As you may know, Freddy Vachha recently sued UKIP, me, the Party Chairman and eleven other UKIP officers. On 1 December 2020, Mr
Justice Green handed down a judgment which was very critical of the claim in general and stated in his judgment:
"I am doubtful that a trial of these proceedings will resolve the factional dispute within the Party. It may even drive the parties further apart. As such the reputational damage of this dispute being heard in public shortly before the local elections could itself be highly detrimental to the Party as a whole. As Mr Straker [Barrister for UKIP] pointed out, UKIP's members are far more interested in its policies on delivering Brexit and its response to the Covid pandemic than its infighting."
No sensible person can prioritise in-fighting when the Government is failing the nation in so many ways. I was delighted when just an hour after Judgment, Freddy abandoned his legal action and was ordered to pay our legal costs of £33,000. The judge was clear this money should be paid by him personally and not UKIP.
Some weeks ago, Freddy was suspended, following complaints against him of harassment and bullying. This is standard procedure whilst complaints are formally dealt with. He refused to attend the two disciplinary panels he was offered and instead issued a High Court claim against UKIP seeking 12 injunctions to remove UKIP's Officers, restore him as Leader and hand him control of UKIP's assets and databases. The judge saw no good reason for him to refuse to attend those disciplinary panels.
For months, UKIP's Officers had tried to help Freddy make a success of his leadership. But his demands grew more unreasonable, threatening, and dictatorial. Anyone disagreeing with him was showered with personal abuse. He threatened NEC members that he would use the Courts to 'take their house' unless they acknowledged he was right in all things. He made complaints to the Electoral Commission, Companies House, UKIP's auditors and any other regulatory body he could find - all designed to damage UKIP.
Fortunately, UKIP has an elected NEC with ordinary members' best interests at heart. They stood their ground at great personal risk. As a result, UKIP can get back to national politics, not internal bickering. If Freddy had won his Court case, UKIP would now be run by twelve injunctions, paralyzing the party and risking more legal actions. As the Judge said:
"No organisation could be made to work by a series of injunctions; it was a recipe for chaos."
This judgment is a sensible answer to unresolved infighting. It is a call for unity. I completely endorse it. I desperately want us to concentrate on politics, not personal egos.
UKIP is now up to 4% in the polls - more than the Brexit Party for the first time since Nigel flounced out after another leader's obstinate stupidity.
We have important elections in six months' time. Let's unite to get back to the business of saving Britain.