UKIP is imploding

Genelec2015 nigel farage confusedReuters / Suzanne PlunkettUK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage speaks during an interview with Reuters in London March 17, 2015.

The UK Independence Party appears to be cracking apart — less than a week after it secured an astonishing 13% of the national vote in the UK General Election.

Patrick O’Flynn, the party’s economic spokesman and former Daily Express journalist, described UKIP leader Nigel Farage as a “snarling, thin-skinned, aggressive” man on Thursday and warned that the party risked becoming a “personality cult.”

The savage attack comes after Farage returned as leader following the rejection of his resignation by the UKIP National Executive Committee. He had previously said that it would be “frankly not credible” for him to lead the party if he failed to become a member of parliament, yet since his loss to the Conservatives in the South Thanet constituency he seems to have shifted his stance. (A Breitbart report also alleges that Farage “forced UKIP’s National Executive Committee to refuse his resignation.”)

And O’Flynn is far from the only senior party member to express their concerns. The Daily Mail quotes a senior party figure as saying: “Nigel’s two closest aides, (party secretary) Matt Richardson and (chief of staff) Raheem Kassam are out of control.”

Just a week after the party’s most successful election ever, signs of inexperience and dysfunction that many had expected to become apparent during the campaign have finally started to leak out into the public domain.

UKIP’s sole MP, Douglas Carswell, has reportedly come under pressure from senior UKIP staffers to take the full £650,000 of public money that the party is entitled to in order to hire himself 15 members of staff.

The so-called “short money” is given to opposition parties to allow them to carry out their parliamentary duties. They are entitled to claim £16,689 for every seat that they win as well as £33.33 for every 200 votes gained. UKIP took one seat and 3,881,099 votes on May 7.

Carswell has rejected the idea out of hand saying that “not even a US senator would have 15 staff” and asserting that he planned to take “less than half” of that figure.

He told ITV News: “I politely and firmly said that’s not going to happen. I politely and firmly explained I would be putting forward a sensible proposal that was respectful to the taxpayer and to public sector workers in my constituency who have not had a pay rise for five years.

“I’m not going to allow anyone to create a UKIP trough in the House of Commons.”

That stance will put him on a collision course with those in the party’s hierarchy who thought that they could capitalise on the huge swing towards them.

However, it’s not clear whether the party can afford a rift with their sole parliamentary representative. If he leaves them, then the money that UKIP would be entitled to goes with him.

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