There is a glaring omission from the shortlist of Ukip’s approved MEP candidates. Neil Hamilton, the self-proclaimed ‘writer, actor, broadcaster and entertainer’, has had his application rejected, despite speculation that he would top the bill. But this is not the end for Hamilton. Mr Steerpike made some enquiries and received this enigmatic reply:
‘Although he had applied to be considered as a UKIP candidate for the European Parliament, he has now been asked by Nigel Farage take on different leading role for the party, the details of which will be announced shortly.’
We wait with baited breath.
Meanwhile, former shock-jock Jon Gaunt and The Spectator’s very own James Delingpole didn’t make the Ukip cut either, though neither is a particularly surprising omission. Gaunt is said to be lying low after getting caught up in the ‘pleb-gate’ row over Andrew Mitchell, while Delingpole’s leaked application read as follows:
‘My own skills are as follows: winding up greenies and lefties, partly for your fun and entertainment, partly to expose the absurdities of their position; getting our message across everywhere from US and Australian talk radio to the BBC and in the blogosphere; not surrendering to all those people out there who hate us just because of the principles we believe in. I would use my position of UKIP MEP as a platform for doing more of this, more often. But if you were hoping for anything beyond that, please choose someone else.’
Writing today, Delingpole confirms:
‘I’ve just this second had a call from Steve Crowther telling me I didn’t make the cut anyway. Apparently – quelle surprise! – I did well on the public speaking bit; but fell down on the psychometric testing (!) and the interviews. Seems what you’re looking for is solid candidates with years of party membership and proven dedication to the nitty gritty of party business. Well if those are your criteria, you’ve certainly done the right thing!’
Mr Steerpike hears that Mrs Delingpole is almost more relieved than the pen-pushers at the European Parliament.Tags: European Elections, James delingpole, Neil Hamilton, Nigel Farage, Politics, UKIP