disappeared with membership going right down to 35% from a high of 48,000 to 17,000 and that says it all. We wish you well Jonathan, hold on to your seat.

    Reply
  3. Neil Humphrey
    Neil Humphrey says:

    You’re welcome to join English Independence – we’re building a grassroots, member-led policy making… Had exactly the same issues, just many years earlier… the party elites want to control members, and we feel it should be the other way round…

    Reply
  4. noel swinford
    noel swinford says:

    very sad to see Jonathan Arnott leave us as a founding member of hemel hempstead ukip and at 82 i though that I had found a party that we could get not only our freedom from the EU but a peoples party that stood up against all of the others partys who had given up caring abourt the ordanry people and it herts us all who have fourt for years yet we have of late been badly let down by all of our leaders,bolt is the latest, for goodness sake get us a leader who is not a lier andis not a cheat.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  2. […] My colleague Rowena Mason has been counting the Ukip resignations. There have been 13 – the 12 listed at 4.01pm, plus Jonathan Arnott, who was a Treasury spokesman but who resigned from the party last week. […]

  3. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  4. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  5. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  6. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  7. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  8. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  9. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  10. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  11. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  12. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  13. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  14. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  15. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  16. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  17. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  18. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  19. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  20. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  21. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

  22. […] In his resignation letter, in which he confirmed he would continue to serve as an independent member of the European Parliament, Mr Arnott suggested the party had lost its anti-establishment edge and was beset by “unpleasant” infighting. […]

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