Out in the cold? New UKIP leader Henry Bolton shuns right wing in party reshuffle
In a move which could signal a shift in party politics, Henry Bolton has carved out a team which shuns the likes of Anne Marie Waters and David Kurten, as he announced the line-up today.
Waters won 21 percent of the vote after she ran against Bolton in UKIP’s leadership contest, but her followers were called “Nazis and racists” as the new party chief revealed she would have no place in his inner circle.
The Pegida UK co-founder and anti-Sharia law activist announced she would form her own party “For Britain” last month.
However, the biggest surprise for insiders on Wednesday was the freezing out of David Kurten, who is vehemently opposed to gay marriage.
The Euroskeptic London Assembly Member was given no place in the ‘shadow cabinet,’ leading to accusations of backstabbing and betrayal.
Alan Craig, Kurten’s campaign manager, suggested Bolton was threatened by members of the LBGT in UKIP group, who claimed they would leave if Kurten was elected.
Craig said Kurten’s “conservative” views were becoming “wildly popular” within UKIP and Bolton would make a mistake to take the party from the right.
“It is never a good leadership to give in to blackmail, especially when – as in this case – it would involve breaking your word to do so and you are the recently-elected leader who necessarily has yet to establish yourself as the strong leader of integrity that is required,” he wrote in an open letter.
“Others who could not decide between you and David voted for you because your pledge meant that they would get ‘two for the price of one’ as someone said.”
UKIP insiders say Bolton has opted for a liberal approach, telling those closest to him he does not want to stick to “the left or the right” in a message which may lose the party’s core voter base.
Former adviser to Nigel Farage, Trixy Sanderson, said the list of appointments was "underwhelming."
"Given that it has taken so long for these jobs to be allocated I would have hoped for some big names on that list.
"Interestingly, despite claiming he would use other leadership candidates they are glaring in their absence from senior roles, with those instead going to existing appointments or people who supported him for leader.”
The number of “spokesman” roles was also questioned as Bolton looks set to take on a new charm offensive with the public.
Just last month the party was mocked and accused of ripping off football’s Premier League lion for its new logo.
Others suggested there were “missed opportunities” with Bolton’s selection.
Ex-navy officer Ben Walker was left out, despite gaining significant support throughout the leadership race.
Former deputy leader of UKIP Peter Whittle is a notable right-wing figure among the new appointments, but has been given the role of London spokesman, while Margot Parker becomes deputy.
Others who have stayed away from the far-right message have been inserted in leading roles, including disability spokeswoman Star Anderton and MEP Jane Collins, who was given the home affairs role.