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

Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
British Prime Minister Tony Blair (L) pictured shaking hands with Libyan leader Colonel Moamer Kadhafi on 25 March 2004.  

There's nothing wrong with Labour’s modernisers except how outdated they look

Mark Steel
 

Any chance the other parties will run their election campaigns without any deceit or nastiness?

Nigel Farage
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee