- UKIP chiefs are considering booting out the party’s only MP Douglas Carswell.
- Carswell is accused of blocking Nigel Farage from getting a knighthood.
- Farage claims he did not want to be knighted anyway.
- UKIP donor Arron Banks vows to stand against Carswell at the next general election.
LONDON — UKIP’s most senior figures are debating whether to boot their only MP Douglas Carswell out of the party.
The MP for Clacton is currently subject to an “ongoing investigation” by party chiefs over allegations that he blocked a bid to get a knighthood for former UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
Carswell denied the allegation this week, despite leaked emails appearing to show him mocking efforts to secure the prestigious award for Farage, suggesting that he should be given a lower grade honour like an OBE instead.
In an email to former UKIP leader Lord Pearson, Carswell wrote: “Perhaps we might try angling to get Nigel an OBE next time round? For services to headline writers? An MBE, maybe?.”
Carswell met with UKIP chairman Paul Oakden on Tuesday to establish whether Carswell deliberately thwarted an attempt to be included in the New years Honours list, the Huffington Post reported.
If Carswell is thrown out then the party will lose its only MP in the Commons. Carswell has reportedly held secret talks with Tory MPs about possibly returning to the Conservatives, three years after deciding to defect to UKIP.
Farage “not particularly” interested in a knighthood
Speaking on BBC Radio on Wednesday morning, Farage insisted that was “not particularly” interested in receiving a knighthood, and insisted that Carswell should be kicked out of UKIP for destabilising the party ever since joining.
Asked by interview John Humphrys whether he had “sour grapes” over Carswell reportedly blocking a potential honour, Farage said: “I dislike him because he damaged me, UKIP and the Leave campaign.”
He went on to say: “whether I would have ever got one or not I have no idea, but the point, the point is, is he will do anything he can to damage leading figures in UKIP. He’s working for the Conservatives, it’s plain for all to see.”
Pressed on whether he would like to be knighted, the former UKIP leader said: “Not particularly.”
Despite this, Farage is furious with Carswell. He described the party’s sole MP as a “Tory posh boy” on Tuesday and reiterated his long-standing belief that Carswell is only in the party tor try and split it from within.
Responding to the former UKIP leader’s accusation, Carswell said: “I’m delighted where I am. I’m trying to double the size of the UKIP parliamentary party at the moment.
“Unfortunately we didn’t manage to do that in Stoke. But if he wants to come and talk to the UKIP parliamentary party about any concerns he has, very happy to respond. It won’t take long, it’s just me.”
Carswell made another joke at Farage’s expense on Monday night, tweeting “Knight night.”
UKIP at war again
Carswell and Farage have been at loggerheads ever since the former switched parties three years ago and now the bitter conflict appears to be coming to a head.
UKIP donor and Farage ally Arron Banks has told party leader Paul Nuttall that he will stop funding the party if Carswell is not booted out and major reforms are not implemented.
In an extraordinary development, Banks has also vowed to stand against Carswell in the Clacton seat at the next general election. He tweeted on Tuesday night:
Meanwhile, the party is still reeling after a disappointing second place finish in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election. Nuttall described Stoke as “Brexit capital” of Britain but failed come anywhere close to dethroning Labour.
Knight night. ????
— Douglas Carswell MP (@DouglasCarswell) February 27, 2017
Possibly , it’s clear Douglas is deeply jealous of nigel . One is an irrelevance and the other changed the history of this country. https://t.co/Kwl8LCZeBL
— Arron Banks (@Arron_banks) February 28, 2017
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