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Ukip appointed lawyer Matthew Richardson to keep 'bad stuff' out of public eye

The party prides itself in avoiding Westminster-style spin

Kashmira Gander
Tuesday 30 December 2014 20:44 GMT
A United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) volunteer gets ready to send out car stickers
A United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) volunteer gets ready to send out car stickers (Mary Turner/Getty Images)

While Ukip has achieved almost unimaginable success this year, 2014 has also been a year littered with gaffes by party members.

And its chiefs appeared to predict such blunders two years ago, by hiring an Oxford-educated City barrister to keep “bad stuff” hidden from the public domain, it has been revealed.

The documents seen by the Daily Mirror fly in the face of Ukip’s attempt to present itself as a party which is not concerned with spin like the three main Westminster parties.

Leaked minutes from the party’s national executive committee from June 2013 show that officials discussed the need for a lawyer to be “actively involved” in its dealings with the media.

Chiefs at the meeting admitted that the party “will face some tough times” and said that barrister Matthew Richardson could become Ukip secretary in order to decide “whether to take injunctions out” in the event that the party is criticised in the media.

The document read that the party chiefs “ensure all of the bad stuff is kept out of the public domain”, with Mr Richardson declaring he specialises in “online reputation management”.

Party chairman Steve Crowther then explained that “work must be done in dealing with what our members publish” with Mr Richardson agreeing.

The meeting ended with the committee unanimously agreeing to appoint Mr Richardson.

Ukip has not yet responded to a request for a comment by The Independent but a Ukip spokeswoman told the Mirror: "Like all other parties we have a party secretary to manage legal and political affairs.

"No injunctions have ever been used."

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