The future of Mr Carswell

Knowing  how keen some of my contributors are to discuss UKIP and its role, I feel I must mention the recent loss of UKIP’s one elected MP.  Mr Carswell no longer feels UKIP has a task  given the decision to leave the EU. He believes that was its main proposition, and therefore thinks it is redundant now that has been adopted by the public.  Others in UKIP think there is a continuing role in the future for the party, as they seek to define its stance on a range of issues other than our relationship with the EU.

I am not going to express an opinion on this difference within UKIP. I would be interested to hear from those on either side of the argument. Some will think Mr Carswell has behaved sensibly and has explained how voters and elected officials need to move on now the issue of EU membership has been resolved by popular vote. Others will think Mr Carswell was wrong, and will see a future for UKIP.

What kind of a party should UKIP be going forward if you think, unlike Mr Carswell, it has a future role? What should be its distinctive policies and platform?

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116 Comments

  1. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    I always assumed UKIP would disband once we had left the EU, and if its members wished to set up other new parties then fine. But of course we haven’t yet left the EU.

    • rose
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      I quite agree. When we have got back our independence and our fishing grounds, then the party dedicated to achieving that can think about its future.

  2. Stephen T
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Well the BBC are giving air time to Mr Heseltine to talk Brexit down on day 1. Tomorrow it will be another EU 5th columnist trying to weaken our position and given the oxygen of publicity by our “free, impartial, fair” broadcaster.

    So yes I think a party like UKIP, that is prepared to say what it thinks, will be relevant until all the traitors have been sent back under their rocks.

    • Robert Eve
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Agreed.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Over half the Tory MPs and ex-Tory MPs are in the Heseltine, Clark, Soubry, Morgan, Major, Osborne, Cameron remain camp. Many are in the Cabinet. Theresa May may well still be in that camp too. After all only nine months ago she was trying to trick the public into a remain vote by saying that they had control of borders in the EU through Schengen. Fortunately they were not taken in by her deception.

      We need a strong UKIP to stop them reverting to type.

      • Jerry
        Posted March 31, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

        @LL; “We need a strong UKIP to stop them reverting to type.”

        Except that UKIP achieved nothing, not only that but it can be argued that UKIP actually kept the UK in the EU for far longer than needed had they never, existed because their existence diluted the eurosceptic support within the Tory party and to a lesser extent Labour Party.

        What we need is not UKIP (or any other party of protest), just honourable and dedicated MPs, and as both Brexit and Euroscepticism is cross-party it will not matter if they are of the right, left or centre.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted March 31, 2017 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

          Sorry Jerry but the Conservatives were not a single issue party so in the absence of UKIP had I voted Conservative there would have been no metric to register my vote was anti EU.

          With UKIP in existence and polling over 15% a referendum arrived.

          Single issue parties have huge merit.

          • Jerry
            Posted April 2, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

            @NS; I take your point but there is a difference between protest votes that weakens the only party who is logicically going to be in a position to achieve your higher political goals and those that do not. Obviously in your case it was correct to vote UKIP at the EP level, and even local council level, but not at the Westminster level. We all saw what happened in 2010, it’s called cutting your own nose off to spite someone else!

            Were would we be today, had UKIP cut further into the Tory vote, rather than (unexpectedly) taking votes from labour, during the 2015 GE, we could easily now have an Ed Miliband lead coalition with the LDs, the SNP or perhaps Greens, or worse all three (being the three of the most europhile parties in Europe). How long would our hard won EU opt-outs have lasted, never mind the remainder of our rebate?…

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 1, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

          I do not agree at all without UKIP (and do not forget they we the largest party in the proportional voting EU elections) we would never have got a referendum. The Tory party was hugely pro EU and still is. It is still after all let by Hammond and May who were not only pro EU but appear to be socialist too.

          It was a great shame the pathetic John Major buried the party with his pro EU, lefty stance and the lunacy of the ERM. Without him we would not have had to suffer Bliar (and his war on a lie) and the dire “no return to boom and bust” Brown.

          So dire were the tory MPs they even voted the unelectable John Major back in when he “resigned” preferring him to JR.

          • Jerry
            Posted April 1, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

            @LL; “and do not forget they [UKIP, in the UK] were the largest party in the proportional voting EU elections”

            Hence why, with zero or close to zero political influence on the domestic scene, they did all they could to prevent the UK actually voting to leave, because the only power base UKIP has ever had is that given by the EP in Brussels and Strasbourg. I do not believe for one moment that the UKIP press office machine is so inept to allow the obviously divisive comments, even more so after tragic events, that keep being made by high ranking figures without understanding their real world effects. How many otherwise Leave votes were lost in the latter stages of the referendum campaign, and why within only a couple of hours of the polls closing (before many of the counts had even started) did Mr Farage claim that whilst the result will be close he believed that Brexit had been lost, then retiring to his bed, only to be woken up again later when the actual result was known – that had all the hallmarks of the actions of a seasoned candidate (used to ballot counts) who did not want or even expect a win!

            “[without UKIP] we would never have got a referendum”

            Rubbish, the prime movers and shakers were the eurosceptic Tory MPs, UKIP have never been in any position to seriously offer, never mind secure, a referendum.

            “It was a great shame the pathetic John Major buried the party with his pro EU, lefty stance and the lunacy of the ERM.”

            Many might well agree…

            “Without him we would not have had to suffer Bliar (and his war on a lie) and the dire “no return to boom and bust” Brown.

            …because they would almost certainly have then been celebrating Mr Kinnock and labour’s win in the 1992 GE.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Well if Theresa May and Hammond had sensible policies for the economy perhaps they would not be needed. But Theresa is essentially an interventionist, high tax, big state socialist. Even yesterday still was still going on about “building on workers “rights”(something that will actually kill jobs and will thus actually diminish those “rights”.

    UKIP should exert pressure to ensure May/Hammond do not cave in to the EU, moves to a sensible cheap reliable energy policy, cancel HS2, Hinkley C and the likes, lower taxes, simplify taxes, restore UK fishing waters, reduce the size of the malignant state sector and do not pay the EU any fee nor pick up pension liabilities for Kinnock types.

  4. alan jutson
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    If it has any sense UKIP will represent the policies and views of the average citizen in the UK (whatever average is deemed to mean) if it wishes to become a major party in UK politics.

    It has a huge opportunity at the moment given the Labour Party has lurched to the left, and the Conservatives have also moved slightly left of centre, but UKIP needs a period of stability at the top, needs to organise and represent itself in a rather more professional manner.

    Mr Carswell was always going to be an odd fit within the Party.

    Sensible policies would be:

    A huge Curb on Foreign Aid.
    Proper controls on immigration.
    Proper controls on Benefits.
    More sensible spending on Defence.
    Budget to be run in balance.
    NHS fully funded but reformed.(free at the point of use retained)
    NHS to charge non UK Visitors/temporary residents for treatment (paid before treatment).
    State pension raised, but based on contributions made.
    Simplification of our Tax Laws.
    Raising of Inheritance Tax Limit so it is fair to all (including non home owners)
    Scrapping of the new Death Tax, Probate charges.
    Nursing Home care free for all who have made full National Insurance contributions.
    Repeal Climate change Act and scrap all so called green taxes.
    Adopt a more professional and value for money Purchasing system for all Government contracts.
    Scrap HS2
    Scrap Heathrow 3rd runway, and spread the load by expanding more airports or building new.

    Should do for a start.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted March 31, 2017 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Alan you missed out defence and education but otherwise a fine wish list

    • Jerry
      Posted April 1, 2017 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      @alan jutson; “Sensible policies would be [../long wish-list/..]”

      Only trouble is, the majority of voters actually think most of your suggested policies are not sensible. Much of your wish list is already either explicit or implied in the last UKIP manifesto, remind me how many votes UKIP obtained nationwide? If the Tory party were ever foolish enough to offer such a manifesto they would be writing the second longest (electoral) suicide note in history.

      The NHS is funded from direct and indirect taxation, that means 99% of those living in the UK make some sort of contribution, even children and non UK citizens. Care, from cradle to grave, should thus be based on need, not some form of working life contributions that can become interrupted for all sorts of (legitimate) reasons. That said, explicit health tourism is a problem, but many would see it as unethical for the health service, never mind those working within, should it try to withhold treatment in many cases, and in some cases there could be serious public health issues should someone not attend a Doctor or Hospital. This is also why it would be sort-sighted for the NHS to stop/restrict pre outward travel inoculations, as has been suggested.

      As for the last item on your wish-list Alan, you do not seem to understand the concept of what a ‘Hub Airport’ is and why they are important!

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 1, 2017 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      You missed; Spokespeople for an English devolved assembly on all devolved issues, oh and the English are happy to use suitably qualified backbench MPs who don’t have enough to do so can otherwise take on three other jobs!

  5. Mark B
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I am not a UKIP’er but I think with the implosion of the Labour Party, and the unelectability of the Liberals, I think it is important to have a party that will stand up for ordinary people and hold the government to account.

    As for policies. I think a fairer deal for England and reform regarding the way the UK is governed.

    I have never seen the EU as the problem, just a symptom of the true problem, that of the total lack of democracy in the UK.

    Once out of the EU, what is stopping a future government from doing the same thing further down the line ? Or, slowly giving away our sovereign powers piecemeal ?

    We need a party that will act as guardian to all this and, I feel UKIP have done a great job especially against all the odds.

    I just hope they can sort themselves out and become a true party of the Little People.

    • Jerry
      Posted April 1, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      @Mark B; Except that there has been no general “implosion of the Labour Party” [1], only the largely moribund or discredited MSM wishing it was so, along with some party political social media pundits with an axe to grind.

      The problem UKIP have, trying to reposition themselves left of the current Tory party is that they have 20 plus years of manifestos, PPBs and platform speeches that clearly show they been to the right of the Tory party. It would be like New Labour and Mr Blair attempting, back in the mid 1990s, to reposition themselves to the right of the then Major government rather than the centre, no one would have taken them seriously.

      [1] the Party, not just the parliamentary party (MPs and Peers), nor is membership count that important, most voters (of any party) are not paid-up members of the party they vote for

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    “The World needs liberal, democratic values of Europe” says May.

    Well (rather like the Libdems) there is not much that is actually “Liberal” or “Democratic” about the EU, quite the reverse. These values clearly exist in many people who live in Europe, but they are largely confounded by the dire, suffocating EU and the EURO.

    What the EU countries (and indeed the UK) actually need is far less government, far less red tape, far less government waste, far lower taxes, far cheaper (non greencrap) energy and far more freedom of the individual. Mrs May and Hammond seem to think the reverse. She is rather more Ed Miliband that a real Conservative.

  7. Jerry
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    UKIP, at least those running the party, certainly give the impression of now being a rabble looking for a cause since 24th June. They also seem to have shifted their political ideology quite significantly towards the left -claiming to be the voice of the traditional socialist working class with a nationalistic outlook. That is not the party Mr Carswell joined, not the manifesto he stood on (twice) of his constituents voted for, Mr Carswell is an honourable man and has done the honourable thing, as much to protect the people of Clacton as himself. If he were to rejoin the Conservatives, and I do not see any reason why he could or should not (after all one Mr Churchill did that), then yes there should be a by-election. The Conservative party also needs to understand that many appear to vote for the man, not the party, so talk of deselecting Mr Carswelll should he rejoin the party is a bit silly and short sighted.

    As for the future of UKIP, they are merely, as they always have been, a political barometer, but if they are truly swinging towards the left and carrying the traditional working class vote with them the real question might actually be what future does the current Conservative party policies have, if the party is going to remain relevant and electable. Only fools underestimate both Mr Corbyn and his grass-roots power base, nor the fact that many were ‘UKIPers’ well before anyone had ever thought about forming UKIP…

    • libertarian
      Posted April 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Jerry

      Good post although I suspect Carswell won’t rejoin the Tories, I may be wrong

  8. formula57
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    UKIP’s time has past as the issue that gave it purpose has been resolved, in good measure thanks to its efforts and those very largely a consequence of Mr. Farage’s capabilities .

    Its manifesto at the 2015 election contained some very sound and attractive proposals (not least on Scottish funding, overseas aid and abolishing IHT (that hammers the middle classes, not the rich)) but it lacks the personalities and funding and likely support to translate that into success for itself.

    I recall you remarked at the time Mr. Carswell joined UKIP that you did not see why he should have done. Wise words then and made more so in retrospect.

    • A different Simon
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      We are not out of the EU yet and behind the scenes , senior politicians are entering the UK into long arrangements with EU countries and the EU .

      Would you disagree that the UK armed forces have been virtually disbanded under the Coalition and Mr Fallon is completing the job ?

      Shouldn’t an independent nation be capable of defending itself and not totally reliant on Nato and the 50 year join defence agreement Cameron committed the UK to with France ?

      Post Brexit , perhaps instead of a UKIP we need a British Constitution Party to ensure that all that Napoleonic and Roman law transferred en mass to our statute book by the “great repeal bill” is scrutinised and if necessary expunged .

      We need to bring back jury trials too .

      Then there is the unelected third sector which so much power has been transferred to over the past 20 years .

      The Brexit referendum campaign should have shown us all that the there is a very real and active fifth column in the UK and that it is utterly pervasive .

      There will be no time to relax or the country will start back slipping .

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Didn’t Douglas Carswell defect *before* the referendum was offered ? If so…

    • Jerry
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      @formula57; You seem to want it both ways! First you imply that it was through the efforts of UKIP that the UK got their EU referendum and Brexit, also heaping praise on Mr Farage whilst you went about it, but then imply that UKIP have been so awfully ineffective you wonder why Mr Carswell ever bothered crossing the floor to join UKIP.

      As for UKIP policies, do you really think that UKIP will offer such polices in future elections considering that they are now chasing the disaffected left wing vote?

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      It has not been resolved. Just look at the opposition to the process of negotiating Brexit. The declinism that set in after WW2 and the loss of empire and which propelled UK into the then EEC is still there. The belief that Britain is not capable of self government is profound and still prevalent in society, in the civil service, in the main political parties. Brexit is just the beginning and it is still two years away.
      We need, even if we do not realise it, to find the confidence to stand on our own. Think of countries who have recently struggled to free themselves from an oppressive foreign regime or from dictatorship in Eastern Europe in other parts of the world, Contrast their self-confidence and optimism with Britain’s.
      Alas I still see no political party in UK representing and believing in that.

  9. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Leaving aside the EU issue, it seems there have always been two factions in UKIP, a libertarian wing with policies such as small state low-taxation, and a socialist-lite wing interested in targeting Labour seats with policies like a minimum wage and higher NHS spending. The fact Carswell has quit means the socialist-lite wing have won that particular war so it was sensible for him to leave.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Not higher NHS spending, but better targeted spending.

      There is room for a party which supports the 52% who voted Brexit – stand on your own 2 feet, low dependency, aspirational. Tories Labour and Libdems are none of these.

    • libertarian
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Roy Grainger

      Exactly right.

    • Mitchel
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Possibly but Mr Carswell always seemed ill at ease with the party’s hard right elements(which I would not term as libertarian);perhaps there were/are three (or more!)wings to UKIP.

  10. Richard1
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Carswell should never have left the Conservatives and should return. It is very unclear what UKIP stands for other than being against immigration. This attitude risks the success of Brexit. For example it encourages Mrs May’s idiotic obstinacy in insisting on counting foreign students as ‘immigrants’ for the purposes of the stats, when in fact of course education is a major export industry and educating large numbers of foreign students has huge tangible and intangible benefits for the UK.

    We need the right kind of euroscepticism to enhance prosperity. UKIP is the wrong kind.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Rubbish. UKIP is not and never has been anti immigration.
      They are against free movement which has stifled wages, given us a major crime wave and turned pleasant areas into slums.
      We need UKIP and Farage to keep the government’s feet to the fire.
      Having got us this far I can’t see Nigel letting the political class get away with a non exit agreement.
      UKIP is very important to our immediate future.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 1, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        @Mr Wragg; Migrants do not stifled wages, economic policies and “Market Forces” do that.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      The more sensible UKIP supporters are not “against immigration” at all, just for some sensible quality controls, admission on merit and some limits on the scale of it.

      They also want far lower taxes, far less red tape, smaller government and cheaper on demand energy and far less government waste. All things sensible Tories should want as well.

      Alas sensible Tories are very rare amongst Tory MPs and in the cabinet.

      If you count students it makes little difference as a similar number come and leave each year as they start & finish their courses. You thus count only those who stay on long term as is quite right. They should have to pass the points barrier same as the rest. Oh sorry May says no points based system so let’s call them banana merits instead!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      UKIP stands for leaving the EU. There is no lack of clarity about that, it is stated as the primary objective of the party in its constitution.

      On the question of students as I understand there is an international definition which means most will be classed as immigrants. However it would be better to refine the statistical analysis so that people who come here to study and then leave at the end of their courses are treated separately. Perhaps they should only be included in the numbers of immigrants when they don’t leave the country, bearing in mind that apart from those who overstay illegally the government’s criteria for allowing them to stay on legally are pretty weak. Higher education chiefs always claim that it is an export industry but at the same time they have been happy for it to become a major import industry, the importation of people through the backdoor.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Richard 1

      You must have read time and again, on these pages, that UKIP was never *against* immigration – you certainly heard it from me on many many occaisions.

      *sighs wearily (not again – not again)

      OK. Here goes. ONE more time:

      A sensible points/visa system please. There are parts of our education system that are abused and cost the country a great deal in lost fees and overstayers.

      Every viable business is run on counting – counting what goes in/what goes out.

      It seems you don’t even want us to be able to call people immigrants, let alone count them.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 31, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

        No, I said it is a nonsense to describe overseas students as ‘immigrants’. I was an overseas student myself once, I did not view myself as an immigrant. Education should be viewed as an export industry.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 31, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          Richard 1

          You do not make a convincing or logical case. I shall read no further.

          • libertarian
            Posted April 2, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

            Anonymous

            The logic is that overseas students PAY to come here and study therefore Richards1 view as an part of export industry is fairly obvious.

            Reading no further because you can’t understand simple concepts is a hallmark of far too many in this country currently

        • anon
          Posted March 31, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

          It would be fair to say education as a pathway to immigration has been abused. Some have purchased “courses” for the primary purpose of migration and if there is a buyer a seller will appear.

          A quality controlled system is in every ones interest. Not a mass uncontrolled free for all, where anyone can come and claim to be a student. This would ensure education and not “visas ” are being sold.

          The educational businesses can either use technology to deliver content to non residents or setup overseas. The best education institutions probably already have overseas branches to meet local needs.

    • Tom William
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      I think you are being unfair to UKIP which stood for very much more than reducing immigration and started getting huge support in EU elections long before immigration became a controversial subject.

      Its long term future is another matter, particularly as it is seen to have achieved its main objective.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 31, 2017 at 6:55 am | Permalink

        I agree in the past it was a libertarian Comservative Party. But it has got more Le Pen like, focusing only on immigration and even moved in favour of protectionism.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 31, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          Thankfully Britain is nothing like as extremist as EU France is.

    • Hope
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      We read today ,Guido Fawkes, Soubry declares she wants to be in a centrist party even if that includes Labour and libdems. The Tory party no longer exists it is but a name. Peter Hitchens’s view is spot on the money.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 1, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        @Hope; No, your preferred flavour of Conservatism no longer exists, but then was it ever the “real Conservatism” in the first place, it most certainly isn’t what most would call post WW2 Conservatism and perhaps ever inter-war era Conservatism and then some -being perhaps something that the Whigs might approve of more than a Tory…

    • getahead
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Clearly you have not read the UKIP manifesto.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 1, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        @getahead; Sorry but it is you who clearly has not understood the UKIP manifesto, even if you have read it. As much a wish-list of idealism based policies that any ‘no hope of being elected’ party produce, and like the LDs of 2010, most would have to be dumped as totally unworkable upon UKIP actually entering office.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      You misunderstand Ukip. It stood for Brexit, a return of sovereignty, self-government, the supremacy of UK’s national Parliament. The rest were merely symptoms of that loss. They were right.

  11. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    John

    Mr Carswell has acted entirely from a motive of self-interest.

    After a “respectable” period as an “independent” MP he will rejoin the Conservative Party (which he appears never to have left emotionally) in time for the May 2020 General Election.

    I suspect he will be welcomed back with open arms.

    • acorn
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Ten out of ten

    • Lesley
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Him being welcomed back would be a shame. It’s his constituents that elected him that are being ignored.

    • libertarian
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Glenn Vaughan

      You’ve never bothered to read any of Carswells books, or his blog then? If you had you may have a better understanding of where he’s coming from.

      He joined UKIP to stop Farage and his nut job fans ruining the Leave Campaign . He left the Tories because they stopped being Conservatives and became social democrats. I do not think he will go back unless theres a radical change in the Tory party .

      There are a small band of politicians that are on the same wavelength Reckless, Steve Baker, Hannan and one or two others …. watch this space

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 31, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        Farage very nearly did ruin it and I wasn’t happy with his address to the EU after his victory.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted March 31, 2017 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

          Farage for all his good work gave those who would stay in ammunition with his “we will continue” rhetoric on June 23 when he thought we had lost. Foolish!

    • John Probert
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Yes I think your correct Carswell is in it for Carswell and will soon be a
      Conservative again

  12. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    We are still in the EU despite triggering the exit process yesterday. Labour, the SNP, the Greens, the Lib Dems and large swathes of Conservative MPs still hanker after the demagogic EU commission and its blunt instrument of rule, the single market.

    We need a party like UKIP to support Conservative MPs such as yourself Mr Redwood to put the case for real independence on our terms, or at least on terms not dictated to us by the EU and acquiesced to without question by the pro EU majority in Parliament.

    Once we are out then UKIP may have less relevance or it may offer a reasonable refuge for centre left working people in place of Labour which appears to be targeting deluded champagne socialists and the Twitterati who never leave their keyboards.

    • NickC
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      All excellent points and well said.

  13. sm
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Mr Carswell destroyed his political career to stick to his belief, and I respect him for that. I believe he should remain as an Independent until the run-up to the next GE; if he then wishes to rejoin the Conservative Party, his general record from his UKIP resignation should be considered and a decision taken.

    UKIP, however valuable its campaigning has been since it was first formed by Alan Sked, no longer has a purpose. It has had the time to form itself into a serious political Party, and has failed spectacularly. Their activists and supporters who, like me, want to see a proper and effective Brexit, should direct their efforts to ensuring they support those Conservative and Labour MPs who have similar views.

    • getahead
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      From what you have just said, it would seem more logical that those Conservative and Labour MPs who have similar views should join UKIP, which might soon be changing its name to something more conventional.

  14. Bert Young
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    UKIP still has a role to play until the 2 year period is ended and we are completely free , after that – assuming all things are established , I cannot see the why UKIP should continue . I don’t have a particular regard for Carswell and I do not believe his shifting political position did him , or UKIP , any favours . Whether the Conservatives will gain from the disappearance of UKIP is another matter ; there are too many ” Liberals ” among them for my taste – I want more of the Redwoods and Moggs .

  15. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Two words ring out as to the reason we desperately need an alternative pro-Brexit party:
    Philip Hammond

  16. They Work for Us?
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Mr Carswell no doubt has his own beliefs and interests a living to make, lifestyle to support and a career to further.
    If the Conservative party in government was made up of a majority of people like our host, John Redwood that would tackle on a daily basis the so called liberal elite that has been allowed to govern us there would be no need for a party like UKIP.

  17. JoolsB
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Much to your party’s shame. UKIP are the only party under it’s new leadership advocating an English Parliament. If UKIP make this a big part of their manifesto in 2020. I feel it will be a big vote winner and lifelong Tories like me will definitely vote for them. It will also highlight to the people of England just how anti-English the Lab/Con/Lib Dum parties are in their refusal to address the English Question. the West Lothian Question and the skewed Barnett Formula. even this Tory Government who would be in the wilderness without England. BIG mistake!

  18. Anonymous
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Most UKIP voters want Real Tories and Real Labour.

    The deficiencies never were UKIP’s – they were only the major parties’.

    If needed UKIP will come back as a protest box on the ballot slip if the Tory Government backslides. Now, the real void, that is the absence of a viable Labour party.

    Douglas Carswell has simply moved with the times and done a good job after acting on his convictions. I hope, after its recent epiphany on the EU *coughs*, the Tory Party realises he was right and they were wrong and welcomes him back with open arms. Carswell was on the winning side of the referendum, after all.

    PS Captcha is now getting me to try and find hamsters among ferrets – it’s becoming quite fun.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 30, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      The EU meant we could never have real Tories nor could we have real Labour – but I am hopeful that these things will now come, free from the constraints of EU policy and dictat.

  19. libertarian
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    There is no point in UKIP unless they become fully left wing and usurp Labour. They aren’t going to do that though as Farage ensured over many years that the party is a talent free zone. They have alternated between claiming to be libertarian ( dont make me laugh) and the saviour of the working class through nationalisation. Arron Banks has wandered off to do his own thing , their funding is drying up and they are losing members at a rate.

    Douglas Carswell has a vision ( along with Dan Hannan ) of a low tax, small government people powered politics. He sees the future more clearly than most. I do not believe he will return to the Tory Party. I think he will use Steve Hiltons Crowdpac Platform to build a coalition of independents based on a form of iDemocracy.

    If he does I will support him in that

  20. LondonBob
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I expect UKIP will become a nationalist patriotic party, perhaps focused on restricting immigration and a realist foreign policy, much like any other hard right European political party. These are centrist positions of the British people that the elite wish to ignore. At the end of the day they are needed to keep the Lib Dem or necon tendency in the Conservative Party in check.

    Politics still seems in flux, and we have yet to see how things settle down.

  21. James Matthews
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    For those of us of a socially conservative disposition there is a need for the Tories to fear being outflanked on the right by another more socially conservative party.
    Without such a Party the Tories will always follow they perceive to be their electoral interests by becoming a left-leaning neo-liberal party (Cameron as the heir to Blair) in all but name.

    So long as it fulfils that role there will be an important place for UKIP.

  22. A.Sedgwick
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    MPs switching parties is not usually successful or advisable. The real option is to leave politics. Mr.Carswell is clearly an intellectual man and did not look a fit for a rumbustious outfit like UKIP. I don’t see much point in putting his constituents through another bye election and my guess is that he is a hard working MP for them.

    As to UKIP it can have a future role as the defender of English and Welsh interests and the “ordinary” people, who Labour have forsaken. Our satisfactory exit from the EU is far from certain in many Leavers’ eyes e.g. this nonsense about £50 billion divorce bill, so their EU role may be far from over.

    I think our remaining in Nato should be on the negotiating table. If the EU is so significant a power block it can defend itself and pay for it too. An alliance between UK,USA, Canada, Australia and NZ could be more realistic for our needs. The reality is the EU is a sham, a house of cards and it is a fantasy that it has kept the peace since WW2, nuclear weapons have.

  23. Antisthenes
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    All Brexiteers must thank UKIP for their contribution in securing a referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the EU and the resulting vote to leave. Without them I have no doubt neither would have occurred. As far as I can see they have no long term future as they have nothing new to add to the general political debate. For now though they are needed as the battle with the remainers is far from over.

    Douglas Carswell in a rather eccentric way also contributed significantly to securing Brexit. Following a little in the ways of an exceptional man. Churchill who crossed the floor a couple of times but in the end achieved things that for which the nation were grateful. So a man to watch in the future or someone we already have reason to be grateful? Only time will tell.

  24. fedupsoutherner
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I was a staunch supporter of UKIP when they were needed to bring home the message over our exit from the EU. Under Farage they did really well as a party and Farage put in a great deal of effort to get us the referendum in the first place. However, I am not a fan of David Coburn (Scottish UKIP) and am not sure about Paul Nuttal. Let’s not forget that UKIP’s influence might be needed should Mrs May think about not delivering a complete Brexit. Carswell was always a trouble maker in the party and I won’t miss him. If Mrs May can change things regarding cheaper energy, taxes and a good Brexit I will be voting Conservative again. The Conservative party has been acting too much like a Lib Dim party for my liking.

  25. ChrisS
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Douglas Carswell appears to have a substantial personal following within his constituency. That he was brave enough to resign his seat and win it back says a lot about him. His actions were positive for the referendum campaign and for that he should be congratulated. No need for him to resign on becoming an Independent.

    As for the future, that is up to him and the Conservative Party. There are a limited number of candidates capable of becoming effective MPs ( just look at the SNP benches for evidence ). Carswell should rejoin the Conservatives before 2020.

    UKIP has been held together for years by Nigel Farage. When anyone,else, is leader it is even less credible than Labour under Corbyn. Although probably slightly more electable in the North of England, that’s not exactly a complement !

    Although the FPP electoral system severely disadvantages a third party, if Mr Farage could be persuaded to take back the leadership and he toned down the rhetoric, UKIP just might, have a chance of becoming an electoral force in the Labour heartlands. He might consider changing the name of the party to reflect the exciting new era we find ourselves in.

  26. Jack Snell
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    UKIP is just an extension of the Tory right wing nutters and will remain there to nip at the governments heels in the event that they might weaken in the face of the EU negotiators. Carswell is only one person and hardly matters in the grand scheme of things- but I’ve no doubt but that he will sidle back into the Tory mainstream before the 1920 elections – its hard to know if Mr Carswell is acting according to a long term plan or is just self-serving. Anyway at the moment UKIP is basking in the glory of great success but we will see in a year or so how many UKIP speakers will still be to the forefront when the full reality of our difficulties starts to dawn. My guess is that Mr Carswell is a very smart dude and is just getting out ahead of the UKIP crowd.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 31, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      The greatest of those difficulties will be the resistance from powerful Remainers within our country.

      I think they’d sooner see HMS UK scuttled than set free on the high seas.

      A successful Brexit would be worse, in their view, than a disasterous continuation of EU membership. For one it would prove that White Van Man has more sense than they – that would be unacceptable.

  27. English Pensioner
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Even once we are out of the EU, there is quite a lot of independence issues worth fighting for. Independence from big government, which used to once be a Tory aim but seems to have been reversed. Perhaps independence from the UN which has clearly lost its way. Independence from all sorts of international organisations who seem to want to boss us around. There will still be plenty to do even once we are out of the EU.
    UKIP is still needed and the name can remain.

  28. Kenneth
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    What we need in the UK is a political party that favours free markets and a minimalist State and which sees the free market as the best way of reducing the gap between the rich and the poor and championing the aspirations of working people.

    There are a few small parties that that fit this bill, but only UKIP has the public recognition needed to gain any traction.

    I will continue to vote for UKIP in the absence of any better options.

    While the BBC exists in its current form, we are destined for Big State Big Brother government imho.

  29. agricola
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Your question deserves more than a glib one paragraph comment just to show how committed we are to the Tory cause.

    Yes UKIP’s prime purpose of getting a referendum and a leave result has been achieved. It would never have happened had it been left to the current Westminster encumbents. You delude yourself to think otherwise, and should pay due homage to Nigel Farage for achieving it.

    Article 50 is only a notice of intent. UKIP could hold the Westminster feet to the fire should there be any sign of waver. They do not need an MP to achieve this because they have access to the electorate through social media. Something that Douglas Carswell was a great proponent of. Whatever Mr. Carswell has said about there being little purpose now to UKIP, I suspect that the real problem was one of personality clash.

