The self-styled anti-establishment ‘People’s Army’ chose the most expensive hotel in Westminster to announce the professionalisation of their party machine. Nigel Farage’s post-European election press conference was completely stage managed — from the security on the door to the lack of questions from the floor, right down to the moment he was whisked away from the InterContinental Westminster in a blacked out Land Rover with his key donor Paul Sykes.

But Ukip were not done yet, Farage presumably just drove round the block a few times because he was soon back sinking a vat of merlot at his victory party — which your correspondent attempted to crashed with various degrees of success. Obviously without an invite, Mr S didn’t receive the dress code. There was a similar theme running through everyone’s outfits. This guy got it:

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So did he:
As did this chap, who will be the next Ukip MEP in East Midlands if Roger Helmer wins the Newark by-election:
Depending who you ask it’s either the colour of power or sexual frustration, but it was purple everywhere. The lights:
Even the carpet:
It was akin to a purple cult, though not a very loving one. No sooner had Mr S chatted to Roger Helmer about his chances of becoming an MP (slim), clocked Neil Hamilton chatting to a Peter Stringfellow lookalike, and wondered whether William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith’s former PR man Nick Wood had defected, he was tapped on the shoulder. At first he thought the wee chap was joking, but no — he really was being booted out.

Mr S can’t think what it was that upset the delicate Frau Farage, but his dismissal from the purple haze was apparently at the personal behest of the leader’s wife. Perhaps he’s just too much of a dangerous rebel for the new establishment.

Tags: InterContinental Westminster, Neil Hamilton, Nick Wood, Nigel Farage, Paul Sykes, Roger Helmer, UKIP