UKIP author says party is 'exploding' as Douglas Carswell rumours continue

UKIP's Douglas Carswell: 'Paul Nuttall needs to choose whether he wants a unified party or a broad tent', says political editor

Owen Bennett believes Paul Nuttall must now choose a side

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The author of one of the most seminal books on UKIP says the party is "exploding" as rumours about Douglas Carswell's defection back to the Conservatives continue to mount.

Owen Bennett, who interviewed Carswell for his book The Brexit Club, also says Paul Nuttall is now in a fiendishly difficult position - and must make a choice as to the party he wants UIKIP to be.

It has been widely reported that Carswell is in talks to rejoin the Tories, the party he left to join UKIP in 2014. Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has called for Carswell to be expelled, claiming he has been working against the party.

Bennett told Julia Hartley-Brewer that UKIP are "exploding...imploding... going off all over the place", adding that Carswell has never fully committed to Farage's aims. In fact, he said, the Clacton MP's aim in joining UKIP was to "neutralise Nigel Farage ahead of any EU referendum."

He also believes there is a tension within the party caused by a "toxic mix of personality and ideology clashes," and Paul Nuttall now has to pick a side - he can "make the party a broad tent and keep Douglas Carswell" or decide he needs a "unity of message and it’s best if Douglas Carswell goes."

Listen to the full interview above to find out more