UKIP chair dismisses Nigel Farage return and blasts Arron Banks for Douglas Carswell 'mentally ill' slur

Arron Banks 'has said incredibly unfortunate things on social media', says UKIP Chairman Paul Oakden

The multi-millionaire has been suspended from the party

Monday, March 27, 2017

The chairman of UKIP has hit back at the party's long-time benefactor Arron Banks, and suggested Nigel Farage is unlikely to stand in any Clacton by-election.

Paul Oakden spoke to Paul Ross after UKIP's only MP, Douglas Carswell, quit the party to become an independent.

Although many have suggested Clacton's resignation from UKIP necessitates a by-election, Oakden says such an outcome is unlikely - although he would welcome it as Clacton is "a great seat for UKIP."

Banks added: "I don't think Nigel would be interested in Clacton... although the idea of taking on Douglas Carswell might appeal to him.

"I think he's got plenty on at the moment."

Banks, who has suggested he might consider standing in Thanet, has had his party membership suspended in recent weeks, and responded by describing UKIP as a shambles.

After Douglas Carswell, UKIP's only MP, quit the party, Banks described him as "autistic with a touch of mental illness" while excoriating UKIP's leader, Paul Nuttall.

Party chair Paul Oakden told Paul Ross he and other UKIP executives hope to meet Banks later Monday, adding: "Our relationship with Arron Banks is currently under review.

"There are a number of thing Arron Banks has said on social media which have been unfortunate, and this has been raised by Paul Nuttall. 

"Banks has been a great supporter of the party and the referendum, and this is part of the conversation we're hoping to have with him later today."

When asked directly by Paul Ross whether he would rule out accepting many from Banks in future, Oakden would only say this would be part of the conversation they hoped to have with him.