Ukip youth leader Olly Neville sacked for supporting gay marriage

 

The leader of Ukip’s youth organisation has been stripped of his post by the party leadership, after expressing his support for gay marriage on national radio.

Olly Neville, who was appointed as chairman of Young Independence (YI) at the end of last year, was told by the party’s chairman that comments in support of gay marriage were “completely at odds with the party’s policy” and risked “seriously setting back the party’s current growth”.

Read Olly Neville's exclusive account 'How Ukip sacked me after I said I support equal marriage'

Last night he confirmed that he been asked to stand down from his post. Ukip said that Mr Neville was removed for “misrepresenting Ukip policy” and not for his views on gay marriage.

In an email seen by The Independent, Ukip chairman Stephen Crowther told Mr Neville yesterday: “the NEC [National Executive Committee] has resolved that you should not continue to act as interim chairman of YI, owing to the problems regarding party policy and public statements about which we have corresponded over the past week.”

In an earlier email, sent on 2 January after Mr Neville appeared on the World at One programme on BBC Radio 4, Mr Crowther said that Mr Neville had been “politically inept” and criticised his deviations from party policy on gay marriage and on the importance of the forthcoming European elections.

The email reads: “…your stated position on Gay Marriage is quite simply completely at odds with the Party's policy. Our policy on Gay Marriage is extremely important to us at this time. We have said specifically and repeatedly that we are opposed to the government's proposals on this, and that the Prime Minister has got it spectacularly wrong. For you to say precisely the opposite, on national radio, as the representative of YI, is absolutely unacceptable, and risks seriously setting back the party's current growth.”

After publicising his dismissal on Twitter last night Mr Neville told The Independent that his party was on “the wrong side of history” on gay marriage.

“I think they’re probably going to throw me out,” he said. “But I wanted to have my side of the story. I wanted people to know what happened because there has been a lot of speculation.

“On gay marriage the party is on the wrong side of public opinion and the wrong side of history. It could be another burka ban issue for them, where they will look back ashamedly and wonder why we had that as a policy.” 

He added that he felt “bullied” by the emails, which were circulated among senior party members.

Today Mr Crowther said Mr Neville had been removed from his post because he “did not appreciate the responsibilities attached to being an official of the party in terms of supporting the party’s policy publicly and stating it correctly.”

He added that Mr Neville had never been officially elected as Young Independence’s chairman because an election had been held before the party’s executive committee had established formal rules.

“There was an election being held because the existing chairman had stood down mid-term,” Mr Crowther told The Independent. “It came to the NEC’s attention that that election was not being held under a set of established rules and that as a consequence it was not running as an election should. The NEC therefore curtailed that election before it concluded. That election was never concluded and there was no count.”

Mr Neville claims that he won 62 per cent of a vote of 117 Young Independence members and said that the elections “were cancelled after I won the vote due to opposition to me”.

At the youth group’s Christmas party in December, Mr Neville was publicly declared as YI chairman in the presence of several senior party members. The group’s Twitter feed also confirmed his election.

Ukip opposes same-sex marriage. Party policy statements on the issue state that legalising gay marriage would “risk the grave harm of undermining the rights of Churches and Faiths to decide for themselves who they will and will not marry”.

 

The email

Subject: NEC

Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2013 19:11:07 +0000

From: Steve Crowther

To: Olly Neville

Dear Olly

This is to let you know that the NEC has resolved that you should not continue to act as interim chairman of YI, owing to the problems regarding party policy and public statements about which we have corresponded over the past week. The General Secretary will send you the specific resolution.

I suggest that your Vice Chairman take over the coordination of YI activities in the interim, while the rules for the election are finalised and approved by NEC. Perhaps you could ask the VC to make contact with me.

Yours, Steve

Stephen Crowther, Chairman, UK Independence Party

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?