In the preparation for this weeks election and during the transfer from UKIP to his new political party Nigel Farage has made some very concerning comments and decisions. The first was back in October during a visit outside of the constituency he is supposed to be representing when he was in Christchurch Dorset as part of some sort of political visit. Surrounded by officials he claimed “We haven’t taken back control of our borders yet. All the things we voted for haven’t yet been delivered. So that’s why I’m sort of … back out of retirement. Just because I want to get it over the line. And succeed” His claim that he was in retirement is consistent with one of his most recent comments when he was criticised for his failure to declare to the European Parliament a donation of £450,000 from Arron Banks some time ago. In his defence he claims he was about to leave politics and had been seeking a new life in the US.
The problem with both of these statements even though they are very consistent with one another is that Nigel is a very well paid representative of my constituency. He was voted for by UKIP voters to represent all of us in this area and if he had been wanting to retire and leave politics and seek a new life in the US, then he needed to step down as a representative so that the constituents in our area had someone to represent them. After all for many years he has refused to do so claiming he was too busy running the UKIP party. However when he stepped down as leader in July 2016 he claimed he had achieved the aim for which he went into politics. So for nearly 3 years he has in effect been preventing us from having an active MEP. Yet when recently he was challenged about his statement regarding retirement he claimed it was actually relating to his retirement as a party leader, not as an MEP. And now he is under scrutiny for the half a million pounds he has received and failed to submit to the European Parliament he is claiming he had intended to step down as an MEP but simply forgot to do so.
It is vital for as long as we remain in the European Parliament that we have competent MEPs who are capable of remembering that when they get paid such large sums of public money for a job, that they are actually supposed to do the job, not imagine they have retired!