Ukip’s autumn conference has turned into yet another war between Douglas Carswell and other parts of the party. Speaking to a huddle of journalists this afternoon, the Ukip donor and founder of Leave.EU campaign described Carswell as ‘borderline autistic with mental illness wrapped in’. Banks appears to be disgruntled at Carswell’s comments to Coffee House that he is more likely to back the Matthew Elliott-Dominic Cummings Leave campaign.
In response, Carswell told BuzzFeed News ‘I think it’s best if I decline to comment. I think the comments are best not dignified with a response.’ Banks has since released an apology but has noted Carswell was provocative towards him:
‘Douglas Carswell was appallingly rude and provocative towards me today which does not justify my comments for which I apologise.’
With Carswell due to speak at the second day of Ukip’s conference tomorrow, we’ll if see if he acknowledges the divide on which Leave campaign Ukip should back — or whether he sticks to chosen topic of electoral reform. Nigel Farage has declined to comment on Banks’ remarks, even though he suggested earlier that Carswell may have ‘residing loyalties’ to his former colleagues in the Conservative party. Unless the Elliott-Cummings campaign comes under Banks’ Leave.EU umbrella, it’s hard to see how this divide in the party will be repaired anytime soon.