21 February 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Something Is Rotten In The State of #Ukip

Intimidation, Corruption and Fear: The rotten heart of Ukip in Cornwall - and how a cover-up and closing of ranks cost Ukip £100,000.

[This follows on from one of our previous posts, How Ukip Do Social Media.]

We’ve stated many times that even when presented with concrete evidence, UKIP fail to deal with racism and discrimination when it is unmasked within their membership.

The facts in the following case are indisputable, as UKIP officials are caught on record engaging in a ‘cover-up’ when presented with not only Anti-Semitic and Racist Social Media postings, but also a Branch Chairman’s attempts to ‘whitewash’ the entire affair and have OFFICIAL PARTY RECORDS of meetings amended to remove all reference of it ever taking place.

If this wasn’t bad enough; UKIP have officially told the whistle-blowers they are BANNED from discussing these events and threatened them with internal party disciplinary procedure and EXPULSION from UKIP, should they dare to do so.

SLATUKIP has exclusively interviewed several of the UKIP whistleblowers and patrons, they believe that after months of inaction from the party, they have no option; this information must come to light in the public interest.

We can also reveal that significant UKIP donors in the South West Region have also been shown this information, and as a result of the party’s failure to address their legitimate concerns and cover up, they have withdrawn close to £100,000 per year worth of financial and material support from the party. Money that Ukip right now can ill afford to lose.

The following account has been collated from those sources, including the donors and patrons, who wish to remain anonymous. Only a portion of the evidence has been posted due to the size of the feature.

Interestingly, timing wise, Nigel Farage, who is personally aware of this situation, is due to speak at an “EFDD” meeting on Monday night.

... In Cornwall.

During the General Election UKIP Cornwall’s Press and Communications Manager found tweets from a Twitter account called “@UKIPST”, purporting to be the official representative of St Ives UKIP. The account was publishing some content that was clearly of an Anti-Semitic and Racist nature.

Collation of “@UKIPST” tweets. The page identifies itself as an OFFICIAL UKIP account and starts to tweet about “supposed” Nazi war crimes and Jews having “medical deficiencies”.
Following proper internal party procedure, St Ives Branch Chairman, Stuart Guppy, was notified and told the account had to be taken offline. He said UKIP St Ives “didn’t run social media” (despite his candidate running a Facebook account) and claimed it was being "published by an ex-member". Mr Guppy sent emails reporting to show he and the ex-member corresponding, agreeing to shut it down.
After the election UKIP Cornwall held a ‘wash-up’ meeting.

The Press & Communications Manager brought up the issue with the social media and as advice cautioned that: “We don’t want another situation where social media is outside of branch control like St Ives.” The Branch Chairman of St Ives, Stuart Guppy, was present and didn’t respond.

After the minutes of the meeting went out to members, Guppy sent out a vitriolic email from his official UKIP email account, accusing several members of making false claims against his branch and demanding the references to it be stuck out of the official records of the meeting. He also made strong demands that Press & Communications Manager either show evidence of the tweets, or withdraw the remarks.

Email 1
St Ives Chairman, Stuart Guppy, attempts to have the minutes of an officially recorded UKIP meeting altered to cover up his branch social media accounts indiscretions.

Evidence was presented and Guppy was told to apologise; he refused. The County Committee, against the wishes of the Chairman, but supported by UKIP’s Cornwall Council group leader, Stephanie McWilliams, had "all reference to these events struck from the county minutes" of the prior meeting and aggressively told members that "the matter was closed and not to discuss it again".

Email 2
It later transpired that Mr Guppy, who was awarded a Gold medal for 20 years party service, had previous form - having been investigated by the party over ten years ago and censured by UKIP South West for doctoring official party minutes and documentation. At this time, Guppy, a retired Metropolitan Police desk clerk, was St Ives Branch Secretary under then Chairman, the late Tess Nash.

Emails were exchanged between members, and in August 2015 the County Chairman and others received abusive emails from Guppy’s Branch Secretary, Nina Payne, which led to the finding of an email from November 2014 where she said Guppy had asked her to set up a twitter account for the branch, in turn it transpired that “@UKIPST” was in fact, still active

Despite repeated denials, it transpired that the St Ives Membership Secretary previously acknowledged that Guppy did in fact ask her to set up ‘@UKIPST’.
Shortly after Guppy was informed, Payne quickly changed the screen-name and the account picture, members however managed to get some screenshots of the tweets (documented above) including some which contain extreme anti-semitism. Later, investigators were sent screenshots with the tweets as published in the UKIP branding from within the St Ives branch, by concerned members who told us their concerns had been “fobbed off” by Guppy and the other branch officers.