    There is certainly a political void for a low tax party that appeals to the currently unrepresented. One that has serious questions about Overseas Aid and the inability of the state to look after the elderly and post operative bed blockers that overburden the NHS. What about a party that ceases to lay out the red carpet to returning jihadies, one in fact that cancels their citizenship, born in the UK or not. IHT needs abolition. Taxation of fracking could be used to create a social fund a la Norway. Investment in a reborn fishing industry and it’s protection. Keeping vested interest lobbying at arms length from Westminster. Putting an end to the crazy push for very expensive green energy that only benefits those with enough land for a windmill. Sorting out our appalling roads. Facilitating internal shuttle air travel to compete with our hyper expensive railways. You cannot even fly from Birmingham to London. Putting an end to a rubbish collection and disposal recycling system designed by idiots. Different idiots at that in every council in the country.

    If UKIP shape up in the future I may well be tempted to give them my support. Particularly if the Tories fail to recognise the void.

  30. NickC
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    John, there is a tension in the Conservative party between statism and libertarianism. I think we all know that Lord Heseltine is on one side and you are on the other. Which face will the Tories reveal next? For liberals (not USA “liberal”) like me that makes the Tories dangerous and untrustworthy. Yet Labour and the modern LibDems are far worse, being as illiberal as it’s possible to be in a democracy.

    So of course there is a place for UKIP – a party that is anti-statist yet patriotic. Those that say UKIP’s only reason to exist to was to leave the EU are either deliberately ignorant – they’ve not bothered to check UKIP’s policies – or they know we have the policies but lie about it.

  31. roger parkin
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I am convinced that a strong UKIP will be necessary over the next few years. I have being saying for the last nine months that Theresa May and her negotiators will make unnecessary compromises. I have been a conservative activist all my life but further support depends on me being proved wrong. As for the long term the best manifesto in 2015 was UKIPs. As long as it continues with those policies and has success in holding the governments feet to the fire it has a future.

  32. William Long
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I think UKIP has a an important short term purpose which is to do all it can to ensure we really do get out of the EU and are not the victims of some Remoaner fudge. Beyond that it is not so clear but there is a continuing need in this country for a political party that stands for freedom, low taxes (you cannot have the first without the second) and democracy. I wish I thought this was the Conservative party, but could UKIP step into the breach?

  33. Colin Hart
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    UKIP may still have a role to play holding the government’s feet to the fire over Brexit. It is questionable whether, without Farage as their leader, they are capable of playing it.

    Douglas Carswell is, was and will remain a maverick. Our politics needs more of them. Unless there is a serious groundswell in Clacton against his sitting as an Independent he should carry on to the GE and take his chances.

  34. Bob
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    off topic, but I know that you support Guide Dogs/

    HS2
    The training centre for guide dogs will be forced to move so HS2 can expand Euston station.
    The Guide Dogs for the Blind centre in Melton Street is “in the footprint” of the high-speed rail development and will be taken from the charity most likely this year.

  35. The Prangwizard
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    We now need a party for England, for a true English parliament, not some half baked pretence of one concocted by Unionists who are more than happy to grovel to and appease the Scots in particular, yet never ever mention England or their actions on England.

    Unionists are incapable and unwilling to recognise and respect England for what it is. They will continue with their betrayal of it until some way is found to stop them.

  36. Tad Davison
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    When it comes to law and order, I have always been a hardliner, and I make no excuses for absolutely detesting criminals. There are a hell of a lot of people who are presently sick to death of criminality, who are not having their legitimate concerns met.

    I have argued that by its very definition, an effective deterrent deters, and that way, no-one goes to prison, no-one becomes a victim of crime, the tax-payer saves a fortune, and the rest of us can live in peace. So why don’t we have one?

    I have had a belly full of the limp, ineffective law and order policies of the three main Westminster parties, and UKIP seemed to be different. That is part of the reason why I was prepared to lend them my vote and vocal support. Perhaps if they got the right people in place to give substance to a strong, cost-effective law and order policy, their fortunes would improve, but from what I have heard from Mr Carswell, he seems to be just another liberal. And the emphasis given in Mrs. May’s speech seemed to suggest that she is pretty much of that ilk.

    Interesting that the new president of the United States has promised to eradicate and sweep away crime from America’s streets. He has clearly recognised the need to put this problem right, so hopefully, he will set a precedent that others will follow.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  37. Sue Doughty
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Mr Carswell knows what he is doing.

  38. Tony Sharp
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    MR CARSWELL: – I am old enough to remeber when political Party afilliation did not appear on the Ballot Forms – just name and occupation. However, that was a fiction in that the vast majority of MPs had only a small personal vote and most of it came from their party’s general support. I think it follows that when a person elected on one ticket resigns from that party they should apply for the Chiltern Hundreds. I think Mr Carswell behaved honourably when he resigned the Conservative Party whip and stood again. Really to be consistent he ought now to do so again as either an independent or whatever. Furthermore, I believe that the role of an MP is one of a position of Trust to the Constituency Electorate and that is why we have the process of ‘Disqualification’ (Chiltern Hundreds), rather than Resignation; being an MP is not simply a ‘job’ as some believe. I would suggest therefore that another less arcane form of Disqualification be brought in for MPs – that if they Resign or are Removed the Whip whose party ticket they ran on should Disqualify them from being a Candidate anywhere during that Parliament.

    UKIP: There is a role for UKIP as a party that can take the dispossessed Vote of the traditional Labour supporters whom have been betrayed by that Party which is now stuffed with Careerists who not only do not share the same social background as those voters but as demonstrated by Brexit actually despise them.

  39. Newmania
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Now the Conservator Party have adopted UKIP policies what is the point of the Conservative Party ?

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 31, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      How about

      Tory is renamed Labour

      UKIP is renamed Tory

      Because that’s how far left the whole political spectrum has been dragged since Blair and Mrs May’s ‘nasty party’ speech in response to him.

      Nowadays people with pretty normal opinions are being called ‘extremists’.

      That’s a big reason why I voted for Brexit.

      I wanted to snatch the *centre ground* back from your grubby mitts. You insulted me but forgot to take my vote away first.

      Big mistake. HUGE.

  40. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I tend to agree that UKIP started as a protest organisation, but many see it now as a legitimate party, that will fight elections and win seats.

    TBH I do not understand the attitude of the Tories to UKIP – they should be encouraging another right of centre party, not ignoring it. They should make it welcome. OK it will steal some Tory votes, but that is not the point.

    Just look at the make up of Parliament – it is full of socalists, save for the vast majority of Tory MP’s… Now look at how this make up helps the socialists. As voters get tired of one party they have the Greens, Libdems or Labour to switch to…. When voters get hacked off with the Tories they have no alternative but to go with the socialists.

    By having a sister right of centre party, like UKIP, it would mean that we would be able to keep a decent right of centre in power…. rather than the constant swing bang back to labour.

    So, please – To all Tory MP’s – Welcome your sister party and enjoy more time in government.

    (:

  41. BOF
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    The question that must be asked is whether Douglas Carswell has a role to play in ANY party.
    On the question of whether to resign his seat and stand again, his principles appear ‘flexible’.

    Considering the dire state of the Labour Party and the dire attitude of the Lib Dems, there certainly is a place for UKIP until complete withdrawal from the EU is done and dusted.
    Perhaps after that they could sensibly become the United Kingdom Party and start with their excellent party manifesto from the last GE. There are many areas in which the Conservative Party fail, e.g. HS2, Hinckly C, tax reform, support for armed services, greencrap, Foreign Aid etc. etc. These are areas where the other parties also fail the electorate, so yes UKIP (or UKP) still has a role to play.

  42. forthurst
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Mr Carswell has not jumped ship because he was never on board in the first place. He only joined UKIP to prevent himself being ousted at the 2015 election by a genuine UKIP candidate in the most Eurosceptic seat in the country. Most people in UKIP are neither surprised nor saddened by his departure.

    There is absolutely a need for a political party which puts the interests of the people of this country before the spivs who financially support the Tory Party. The people of this country do not like and have never liked mass immigration and clearly voted against it at the Referendum, yet the Tory Party is still talking about drawing in significant numbers of workers from the EU and has made little headway in controlling the massive influx of people from outside the EU.

    JR likes to big up nationalist movements on the Continent but fails to credit that need here. He knows perfectly well that his own party was in favour of the EU before the Referendum, meaning belonging to a future EU superstate, and that CMD, who was elected by the whole Tory Party, would like that superstate to extend to the Urals.

    How nationalists in this country will go forward post the decision to leave the EU is not as yet clear; Arron Banks has announced the formation of the Patriotic Alliance, modelled operationally on the Five Star movement in Italy. It remains to be seen how popular and effective it is in practice and how its existence will affect UKIP and their supporters.

  43. pete
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Its a strange one. I found it strange him defecting from a party which had a strong Eurosceptic backbench contingent in the first place, its not like he was on his own. Based on where we are now I think Mr Carswell given his relationship with UKIP was right to leave UKIP but there still remains that unanswered question why he left the tories.

    Its difficult to see where UKIP go from here. I think they need to find a single home or disband once the 2 year period has come to an end. An alternative might be to brand themselves on the easy to pick labour areas for non metropolitan labour voters.

  44. Julian
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    UKIP has this dilemna:
    its seems to think that Labour voters are more likely to switch to them due to Corbyn but that means they have to be a bit more left wing than it’s natural supports would like.
    There is s gap in politics for a free-enterprise party (given that the Conservatives are very corporate friendly and centralist) but UKIP has never espoused economic liberalism.

  45. ian
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Well at the next election you will have 50 less MPs to vote for, so democracy is about to be slim down including g. osborne seat for tatton, what i am wondering is, what con party association is going to let him in so he can make his bid to be the next con party leader so he can carry on with m. heseltine plans of cutting the country up in nine regions with the mayor city which is already going ahead which has already cost billions of pounds to give england another layer of government which will be getting the business rates from now on and that why they have gone up and will continue to go up with household rates, i idea is to build white elephant all over the country and to be able to borrow from the banks at leverage so the government has not got to put it hand in it pocket or borrow money, it will be left to business and household to pay for, like the northern power house which billion already but nothing to show for it and HS2 billions and nothing done at a time when service are being cut and are cying out for money or somebody to put forward good plan to saving money and improve services at the same time, this was all done at a time when were going to stay in the eu so the waste did not matter to them but you are coming out now so waste matters and borrowing matter, so as you find yourselves now going the way again because of the eu, will you change course or continue to waste money on high paid jobs for extra layer of government and waste and borrowing on the people backs or get a grip now.

    • Fairweather
      Posted March 31, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Pheeeu!
      Couldn’t read a word

  46. lojolondon
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Dear John, the sad fact is that if the conservative party was properly conservative, there would have been no requirement for UKIP at all. UKIP have driven Brexit harder and more consistently than any other party, and have taken millions of votes from Labour in areas where the Conservative party will never win a seat. It is very easy to see that without UKIP the Conservative Party would never have won the last election. So – there is a requirement for a ‘working people’ party – perhaps no longer called UKIP now that Article 50 has been lodged.

  47. Prigger
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    UKIP and its leaderships from branch level upwards had not the maturity nor importantly the integrity to keep Farage as leader. He was UKIP.

    At low Party levels and upwards, very small cliques sabotaged possible opponents to themselves. This destroyed the small number of activists doing the essential foot-slogging door-to-door work. UKIP deserves to fall. A shower!

    As to Mr Carswell. People in his constituency vote for him. It is unclear whether that will continue. His majority on behalf of the Tories in 2010 was 12,068, in 2014 bi-election for UKIP it was 12,404, in 2015 just one year later it was only 3,437. It is unlikely Mr Carswell’s vote in the next General Election will prohibit a Tory win in the Constituency. UKIP of course as a matter of principle in their own terms, will stand their best candidate against him accusing him but mildly in their characteristically soft worded way of a lack of consistency.

  48. JGD
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    UKIP’s manifesto on issues such as defence and NHS, as well as immigration, political correctness and multiculturalism, chimed with me at a time when I felt thoroughly disenfranchised, as a lifelong conservative, by the left liberal policies pursued by Cameron and his chumocracy.

    Unfortunately, I view Theresa May’s six year stint as Home Secretary, and her current support for state intervention, as well as the distinctly “Remain” face of her cabinet – especially Hammond – as proof that she shares Cameron’s disdain for conservatism.

    The political elite who were punished in the referendum have no more learned the lesson than Cameron’s platitudes, when UKIP dominated the EU elections, that “we hear what you say.”

    Nine months down the line it is clear that they don’t and they won’t.

    Instead of bringing in someone of the calibre of Mr Redwood, May chose to place Brexit in the hands of a trio of Ministers not exactly famed for hard work and mastering their briefs.

    UKIP is still needed to hold the Government’s feet to the fire.

    • Chris
      Posted March 31, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Completely agree with you, JGD.

  49. Leslie Singleton
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Dear John–What’s with all the “No Turning Back” stuff, even from Brexiteers (Front page of Express for example)? This is not like “Not bad” meaning “Good” (Litotes, if memory serves) and is wholly unnecessary and unwelcome. Instead we should be talking about Surging Ahead rather than listening to those who lost the vote and the argument.

  50. Dave Andrews
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Never mind UKIP, what is the point of Labour?

  51. Dioclese
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    When Carswell joined UKIP, he called a by-election because, in his words, it was “the honourable thing to do”. I agree with that.

    Now he’s left UKIP he should do the same again. it is, after all, the honourable thing to do.

    His defection is, of course, nothing to do with publicising his new book slagging off UKIP. Of course not! Perish the thought! That wouldn’t be at all honourable would it?

  52. Robin Wilcox
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Without UKIP i very much doubt we would have been given a referendum.

    I can see Carswell coming back to the Conservatives and i would have no problem with that.

    I was looking forward to seeing UKIP inflict some damage on Labour where the Conservatives​ would not have been able to due to traditional tribalism. I fear they have not managed to capltalise on the opportunity and seem determined to keep shooting themselves in the foot.

  53. John
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    So glad Carswell has left UKIP he was always disruptive at best. We have now triggered A50 thanks entirely to the party and they should now focus on equality and a meaningful parliament for England. If the Scots, the Welsh and N. Irish can put their countrymen first then it is long overdue for an English parliament.
    The British will never stick up for us because the UK comes first in their eyes.

  54. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    What on earth did David Davis mean by this?

    https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-03-30/debates/A665E6EB-D36B-4D19-9173-3577354DE7F0/LegislatingForUKWithdrawalFromTheEU

    Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) (Lab)

    “I understand from what the Secretary of State has just said that the European economic area will not feature in the Bill. Can he confirm that there will be a separate vote in Parliament on the EEA?”

    Mr Davis

    “It will depend on what the policy decision is, but I think that it is quite likely to come to Parliament.”

    Reply This answer was subsequently clarified, as the policy is very clear. We will not be in the EEA.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 31, 2017 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      That won’t stop the opposition quoting Hansard at him later on. He’s already made one or two other slips, which is unsurprising given the complexity of the subject and the difficulty of choosing the correct language, and Remoaners have picked on those and repeated them with distortions. It would be much better if he made his clarification in a brief statement to the Commons so that it would go on the record and then he would quote the Hansard reference back to his critics.

    • Chris
      Posted March 31, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Yes, I was extremely worried by this, DC, and thank you for clarification, Mr Redwood. However, this does not give one overmuch confidence in Mr Davis. He should have a much better handle on his brief, apparently. Otherwise, people may well fear that he is letting slip Government’s intention to do something other than what had been promised.

  55. Original Richard
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    “Mr Carswell no longer feels UKIP has a task given the decision to leave the EU. He believes that was its main proposition, and therefore thinks it is redundant now that has been adopted by the public.”

    UKIP will exist until the UK exits the EU with the UK regaining complete control of its laws, money, immigration policy and assets.

    Furthermore, UKIP will definitely exist beyond the UK’s exit from the EU if the Conservative Party does not implement its manifesto promise to reduce net immigration to “tens of thousands”.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 31, 2017 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      I read today that Mr. Clegg will be ensuring that the Conservative Party’s promise to reduce net immigration will be implemented.

      This is surprising since I thought that the Lib Dems believed in the membership of the EU and hence in uncontrolled immigration from the EU, even as it expands to include further countries, some of whom are not even considered to be European.

  56. PaulDirac
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    My guess is that at least some of the UKIP voters will not automatically switch to vote for the Conservative party.
    If we do have an election before 2020, the UKIP vote will be very useful to Mrs. May either as “switchers” or “leavers” voting UKIP.
    I think that once we are out of the EU, UKIP will just disappear as a political party

  57. John
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    More and more are realising that there is a need for a new party, perhaps on the ‘left’. The Conservatives are not loosing support but Labour has been living off patronage for decades with nothing much to offer.

    Whether its UKIP or some other incarnation, an effective opposition to the Conservatives is needed.

    Mr Carswell? I hear he went to UKIP to detoxify the independence movement for the greater good. Well we won the referendum, what percentage difference did his move make?
    I’m still not sure what to make of it.

  58. Iain Gill
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Cut immigration, and jfdi, not empty promises

    Stop outsourcing British jobs to India (and other trump like policies)

    Easy landslide with these policies

  59. Beecee
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    I friends with the gentleman who stood for UKIP in my constituency at the last election.

    He will not stand at the next one because the objective has been gained.

  60. Fedup
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Mr.Carswell could do a great public service by locating media throughout the land where Nicola Sturgeon’s “EEEEE -YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU” rings out and dismantle the mechanism. One more five minute burst of EEEEE-YUUUUUUUUUUUUUU and normally peacefully English OAPs will gang together and invade Scotland.

  61. mike fowle
    Posted March 31, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Well, it seems I am wrong at least to some extent. Mr Carswell has now stated that he did deliberately set out to undermine Nigel Farage. I think he was acting independently rather than as a plant for the Tories, but it’s all a bit odd.

  62. Terry
    Posted March 31, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    John, we all realise at the present time, there is NO opposition party. UKIP must remain to become just that party.
    It has been long suggested that Carswell was never a true UKIP politician and that he went against the policies of their NEC far too often. As though he had his own independent agenda.
    Personally I feel that he joined UKIP merely to see what he could get out of it and probably had future ambitions of leadership. Those died of course.
    It seems to be common knowledge that he was disliked amongst the UKIP fraternity and he left before he would become embarrassed by their decision regarding his future.
    It remains to be seen in the next General Election whether it his own personal attributes that get him elected or those of the two parties he once represented.

  63. Sean
    Posted April 1, 2017 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    We most certainly do need Ukip. They are more Conservative than the Tories. Much better than the Labour stupid party, also UKIP and the Liberal Undemocratics are night and day, in fact world’s apart.

    Britain needs Ukip to keep our sorry lot of political class on their toes.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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