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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Arts and Entertainment
Singer songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage
films
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman, Peter Capaldi and Nick Frost star in the Doctor Who Christmas Special, Last Christmas
TV
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

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Lawyer - Cheshire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...

Austen Lloyd: Residential Property Solicitor - Hampshire

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran