I very much like Diane James and I will certainly not attack her personally in anyway shape or form.
I do however take objection to the tactics that her campaign is using in this leadership contest.
I think party members need to know what is going and here is what’s happening. Myself and 3 three candidates in this process have given a large amount of our time off work unpaid or in holidays, travelled all over the country to try and engage with members and indeed accepted any and all opportunities from the media to discuss and debate the future of our party.
And one candidate Diane has refused to engage with the process at all. It’s undemocratic, unopen and in my view bang out of order.
Diane James has refused to do any of the 12 hustings across the country and has now pulled out of two more hustings planned by the BBC. The Victoria Derbyshire debate scheduled for next week and BBC Essex debate scheduled for tomorrow both of which have been cancelled because Diane has point blanked refused to do either.
I think this action does raise several questions that need answers.
What has a candidate got to be afraid of? Why would a candidate deliberately try to shut down any debate? UKIP is and should be a proud democratic and open party.
Surely the whole point of this leadership process is to debate the policies and future direction of UKIP but how can you do that when one candidate refuses to engage in the process at all?
Is this the sign of things to come in our party? No discussion, no debate and no one else having any say?
Her actions show how the party will be run if she becomes leader she won’t debate and she wants to make sure there is no democratic say in the running of the party by scrapping the democratically elected NEC.
I am very happy debating the policy and direction of the party questions with my fellow party members it’s a real shame she does share that view.
I do worry about what will come of our party. Is this really the kind of political party we want to be? And is this the style that we want in our next leader? We are supposed to be different from the establishment parties of labour and the Tories.
I for one hope we don’t become just another undemocratic, unopen, Westminster establishment party that simply refuses to engage with anyone.
Phillip Broughton – UKIP Leadership Candidate