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So how about Lady Thatcher Tim? She too has expressed open support for UKIP……

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7694477.stm

Let's leave Lady T out of this please David. She served this country incredibly well but for all sorts of reasons that do not need rehearsing here, has now retired from public life.

Hi Tim,

My estimation of you has just shot through the roof sir. That was a very brave article to write.

David at Home, could you point to any occasion when Lady Thatcher has urged Conservative supporters to vote for UKIP? The link you provide certainly doesn't do that.

Well done Tim, for having the balls to write this post. You are quite right.

As I said on the other site, I don`t care if Mr.Wheeler is expelled or not, and I don`t think he does either.

He`a a patriot who puts country before party. What`s wrong with that?

@Edward Huxley

Nothing, everyone is entitled to their views, but with being a member comes rules on membership, rules that Mr Wheeler has broken. Do we then disregard the rules for money? No! because if we do we are just publicly demonstrating that the politics for cash that infests UK politics is very much alive in the party.

Wheeler is on the Politics Show now urging all Conservatives to vote UKIP. He has to expelled and now.

"Well done Tim, for having the balls to write this post"

Yes you need balls to write this post for its a stupid post.

If we are talking about loyalty, how many of the Conservative MP's that voted with Labour and for the Lisbon Treaty had the party whip withdrawn from them? None! Clarke has even been promoted to the Shadow Cabinet!

So on that basis are you saying that party members and contributors shouldn't be judged by the miserably low standards and poor loyalty of Conservative MP's?


Thank you Tim for listening and deciding this on principle. ConHome reinforces its role as a key representative of the members.

Can we also kick out Beazley and Jackson for threatening to resign from the party as well. That way Wheeler can be seen to be treated with the same act of discipline as should also happen to Beazley and Jackson.

A man that for many years has had more money than he has sense!

No doubt we will have the spectacle of Mr Barrage (all hot air) spouting on our television screens within the next few hours!

No Tory would appear on the politics show with Wheeler today.

I assume it was too far for Pickles to travel given what he said on Question Time regarding his second home allowance.

Well Mr Dale, Lady T said to Nikki Sinclaire, a UKIP candidate for the EU Parliament, “Good for you” and went on to advise her never to give up.

I never met Lady T but those I know who have and who were not even remotely her supporters, a slightly leftish Scottish trades unionist and my one time parliamentary secretary and Labour part member cousin (every family has at least one black sheep!), told me she was a very warm personality (not the image the BBC likes to portray) so maybe Lady T was just being pleasant. We will never know and Tim has told me to drop the subject so I must do so.

As for expelling Stuart Wheeler, it would give us in UKIP bags of extra publicity. Those whom the gods wish to destroy....

But I hope you don't because it might hurt a dedicated, patriotic and idealistic gentleman who is a natural conservative.

You would think that the natural place for traditional Tories should be the Tory Party.

Unfortunately this no longer seems to be the case.

David_at_Home It is disgraceful to quote someone suffering from dementia. But I guess that is what UKIPPERs seem to think is appropriate as they desperately cling onto their dying party.

Let's please leave the topic of Lady T. It wasn't your finest comment, David_at_Home.

The 'Kippers on here defending Stuart Wheeler might like to enlighten us as to what they think UKIP HQ might do to a UKIP member who went on TV and everywhere shouting that he was donating to the Conservative Party.

Then again they are busy expelling their own loyalists, so maybe there wouldn't be time to do what we should do to Wheeler.

Tim @ 13:08 I couldn't agree more!

David - to quote The Lady ... "NO NO NO"!

Unworthy of you.

WHS. Wouldn`t worry me, but unlike the
other parties, UKIP gets very poor TV coverage anyway so it will never happen

The answer is simple and Wheeler hasn't cottoned on. Vote BNP and if enough do it the parties will wake up screaming blue murder and even the lazy hacks might notice that someone out there is very cross.

Vote for UKIP and it will be a footnote at the bottom of column 94 and the hacks can regurgitate what they said last time.

Having said that I would not vote BNP in the General Election because (a) that would enable Brown to stay on which would be a terminal disaster; and (b) they're not very nice people

The Tory Party asked for defections at the Euros by rigging the lists!

I don't wish to intrude on private grief here, but I rather agree with Tim's volte face. As a former Conservative who is now very happily ensconced in UKIP, I think it's rather rum to try and ride two horses in the same race. Stuart Wheeler - for whom I have huge respect - should decide which Party he supports and leave the other.

