Exclusive: So much for the libertarians! How Ukip sacked me after I said I support equal marriage

The former leader of the youth wing of Nigel Farage's party has left his post after disagreeing with party policy. They say he's trouble. Here's his version of events

Share
Related Topics

Nigel Farage recently said in an interview that he wanted a party of free thinkers. For the last three years I believed that, up until November of 2012. I was elected chairman of Young Independence by 62% of the vote and the largest absolute majority in our organisations history, the NEC. The campaign was my first taste of what inside Ukip politics was like, with Ukip members sending out wide ranging emails attacking me.

The Young Independence council co-opted me in line with election results and our constitution. Things simmered until I appeared on the BBC World at One, where among many issues I was asked my opinion on Equal Marriage. I said then what I had said before and will say every time I am asked that question, I fully support equal marriage and believe it is one of the few good things this coalition has done.

The Party Constitution says that officials (like me) are allowed to disagree publicly with party policy so long as they make clear that it is their individual position - which I did - and they do not bring the party into disrepute - which I didn't.

Almost as soon as the show was broadcast the Party Chairman, Steve Crowther, emailed me telling me ‘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. I have no option but to take this further. I await your reply.’

The intensity and regularity of emails increased dramatically, all stemming from the initial one criticising me for supporting equal marriage. When I asked why Nigel could comment on drugs and prostitution I was told it was ‘in line with party policy.’ I happily tweeted about it only to be told I wasn’t allowed to, by Steve Crowther. Further action that followed was to remove me from my post in a unanimous vote. The email explaining the decision told me it was about policy issues.

Later, John Arnott, the Party Secretary, emailed me citing party rules and saying that I was persistently causing trouble.

I am sure I will find out what the official line from the party is. I am sure they won’t want me to come off looking good from it and them looking bad. I am a 21 year-old recent graduate who said what I had said many times before, something that I truly believe in. Before any of this had even broken I have received emails from UKIP NEC members calling me stupid and had comments on the private members forum attacking me for supporting equal marriage and have apparently now been called politically inept by my own party.

Ukip were the only party I believed in and trusted, I thought a party that campaigned for democracy and free speech would advocate something similar for its members, especially the youth wing. I feel let down and naive. I have always wanted to believe Ukip is the libertarian party it says it is, but with socially conservative candidates getting away with comments that many find abhorrent whilst libertarian members like myself get heavily attacked I can no longer convince myself it truly is. While Ukip is the only party fighting for true freedom and democracy on issues like the EU when it comes to Equal Marriage Ukip is on the wrong side of public opinion and the wrong side of history.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principle Geotechnical Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia  

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Oliver Poole
Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable