LONDON — The June general election will be “breaking point” for UKIP, according to MEP and former leadership hopeful Steven Woolfe.
Woolfe, who was once favourite to succeed Nigel Farage as UKIP leader before quitting last year, told Business Insider this week that the party’s politicians have “lost their way, dramatically” in recent months.
Manchester-born Woolfe now serves as an independent in the European Parliament after a physical altercation with MEP Mike Hookem resulted in him quitting UKIP in October.
He told us that he remains friends with many of his former colleagues — but said the “ego” driven party is set for a bad night at the June 8th general election.
Woolfe said: “I will be genuine about this. There are some lovely people who I have campaigned with for six years.
“The workers on the streets knocking on doors are among some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. There are some MEPs and politicians in there that I have a huge amount of respect for.
“But they have lost their way, dramatically.”
He added: “They have allowed personal egos to think they are better than they actually are and much brighter than they are and to continue in roles that they would not be able to hold in other political parties. They have an executive committee that was more concerned about keeping their own positions than what they had in their hands.
“I sadly believe that while they once had a golden opportunity to break into something special in this country, the next election will be the breaking point for them because it follows on local elections where I think they will lose hundreds of council seats.”.
UKIP won 12.6% of the vote at the 2015 general election but its share of the 2017 vote is currently projected to be around 10% or less. It’s most recent MP, Douglas Carswell, quit the party last month, leaving it with no representatives in the House of Commons. Its best hope of winning a seat this year could rest with Farage, who is currently considering whether to stand. Farage told us on Wednesday night that he was yet to make up his mind.
In our interview with Woolfe, he discussed Brexit, immigration, the Conservative Party, what the future has in store for him and his political career. It will be published in full this weekend.
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