The fact is the Conservatives want to shut down debate on this one. As Chairman of Sevenoaks in 2004, most of my Management Team voted for UKIP - myself included I have to say. I knew Dan Hannan would be ok, so I did so with a clear conscience and a desire to support a Party that was intellectually honest about EU membership.

The Conservative Party slogan is fatuous: In Europe, Not run by Europe. The hole bloody point of the EU project is to subsume national sovereignty to a great EU-wide entity. Britain has lost out at every stage of the argument, with the honourable exception of Lady Thatcher. It is a corrupt, inefficient, economically and politically malign entity.

What was also depressing was to see the 2nd, 3rd and 4th raters on the Conservative Party Euro List become MEPs. Many lie about their Europhilia only to get reselected and then go native for another 5 years. And the calibre - the magnificent Dan aside - is dire.

Thank you Mr Montgomerie, says the letter from the Tory Party Treasurer, "pray tell me where you and your blogging pal Iain Dale will find the four or five million you have now lost the party?"

Perhaps those that have written their support for you can help you reimburse what would have been given for the general election?

Perhaps, Mr Montgomerie, you could enquire as to why people support such a usless party as ukip? (Started by Conservatives)

Could it be that they, like 55% of the British people, want out of the EU? Want to be rid of this most undemocratic and evil organisation?

Could it be that no other party, (other than the BNP), wants out of the EU. The British People need a choice and they do not have one. THAT is why people are drawn to ukip and the bnp on matters EU.

They do not trust the conservative party, and the pro eu leader Cameron, on their 'promise' for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. It will be pointless when the thing is ratified!

BUT if Cameron was to come out and say that he will have a referendum on IN OR OUT of the EU then things would change.

Two last things, Mr Wheeler, in this, almost, free country can do whatever he wishes with his own money!

and, I wonder if you could ever forgive yourself if Mr Wheeler says, Fair enough in view of what Mr Montgomerie and Mr Dale are saying I will resign as a member of the conservative party and for the general election give my money to the bnp?

If we are to win the next general election and restore this nations economy and society then we must maintain the unity of the Party. It took years to build up and make us the Party that we are and no single person should be allowed to dent that or the Party that we now are under David Cameron's Leadership.

Back in 1999 the party did not hesitate to expel members, even some once-medium sized names, who had endorsed the "Pro Euro Conservative Party". The same principle must apply to Wheeler. There can be no double standards on the basis of which way a lot of people in the grassroots feel about the issue. UKIP is a rival party.

After Question Time the party should expel Eric Pickles!!

I seem to remember reading an analysis of the last general election where it was shown that we had come second in some 20 or more seats where the UKIP vote was greater than the winning majority.

That sort of voting pattern could be very important if the next Gen Election is as close as many think it will be given the unfavourable constituency boundaries under which it will be contested.


Good riddance! Now if only the other nutters in the party would follow suit!

Tim Roll-Pickering / Maria.

Forget what the people want?

I suppose then you will ask for Dan Hannan to be expelled?

Your attitude I am sorry to say, just reinforces what Mr Hannan so correctly said. "People are being taken for granted, ripped off, lied to and ignored"

For goodness sake, open your eyes and ears, people want honesty and they certainly are not getting it from the Conservatives on the EU.

CR: That "analysis" was nothing of the kind - it made the crude assumption that everyone who voted UKIP would, in the absence of a candidate, have turned out to vote and would have voted Conservative. Voting behaviour just isn't like that - look at the London Mayoral election where less than 30% of people who voted UKIP gave their second preference to the Conservatives. It also said nothing about the number of voters we'd lose if we adopted the UKIP position.

They also took votes off Labour, off the Lib Dems, off minor parties, protest votes looking for a "big" protest party, voters who wouldn't turned out at all and so forth. There are hardly any seats lost because UKIP stood a candidate and took sufficient votes off us.

Mr Wheeler is urging all tories to vote Conservative at the local and General Elections which is good enough for me.Leave him alone-he is a decent and honourable man in my book.The Euro elections are of little consequence as the European Parliament has few powers of consequence.If the party expels Mr Wheeler it will live to regret it.

I think the idea of Mr Wheeler being expelled from the Conservative party for standing up for his principles is nuts. He supports the Conservatives, but he puts country before party. Quite right too.

Pickles should expel Wheeler and then fall on his own sword to be replaced by Dan Hannan. YAY

strapworld: UKIP was founded by a former Liberal (Alan Sked) and has always contained a mixture of people from all manner of political backgrounds, hence the repeated internal chaos.

There is a genuine debate about the UK's membership of the EU, but backing rival parties is not the way forward. The rules are very simple. Why do so many preach double standards based on their personal opinions on anything to do with the EU?

As we're on an expelling-spree, expel Ken Clarke and Heseltine for this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/1895199.stm

A Europe row is the last thing we needed but the otherwise admirable Mr Wheeler must be punished for igniting it.

Wheeler is saying the Country is more important than the party - and I agree with that.

In fact it is the Tory Leadership that has reneged on grassroots opposition to the EU and Wheeler who has remained consistent. They left him.

Yes a difficult precedent for other acts of protest from members but this issue (soveriegnty) transcends all others.

It is a dilemma for people like me who have a firm eurosceptic as a Tory MEP but lets face it, these are outnumbered by bandwagon careerists who do well out of a bloated EU Soviet establishment.

The suggestion of voting BNP just for the Euro Elections is an elegant one.

Leave Wheeler alone and accept this as a point of genuine principle.

And the Pro-Euro Conservative Party (a group and cause I wouldn't have touched with a radio controlled bomb disposal unit) were also saying "the Country is more important than the party" and had "a point of genuine principle". The only differences to the Wheeler case are a) they didn't contribute so much and b) the grassroots membership didn't agree with them so much.

We cannot have double standards.

A member of a political Party should respect the rules.

That does not stop you arguing for your own views, but it should stop you from supporting another Party.

The issue is quite frankly irrelevant (and I am very much against the EU project).

Suppose Mr Wheeler were to say that he was a Conservative member but would donate to Labour and vote for them in the General Election because he believed in working for the resurrection of Clause 4? Would his cheerleaders here continue to support his Conservative Party membership?

This is hilarious.

I am sitting opposite my wife this Sunday PM, supposedly doing some work on my laptop but actually reading about who should be expelled from the Tories. Can't stop laughing which means the wife is about to become suspicious.

And it's all YOUR fault.

The truth is...

The tories have the wrong candidates for the euro elections, and this is almost entirely down to Cameron making a huge mistake over the selection process.

That is the real problem.

How Cameron handles that mistake is what is really at issue.

Whether he buries his mistake by silencing anyone who mentions it - or whether he faces up to it and considers what options there are - if any.

Is it too late to reselect? If so the die is cast and now is the time to start preparing the excuses/explanations. Because, if the tories are (as expected) massacred in the euro elections the eu-philes will probably say it is because of leaving the EPP; the eu-sceptics will probably say it was the selection process etc...

They won't both be right - so start preparation to ensure the truth is available as soon as possible after the event, and ensure that it can't be used against the tories in the next general election...

"And the Pro-Euro Conservative Party (a group and cause I wouldn't have touched with a radio controlled bomb disposal unit) were also saying "the Country is more important than the party" and had "a point of genuine principle".

I fail to see how any pro-european could possibly argue to surrender yet more power to the EU AND at the same time, argue that this was putting 'country before party' - there is no logic.

pp Are some of the candidates wrong ones as MEPs? Yes but it is a lot better than the previous bunch because principles were introduced that each candidate had to agree. Expelling Wheeler is just one of the prices that CCHQ have to pay for their mistakes in the MEP selection process.

The important thing is that Cameron and Pickles learn the lessons of ensuring that the next selection process is more democratic and has a stronger set of principles.

Appalled to see the Editor siding with Ian Taylor MP who failed to vote for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

"The Blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church" St Cyprian. If you expel him you will regret it!

If Cameron doesn't want anyone to talk about the EU how on earth can he fight the euro--elections ?

It would be nice to see the manifesto with some specifics in the time of crisis.

The BNP is the only thing that will wake him up! It'll put a bomb behind him!

HF, it's not a case of Cameron learning from past mistakes - there were no mistakes, the selection process was deliberately rigged.

So, "vote for Daniel Hannan", and get the closet federalist James Elles back into the EU Parliament on his coat tails?

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/goldlist/2008/03/will-cchq-publi.html

"... the South Eastern regional rankings (remembering that lower scores/ points mean a higher ranking):

Daniel Hannan MEP: 24,509
Richard Ashworth MEP: 29,567
Nirj Deva MEP: 35,054
James Elles MEP: 44,120
Therese Coffey: 31,274
Sarah Richardson: 40,515
Richard Robinson: ??
Tony Devenish: ??
Nina Kaariniemi: 54,295
Marc Brunel-Walker: 60,909"

No, thanks.

All this faux indignaty is quite sickening.
Mr Wheeler is a party member and PAYS for the privellage, he is also a party donor and he willingly gives HIS money to the party in donations.
I have always thought that we, unlike some other Stalinist parties, have the luxury of saying what we like in a democracy.
The Europe issue will eat in to and fester in our party untill its sorted out, and i do believe it has not in any way been 'sorted out'.
I know lots of loyal, old and new, party members who will be voting UKIP in the Euro's in June and why not UKIP is full of old Tories with a view on all things Euopean.
For god sake, all calm down, its only the European Elections after all, not a General.

I agree wholeheartedly. Stuart Wheeler must be treated like all other members, to do otherwise would suggest that his donations enable him to influence party affairs. If he advocates voting for another party, that is incompatable with membership of the party.

HF

So the tories are happy to have very few MEPs for the next session?

The option doesn't seem to be between good tory MEPs and bad tory MEPs - its about having any tory MEPs... (give or take a hannan)

The way things are going we may not need any MEPs for the following session - because we we could be leaving the EU, so the selection process will be irrelevant.

Labour are knowingly going into a general election with a leader who cant win -- are the tories really going into the euro-elections with candidates who can't win?

So, across every possible subject, you expect members of parties to toe the line on every single aspect?

Should they salute the flag at dawn as well?

Grow up. Maybe it's the views of the party themselves that conflicts with those of its members.

It is one thing to have a division of opinion within the party, it is another thing altogether to publicly endorse a rival party. The two are very different situations.

If there was a pledge from the Conservative Party to have a referendum on withdrawal from the EU - then UKIP would cease to exsist and Stuart Wheeler would be donating his £100K to the Conservative Party.

For someone who was elected democratically Cameron has a long way to go before he understands the principles of democracy. For example refusing to allow Dan Hannan to debate with Nigel Farage at party conference was a big mistake.

As for the European selections - the Two Ronnies "news item" where Ronnie Barker commented that "There was a break in at the Kremlin last night, the thieves made off with next years election results" is closer to the truth.

If the party was democratic enough to allow debate, even debate that shapes policy - then we would not even be having this discusion.

The problem with centralised control and command as is the current nature of the Conservative Party hierarchy and CCHQ is that one day excluded members will demand that they are listened to and CCHQ will not have an answer. It also underlines the Leadership's double standards of preaching more democracy to the people of the UK "Trust the people" and then denying it to both their members and to the UK electorate when it comes to a referendum on UK withdrawal from the EU.

Thanks for the scores for Tory MEP selection, Dennis Cooper. Two points jump out at me:

1. That well known EU Sceptic, Daniel Hannan, who was expelled from the EPP, was the top choice of the Tory activists. Should not the Tory Leadership be taking note of this?

2. If I were a Tory EU Sceptic I would certainly wish to see Mr Hannan re-elected but, since he is top of the list, I would see this as pretty well inevitable so I would “lend my vote” to UKIP.

Even if the tories got no seats in europe - dan would be free to enter westminster...

Tim Roll-Pickering, you're exactly right, and quite a few people don't seem to be able to grasp this. It would be a different matter if Wheeler were just saying "I think we should leave the EU", but he is urging people to vote for another party. By all means one can put "country over party" by urging people to vote UKIP, but there have to be consequences in doing so.

Once again the Conservative Party are in disarray over the E.U. All it needs is for Cameron to promise the electorate a referendum on whether we should stay in the E.U. or leave and the Conservatives would be guaranteed a massive majority after the next G.E. At the moment it is looking as if there could be a hung parliament. As for the E.U.elections ALL Conservative, Labour and the few Lib-Dem Eurosceptics should vote U.K.I.P.

Eric you know what you have to do ! its a shame but it must be done. We cant have members telling people o vote ukip

Have any of you considered what will happen if both UKIP and the BNP do well in the Euro's, even perhaps eclipsing the Lib/Lab/Cons. You will be in seriously dodgy waters if you think you can carry on as normal in the build up to the GE, ignoring Europe as an issue. You should also consider that an impressive performance by either or both in the Euro's might just be the catalyst in the current climate of 'a plague on all your houses', for the electorate to take them as a serious alternatives.
Sorry for interupting your character assasination of Stuart Wheeler...Please carry on.

I think the debate is in danger of fragmenting into two - on the one hand the simple issue (in my mind) of whether Stuart Wheeler should be expelled from the Conservative Party for giving support and succour to another rival Party and on the other we have the more general debate about Europe.
On the first, as I have said before, the Conservative Party must act quickly and expel Mr Wheeler. On the second I would urge people to hang fire - the European Manifesto has not yet been published.

I'm a member of the Conservative party and I'll be voting UKIP and telling other members of the Conservative party to vote UKIP. There are many other party members like me. I guess that means Cameron will be expelling all of us than?

Bring it on Cameron. It's time to have the EU issue out once and for all.

Imagine if you lose the GE because of a drop in vital donations because of the way you treated Mr Wheeler.

The way Mr Wheeler has been treated here, certainly will make me think twice about voting Tory in the GE when previously I was committed to ukip for the euros and Tory for the GE.

If Mr Wheeler is actually suspended or expelled from the party, then I will actively campaign against Team Cameron.

It may be the case that Wheeler should be expelled. It is also the case that he is right. I hope UKIP wipe the floor with us in the Euros. I hope they smash us to atoms, and leave not one of the useless shower of Tory MEPs standing -even the excellent Dan Hannan would be better used elsewhere. Then perhaps the leadership will wake up and get in step with the moderate majority in this country, which has come to regard the European Union as a luxur which we can no longer afford.

He should go. As Tim-Roll Pickering says, hes endorsing a rival party and funding it. He cannot be a Party member. If I started giving donations to other parties locally I would expect to have been expelled from the Party and ostracised for the rest of my life from those in the Party.

Theres didsagreeing with Party policy and publiclysaying so and to actively contribute to another Party like this. Its a no-brainer for CCO surely?

Ah. So a benefit of Tory membership is getting to vote for candidates, Tim? What about the sitting rabid europhile MEPs who were allowed to automatically reach the top of the lists?

UKIP voted for every place on its lists...

Eric Pickles (like so many MPs) makes me cringe. As for UKIP, voting UKIP in the euro elections and Tory in parliamentary elections seems perfectly sensible for those with a naturally conservative disposition.

Here's the man explaining himself, for the curious:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbaWPQ5pLUo

Agree that his membership should be terminated. Such blatant support for another party is unacceptable.

However, the reasons for his actions are defensible. In short, and I suspect that you agree, the problem is that the Conservative Party policy on the EU is too vague.

Their website says that "if the Treaty is in force we will be in a different situation. In our view, then, political integration would have gone too far, the Treaty would lack democratic legitimacy in this country and we would not let matters rest there."

Sure, the Treaty will by then be in force, but they need to say a little more. What exactly will they do? The track record of the Conservative Party is not good. This is why people are haemorrhaging away.

Great news should up UKIP's vote in the East Mids by a little and take the tory vote down a little and let the BNP in. Should mean just 2 MEPs for the Tories thanks to one of your own

A purge?
How very Soviet Union..........
Is Daniel Hannan next?

Can we please just calm this down a bit ? Given the troubles that the Pro-EU brigade in the Parliamentary Party have caused the Conservatives should we not be even -handed here ? Ken Clarke & Michael Heseltine where supporting Tony Blair over abolishing the £ while William Hague was making certain that the Labour Government would never have the nerve to follow that course by bringing in the Euro. Those two Euro-Fanatics never got the whip taken away for supporting Tony Blair and the Lib Dem's over Europe ( in defiance of official Conservative policy) so why pick on Stuart Wheeler ?

Talk about discriminating against people who oppose Europe trying to destroy our self government....

David Cameron must be expelled too, using this logic.
He publicly applauded (literally) the leader of another party, endorsed this leader of another party's policies, and proclaimed himself to be the heir to this leader of another party.
All very disloyal.

Geoff

It is Cameron that puts me off voting Tory.

It is Cameron that puts me off voting Tory.

I hear you.

It may well be right to send Wheeler packing for the reasons given by your esteemed editor.

The story, however, raises an problematical issue which is largely of the leadership's own creation.

By being mealy-mouthed and using weasel words concerning the EU Constitution (aka The Lisbon Treaty), many natural Conservatives will conclude that the party is not serious in its opposition to that Treaty.

In addition many may also conclude that the leadership is inclined to buck what polls suggest is the view of the British people, namely that we should have a fundamentally looser relationship with the EU, a view I believe to be held also by a significant majority of Conservatives.

We are but a couple of months or so away from elections to the European Parliament, elections which, whilst we remain a member of the EU, are of great importance to the United Kingdom, its status as a Sovereign, independent nation and its governance, as well as to that 80% of the laws which come in to force in the UK.

In those circumstances the failure to expand on 'we will not let matters rest there' concerning the Treaty of Lisbon means that many will be planning to vote for UKIP at those elections.

This can only be avoided, I believe, if a referendum is promised not just on the Treaty if it has yet to come into force but also on the Treaty after it has come into force.

After all, if it is now unconscionable and damaging to British interests, it does not cease to be so merely because it has come into force.

The British people want a looser relationship with the EU. Let us therefore have a policy which clearly offers us such a prospect. Failing that votes will bleed off to UKIP in June which will diminish the showing of the party at a time when it needs to demonstrate strength.

And, after all, what would be wrong with reflecting the desires of the British people for a change?

I think it is time to declare war on Team Cameron.

If Brown wins again with a tiny majority or even a hung parliament, we could get rid of Cameron, and Brown could be brought down very quickly forcing another election with the solid Tory team who have been pushed aside.

Time to get those poll leads down with some real action.

Considering that even a BBC poll shows that 55% of the British people want out of the EU, if Mr Wheeler's comment that Cameron brought 70 MP's together to tell them that the EU is not an issue, New and Blue Lab are clearly on the fringes of British public opinion.

Britain needs the likes of Hannan and Carswell running it, not the EU-colluding Red Tories.

Let's bring them down.

Sally Roberts at 16:14 This is not as you say about two things - expelling Wheeler or the EU. It is about the PARTY totally ignoring the expressed views in opinion polls that we get out of the EU. We are Tories but I'm damned if I'm going to let the europhiles who control the levers of power get away with rigging the lists on top of ignoring us.

I also say to others who think the same that it'll much more effective voting BNP than UKIP, for UKIP has been tried and found wanting (12 MEPs - how many now?) BNP on the other hand may be seen by the politically correct as beyond the pale but for that very reason votes for them are like dynamite on the political scene. (I would not vote for them for Westminster as getting rid of Brown is the biggest priority)

And Sally again: WHY do we not know what the party's detailed policies about the EU is ? Because they won't talk about it and just want sychophantic sheep to back them. BaaaH!

It's unbelievable that there are people here backing the trickery of the leadership over the EU when every poll shows where the majority's opinion lies. .

"The 'Kippers on here defending Stuart Wheeler might like to enlighten us as to what they think UKIP HQ might do to a UKIP member who went on TV and everywhere shouting that he was donating to the Conservative Party."

Membership of UKIP has always been consistent with membership of another political party. So you can donate or not to UKIP as you wish and donate or not to another party as you wish. Although we do draw the line with the BNP.

Joint membership of and donation to UKIP and Tory, UKIP and Labour, UKIP and Lib Dem, all fine with us.

It's everyone else that has the problem, not us.

Tim Worstall
UKIP press office.

Expell Eric Pickles after his performance on QT. Save Stuart Wheeler.

I am going to venture to defend Stuart Wheeler from another angle, at the risk of stating the blindingly obvious.

The desired outcome of a UK General Election is a majority Conservative government with the mandate and the power to run the country for the next five years. There can be little doubt that this is what Stuart Wheeler wants, whether he backs this with his money as well as his vote.

The European elections are nothing of the kind. There is no way of casting a vote for a party in the hope that it will be able to govern the EU under a working majority. At best the entire UK vote disappears into a pool of competing forces of influence. At worst it continues a charade in which the unelected commissioners legislate as they choose. It is not surprising that when Stuart Wheeler (and he is not alone) sees his preferred party in a pro-EU grouping, he will cast his vote elsewhere on that occasion without thereby abandoning his principles and his support so far as a UK general election is concerned.

In those special circumstances, leave him alone. To coin a phrase, draw a line under it and move on.

For the general election, there is the point that Brown can't actually do much more damage -- he has spent every penny he possibly could (much of it with the tories support) -- and noone will lend him any more.

I was expecting a 'breath of fresh air' from the tories - but the more they say, the less it seems they will be.

This is the attitude I want more of (from Michael O'Leary, in todays sunday times - speaking of ireland, but applies here too):

“This recession is fantastic. After 10 years of economic lunacy in this country, it’s absolutely necessary. Now we can start again and do things properly,” he says. “There’s never been more opportunity. Interest rates have never been lower. Oil is cheap. There’s no pressure on wages. This is the time when good businesses start up, grow and go out and gear up for the next five or six years of growth. We’ve got to just accept our losses, work harder and we’ll get there.”

have to say that I think Pickles claiming for a second house is far worse than someone,a free person,excercising their democratic right to vote for whom they please.

it could be great news for the long term survival of UKIP if all the tories who vote for them in the Euro's got kicked out.Half of the members I know,do exactly that.

The Telegraph is reporting that Wheeler is to be expelled and is giving £200k to UKIP!!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/5072094/Stuart-Wheeler-to-be-expelled-by-Tories-after-telling-supporters-to-vote-UKIP.html

I voted UKIP in the 1999 EU elections, really out of sheer devilment as I had still not found my party to be worth voting for again and Heseltine and Clarke had stood on the same platform as Blair. I had not voted in 1997 as I thought no party was fit to govern.

In 2004 I did not vote in the EU elections as I had come to consider that the EU Parliament is a useless sham. I still hold that view.

So, I am able to say that I see nothing wrong with Stuart Wheeler wasting money on UKIP and just wish that Cameron would say that once in power, whatever the status of the concealed Constitution, he will hold a referendum to sound out our views on the Empire of Europe. In particular we ought to be able to say that our Parliament has paramountcy in the UK and that no EU legislation can have effect here except by specific Act of Parliament.

If Cameron gave that undertaking then UKIP would dry up and blow away - Labour too.

Expulsion from Cameron's lilly livered Conservative Party would be a mark of honour and encouragement for others voting UKIP in June.

"Party members cannot be allowed to openly support other parties"

I agree.

"Europe is an issue that cannot be ignored:"
This is true and the problem is no-one seems clear about what the stances really are of the Tories.

A question: Did Stuart Wheeler discuss with CCHQ at all before making his decision? If so would it be beyond the bounds of possibility to get the drift of the arguments both sides made?

I still see UKIP as a single-issue party. I have followed various links in the past that have been recommended by UKIP supporters and found nothing to change my mind.

I am all for arguing against a Federalist EU, and hope the withdrawal from the EPP is a good start, not the end of the anti-Federalist battle.

The high-level of excitement that any direct EU issue raises and how often it gets dragged in means to me that CCHQ can only blame itself when unwanted publicity arises in this area.

"I still see UKIP as a single-issue party. I have followed various links in the past that have been recommended by UKIP supporters and found nothing to change my mind."

The European elections are single-issue - a referendum on Britain's relationship with the EU. UKIP is united on the solution - withdrawal. The Conservatives are split between the federasts, sceptics and withdrawalists. The federasts dominate the Shadow Cabinet and the Tory (sic) delegation in Brussels.

Dan Hannan is to be carpeted by the Whips for his speech against Brown that has attracted over 1.5 million views on YouTube. His crime was to not to toe the Camerloon line. That tells you a lot about the Dave's Tories - they put the EU before interests of Britain and their own party.

If you want Britain to leave the EU which imposes 75% of our laws and costs Britain over £40 million a day, there is only one choice - UKIP. Follow Stuart Wheeler's lead - lend UKIP your vote and donate to our campaign to save our freedom and democracy.

@ Mark Hudson:

The fact is the Conservatives want to shut down debate on this one. As Chairman of Sevenoaks in 2004, most of my Management Team voted for UKIP - myself included I have to say.

I've heard some bizarre things in my time in politics, but this takes the biscuit!

You chaired a campaign in your constituency, and then you and your team openly voted against yourselves??!

I just hope that Sevenoaks Conservatives have found some brighter and more talented campaigners since...

Very loyal, Tim and your last paragraph is bang on, but continuing membership in the EU in the belief that it can be reformed from within is pure delusion. That will be the excuse that Cameron will offer when he meekly surrenders: "We thought we could reform it from within" - but he had to "let it rest there".

Christine Speight has it figured: if you want to scare the daylights out of the present smug politico incumbents then vote BNP and then leave 'em guessing by promising to vote BNP at the next GE. I add the usual rider that, of course, "I will not be voting BNP".

Paul from Derby is quite right.

I also know loads of Conservative voters who have openly said they plan to vote UKIP in the Euro Elections.

Clearly, after the TV appearance, Wheeler had to go. It should be done politely, earnestly and with proper respect and acknowledgement of his past support. Not with a load of mindless heckling. That benefits nobody.

By getting on our high horses and declaring the guy a 'traitor' or whatever, we risk the same comments being aimed at all the other people who share some of his sentiment. These are people who campaign and leaflet and fundraise. And there are a very great many of them. If they start thinking they aren't welcome any more it would be disastrous.

"David_at_Home It is disgraceful to quote someone suffering from dementia."

No, THAT is disgraceful. Mrs Thatcher still clearly has most, if not alll of her faculties. This has been pointed out by several people, including Iain Dale when he met her.

UKIP Campaigns at 19:47 shows what I dislike about UKIP. They don't tell the truth. Cameron whatever else he's done or not done has gone out of his way to PRAISE Dan Hannan's speech not to carpet him for it.

As for voting UKIP - When one MEP starts his own party and three other have their collars felt by the Fuzz and one goes to gaol - no thank you. Voting for them would have NO EFFECT AT ALL and the media would barely notice. If you want to bring the issue right up it must be the BNP - they may be nasty bits of work but they'll the media in a frenzy and the EU question will get noticed.

Perhaps this little episode may make DC come out and nail his colours to the mast. The Conservative party have ignored the issue of the EU for too long with a laughable attempt to make the party look united. It was never united over the issue of Europe, but like Labour they tried to stifle any debate, and therefore any chance of disagreement.

This could really harm the Party in the forthcoming elections and UKIP must be whooping with joy at the over reaction from CCHQ. If we expelled all those members who vote UKIP at European elections, as ConHome stated a short time ago, we would need to get rid of at least 10% of the party membership.

In the hope of looking tough on donors, the party is now looking soft on Europe. A shame considering the good news re the withdrawal from the EPP only a couple of weeks back.

It seems that for various psephological reasons the Conservatives are going to find it hard to win a decent majority at the next General Election, even against the worst and stupidest government ever in our island's history.

So why not do what some of the Huhnite Lib-Dems are rumoured to be thinking about, and fight on a platform of withdrawal from the EU?

Bingo! A policy you can actually reveal in advance, that everyone understands, that Labour can't steal, that doesn't depend on the state of the books, that accords with the instinctive view of the majority of British voters and that saves the UK huge sums of money.

Massive majority, Ken Clarke in a big sulk (shame). Even Bob Crow and Tony Benn would probably vote for you.

If you're not in favour of the federal European state, why not just do that? Eh?

Why not expel Ken Clarke, Ian Taylor etc as they voted to deprive ordinary people of a referendum on the rebranded European Constitution known as the Lisbon Treaty?

That was completely contrary to official Conservative policy just like Mr Wheeler.

I'll answer my own question. It is because you Tories are as Federalist as Labour and the Lib Dems but less honest about it.

Talk Eurosceptic Act Europhile should be your slogan not In Europe not ruled by Europe which is a paradox anyway.

So what about the showman Clarke? He stood on a platform with Labour in direct opposition to Tory policy on an issue......the EU, wasn't it?


Sorry Tim, what sort of party are we?

Back to the statist, corporatist and authoritarian side of the Party now is it?

Also he is just a member! I have voted for other parties when we have been dire but I'm still a member. So throw me out too! Along with anyone else who doesnt hold the party line.

Too many parrots already in our parliament!

Stuart Wheeler is a valuable sounding board and independent thinker. I wish we had more like him.

Brave or not it's written by someone long past the work of local activism. This expulsion is going down very badly.

"UKIP Campaigns at 19:47 shows what I dislike about UKIP. They don't tell the truth. Cameron whatever else he's done or not done has gone out of his way to PRAISE Dan Hannan's speech not to carpet him for it."

I am telling the truth. Cameron says one thing in public and another in private. Hannan got the "hairdryer" treatment from the Brussels whips.

"Hannan got the "hairdryer" treatment from the Brussels whips."

I suspect you've made that up. The fact is that Hannan sits as a "Non Inscrit" and speaks for them. The Leader of the Conservatives is not the Leader of the EPP Group so would not have been entitled to a speaking slot. It therefore worked out well that Hannan, a Conservative WAS able to speak.

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