So it's good to see that one of UKIP's founders and most generous donors has come out in support of Tim Congdon's leadership bid. Following is his letter to Gerard Batten pledging his support:
I thank you for your letter of 24th September, announcing that you have decided to stand down in the UKIP leadership election and support Tim Congdon.
Your action reflects credit on yourself.
I believe that the view expressed by yourself, and also by Tim Congdon, that the leadership of UKIP must be in the UK is correct. The MEP wing of UKIP has its own sphere of activity and can be useful as similar parties to UKIP are growing in other EU countries, but it must be incorporated into and directed by the national party in the UK.
As you know, up to 2001 the party was based either in my offices in London or in offices funded by myself when I was Party Secretary. I was also a substantial contributor to the risk-capital of UKIP to get the party started in its early years. However, after the election of UKIP MEPs in 1999, I immediately became aware that some of the new MEPs had different and unconstitutional ideas of the role of the MEPs in the party.
At this point I ceased any funding to the national party, but continued to contribute to your own and other campaigns in London and elsewhere.
If Tim Congdon is elected Leader and in accordance with the published agreement between you and him carries out 'a commitment for the party to abide by its own Constitution, with a fair and impartial application of the rules', I look forward to rejoining, and to injecting some funding into the national party. I would expect to see commitment and action by the MEPs to make substantial financial contributions to the national party.
The current political situation in the UK and the rest of the EU offers immense opportunities to UKIP with a wide field of action. However, the turnover of members and activists has been far too high over the last few years and is linked in most cases to lack of confidence in the constitutional behaviour of the party, its officers and executives. For progress to be made, this confidence must be restored.
Sadly we believe that UKIP has so lost credibility that it can never actually achieve anything other than bringing the cause of withdrawal into disrepute. This is largely down to Nigel Farage but also to those others, regional organisers, MEPs, party secretary and general secretary, indeed all who have greedily pounced on the EU gravy train rather than sticking by their principles.