We are told that Steve Crowther seemed very displeased to be asked to deal with it, at one point complaining that the issue had “disrupted his afternoon out”. He refused to take the concerns seriously and eventually members were forced to contact UKIP staff members in Brussels, who in turn briefed an MEP who then stepped in to get it taken down. St Ives UKIP was challenged with the assertion that in fact, they had all been aware it was their branch secretary and that they had covered it up; they still denied it.

Despite being a UKIP Branch Chairman, Stuart Guppy (2nd from Left) maintains a relationship with Conservative Fisheries Minister and former UKIP candidate, George Eustice MP (3rd from right). Pictured here (strangely) in Tory election literature from the 2015 General Election endorsing Tory efforts to secure Hayle hospital’s future. Also pictured are fellow UKIP members Councillor Harry Blakeley (1st left), and Ray Wyse (3rd from left).
Under the direction of the then Cornwall County Chairman an in-depth investigation into racism in the Cornish branches was undertaken, and on completion, comprehensive findings were presented to the Regional and National Chairman. The whistleblowers claim they were given a “whitewash” in response and were told to not mention it ever again; although Steve Crowther agreed that the views presented were “incompatible” with those of UKIP.

Despite this, a Cornwall County meeting was called in September, where the evidence was going to be put to the St Ives Chairman, Regional Organiser and County Committee so that the issue could be brought to a conclusion.

However, despite refusing to attend, St Ives Chairman Guppy had a change of heart just hours before the meeting, and along one of his branch officers, Sandy Martin, who had been named in the twitter feed by Nina Payne, thus proving she had a vested interest, “disrupted” the meeting with the support of former Cornwall Councillor Harry Blakeley (also named in the investigation).

Did St Ives Branch Officer, Sandy Martin, collude to disrupt an official meeting because she had been aware of the tweets all along?

All three left, along with and Council Group leader, McWilliams, when the venue threatened to call the Police after Ms Martin, who acknowledged she was uninvited, refused to leave after several requests from the management. Thus a final attempt at addressing the situation internally collapsed.

The new Regional Organiser, Guy Parfitt, who also draws a generous salary from EFDD funds thanks to his dual role as South West Regional Constituency Manager, “just sat there and refused to deal with it”, despite the breaches of party rules relating to meeting attendees.

The refusal to back the County Chairman led to several senior members, including the Chairman himself to resign there and then in protest. Shockingly, Guppy later issued a threatening letter on official UKIP headed paper calling for the now ex-Chairman to apologise to him.

Since then any reference to these incidents has been ignored and UKIP won’t discuss it. National Chairman Steve Crowther has visited Cornwall, declining to meet with concerned members and patrons, but happy it seems to appear on stage at an event hosted by Guppy and posed in a press photo with him - thereby endorsing him.

Despite evidence being presented, UKIP National Chairman, Steve Crowther (left) still endorsed Stuart Guppy (centre) by appearing at one of his events. Also pictured are Bob Smith, failed UKIP candidate for Camborne (second from left) and Tory MP for St Ives, Derek Thomas.

Despite evidence being presented, UKIP National Chairman, Steve Crowther (left) still endorsed Stuart Guppy (centre) by appearing at one of his events. Also pictured are Bob Smith, failed UKIP candidate for Camborne (second from left) and Tory MP for St Ives, Derek Thomas.

UKIP have threatened to take action against members, should this story leaks, and claim they have asked their NEC to investigate it. Despite this several South West UKIP patrons feel that this is a matter of public interest and our voters deserve a strong, electable UK Independence Party; rather than the current cronyism and corruption that is ongoing at present.

Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, Mr Guppy has since been promoted by the party to the position of ‘County Vice Chairman’; a motion which was tabled by UKIP’s Cornwall Council Group Leader, Stephanie McWilliams. Nina Payne (Sutherland) has continued her racism and anti-semitic propaganda in a personal capacity but is believed to no longer be involved in the branch.

St Ives Membership Secretary, Nina Payne, continues her crusade against the Jews in a personal capacity.

Significant donors have been made aware of this and, in one case, even after writing to Nigel Farage three times no action has been taken against the toxic elements.

Therefore they have withdrawn much needed financial and practical support worth an estimated £100,000 from the party. 

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