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Mr Wheeler has the right to give his money to whomsoever he pleases, but he does not have a right to be a Member of the Conservative Party. If he feels compelled to bankroll another political group which wishes the Conservative Party harm in any electoral field, not to mention doing so in such a public way, then he should have the grace to go on his own and failing that should be expelled in accordance with the membership rules.

Whatever his past generosity, it seems to me that Mr Wheeler is only interested in supporting us when party policy is totally in accordance with his own views. Many of us have had to come to terms with aspects of policy with which we have disagreed over the years; that is how being a member of an organisation alongside other individuals works.

The message should be: Thank you, Stuart, for your past support, and Goodbye.

Stuart Wheeler should be expelled immediately, along with Hague for his disgraceful behind-the-scenes meetings with Waffen SS sympathisers (reported in this mornings Observer). Take decision action now DC

Leaving him in condones this behaviour. It would just encourage others. The party has moved to leave the EPP and took a firm line against the Lisbon Treaty. We also need to kick out Jackson and Beazley as well as Wheeler. Clean the stables.

Wheeler is a gift to the Beeboids and our opponents. Every time he does this he is referred to as a major donor.

Lets be rid of him once and for all.

Mr. Cameron is going to look very silly if he expels Mr. Wheeler. That would lead to a lot of resignations from the party I`m sure.

I believe that if he has given his support and vote (even in one election) to another Party he should go. I believe it is pretty clearly set out in the rules that if a Member of the Conservative Party openly supports and votes for another Party they can be expelled. We should not have different rules for donors however supportive they may have been in the past.

Wheeler is a prominent member of the Conservative Party publicly picking and choosing parties to vote for. A prominent figure who courts controversy, he should resign his membership if he has any sense of what's right.

Quite right, Oberon - but what if he DOESN'T?

The conservative party must be a broad church. We should tolerate dissenters who vote for someone else at one election and say they will come back afterwards.

Having thought about this overnight I am shocked at Tim's lack of principle on this matter. What Tim is saying is that we should tolerate this act of gross disloyalty simply because of the promise of future big cheques from this donor. How long would an ordinary member paying their £25 sub last in the party after saying what Wheeler has? Not even 5 minutes. Shame on you Tim. There is a real principle here of equal treatment of members. Tolerate Wheeler and you then have to tolerate every member who goes around saying "vote UKIP".

Sally, he won't. If he did that then his views would be of no interest to the news & current affairs dept of the BBC, and to him that would be the end. This man is using the Conservative Party in a detrimental way to give him a voice.

By openly supporting UKIP he has shown himself to have lost the plot. They are a mid-90s throwback fragmentary single issue pressure group masquerading as a serious political party, they are not.

If UKIP get lots of support in the euro elections remember that its a token protest only, but they will then have share funding to drive round every Conservative Association with loud hailers on the roofs of purple cars during the General Election. My opinion of them changes after Nantwich & Crewe. A demented SWP gang couldn't have disrupted our campaign more, they were behaving like insane maniacs, right outside the Nantwich Conservative Association building. This is the lot Wheeler is encouraging, boot him out and remove the parasitic voice he gets 'supporting' from our party.

If we expel every member of my Assn who will vote UKIP in June we'd probably lose 5pc to 10pc of our subscribing supporters.


Please ask the question in your survey.

ps Tim, I don't usually agree with your old boss on many things, but I bet we agree on this!

Its unfortunate but if the rules say he has to go,so be it.

Forget principles think tactics: Expelling Wheeler will put a page 3 story on to page 1.

The Stuart Wheeler story is a wake-up call for Cameron. Traditional Tory supporters will vote UKIP if he doesn't firm up his EU policy. We have made some good moves in the past month or two but it is not enough.

The low key 'wet' approach to europe is not working.

Agreed with Baker and Westminster Wolf. The rules should be applied, but for the moment the most politically expedient road should be taken.

If the rules say he should go, wait a bit until this story dies down. Have an "internal investigation" or some such.

He must go, What is the point in someone year on year persistently being a thorn in the site of the party being allowed to continue, or is this willingness to "overlook" his blatant attempts to embarrass the party into following his agenda all about the money?

He should be expelled immediately. We don't need the BBC referring to him as a major Conservative donor every time he decides to throw his toys out of the pram, as he likes to do rather too frequently these days.

For the last few years, Wheeler has been atrociously disloyal, and this is hardly an isolated incident.

We should ask ourselves exactly what we're getting out of this relationship. It seems to me that we get periodic, highly reluctant donations, accompanied by a statement outlining all the things that Stuart Wheeler is unhappy about, much to the delight of our opponents.

In my view, the constant (and ill deserved) criticisms, and the undue prominence that his being a donor grants him, are among other things too high a price to pay for the occasional reluctant donation. The Conservative Party would be substantially better off without him.

Devon SW Member "If we expel every member of my Assn who will vote UKIP in June we'd probably lose 5pc to 10pc of our subscribing supporters."

We do not know how people vote. The issue is what they state publically.

This story is now gathering momentum because we have failed to expel him. People are asking why and concluding it is only because of his wallet.

This is a guy who is giving money to another Party to actively campaign against us. That is a huge difference from some ordinay person using their vote as a protest vote. Wheeler should be sacked immediately.

I believe that some donors support more than one party. This is a one-issue thing and many, many conservatives agree with Stuart Wheeler on this point. The all important thing is that we need every vote at the general election.

I only wish the conservatives would come out with a credible EU policy that would blow UKIP out of the water and solve the problem for Stuart Wheeler.

"Wheeler should be sacked immediately.....bla, bla... etc."

If the Conservative Party were to expel Stuart Wheeler it would generate yet more publicity for UKIP and quite possibly trigger further defections. So, from the viewpoint of the wellbeing of the Tory Party, it would not seem to be a particularly intelligent thing to do. The Editor has explained this more elegantly than I could but some of the Tory activists who write here seem to be allowing their emotions to run wild. Unthinking emotion is not a very good route to electoral success.

Meanwhile, out there in the real world, anger against politicians is continuing to mount and it is not directed at either Mr Wheeler or UKIP. If there are any expulsions in the air perhaps these should be considered for those who have misused their MP’s allowances on second homes or nanny/secretaries.

David, donors don't usually donate £100k to parties who are fighting an election against the one you are a member of.

Can we also be clear that he never has liked, and does not like the current direction of our party. He has never supported Cameron (Fox then Davis in the leadership. He is currently engaged in undermining our party and leader at any and every opportunity, just at the time when we have a great chance to be elected to power. Why should we not expel him?

I was a member of UKIP. I cut my card in two and have re-joined the Conservative Party. As it says in the Bible "No man can serve two masters".

If we don't expel him it would show that we are only in it for the money. Contrast this with the sacked Tory Councillor and PPC Nigel Hastilow for his use of Enoch Powell's "rivers of blood" speech, an opinion he was fully entitled to hold whether one agrees with it,and its original author,or not.

Tell Wheeler to take his money and go!

Of course he should be removed from the party and if other UKIP sympathisers follow him so be it.

"Why should we not expel him?"

As an avowed and out of the closet self confessed Ukipper, I would be delighted if you did, Oberon. THAT is precisely why it would be inadvisable, from a Tory perspective, to expel Mr Wheeler!

But, on the other hand, those whom the gods wish to destroy....

Sometimes you have to be pragmatic. We don't want to give anybody the excuse to run the story on page 1, under the headline "Tory Turmoil." Don't turn a one day wonder into the main and only news for about a week! Don't stoke this story into another "grammargate." Don't give Brown the satisfaction!

The stuff on the ITV and BBC teletext this morning is mostly about the troubles that Gordon and Co have got - there are two very good stories in the Daily Mail if you are interested!

Please note 11am update: "A Tory spokesman tells me that Stuart Wheeler may still be suspended from the Conservative Party. "We are not going to take these decisions late on a Saturday night," I'm told."

Tim, this site should be about equal treatment for all members. Letting Wheeler off is discriminatory.

Steve, I am sure you can supply better than I the quote about "one sinner that repenteth". I will merely comment on how satisfying it can be to go fishing and catch a KIPPER!

Conservative policy is not for sale.

If the Conservative Party ever gets to power, I hope that they show more competence than they have on this issue and IHT recently. Piss up and brewery spring to mind.

Hear Hear Super Blue! I am heartened by Tim's 11 am update and await further developments with interest.

I'm quite suprised by the general agreement with expulsion in the comments... I thought conservatives were generally not "with us or against us".
Surely voting UKIP in the euros and then conservatives says...
"I want the Conservatives to run Britain, not the EU"
voting conservatives at both means
"I want the conservatives to be told what to do by the EU"
therefore those NOT voting UKIP this june should be expelled.


There are no kippers in the sea so you cannot catch one. If you want a kipper for breakfast you will have to buy it:


Sorry for the red herring!

I was a member of UKIP. I cut my card in two and have re-joined the Conservative Party. As it says in the Bible "No man can serve two masters".

That's just what they made up to make you obey the church - by that reason we should expell all catholics from the party. Or thinking about it how does that resolve with our monarch?
Being in servitude to the government is a labour concept too.

1 point I didn't mention, even though I think he should be allowed to stay, if he pleases, I do agree that it shouldn't really be a difference case as he as donated big before (although it obviously is as he is high profile)

If he remains we will have only ourselves to blame when others openly speak of UKIP and their policy on the EU being something we should wholeheartedly support.
They can point out that Mr Wheeler also openly supported UKIP AND donated to them without a word being said by our HQ.
It's another no brainer isn't it?

David_at_Home - nice to see you were paying attention!! One of course catches a herring and thereafter they turn into KIPPERS!

This proves categorically the dangers of smoking.....

It is one thing for a Tory to vote UKIP in a private protest vote it is another thing altogether for a Tory to openly give money to UKIP which will be used to harm the party in the European elections and beyond. Wheeler has to be expelled, you cannot buy influence or policy. Why has he not been expelled already? Hopes for money in future? That is not on.

Oh my, the Cameroons are not happy.
Just what great benefit would Stuart Wheeler lose by being expelled from the Conservative Party?

1. Traditional Party structures are breaking down. While he has been deeply disloyal he is only saying publically what many tories will do privately in the ballot box. My own party is seeing a similar effect from the Greens. PR, like it or loath it, has the effect of disolving slowly the existing structures.

2. If you martyr him you'll turn a sunday process story into a longer running issue which could help rekindle the dying UKIP flame. I'd rather they did well in june than the BNP but they really are a ghastly bunch so don't give them the Oxygen of publicity.

If you must expell him wait till june the 5th and don't tell him what you are doing in the mean time !

"for a Tory to openly give money to UKIP which will be used to harm the party in the European elections "

If you are concerned that £100k given to another party will damage Conservative prospects, that doesn't say much for Conservative policies on the EU does it? And if you do think £100K will make that difference and believe the Wheeler should be suspended for his temerity to give another party money, what price do you think Cameron should pay for putting the Conservative party in such a weak and lame position over the EU that the parties prospects are damaged by £100 donation?

No Mr Wheeler should NOT be expelled. His views are shared by the vast majority of the membership, and I suspect that he won't be the only Conservative to vote UKIP in June-indeed, I'm minded to do it myself.

But the loyalty of these Conservatives cannot be questioned. We all intend to vote Conservative at the general election. But on this matter of conscience we cannot because our party has chosen to ignore the majority view. We're also very concerned about the undemocratic selection of EU candidates within the party.

I wouldn't expect a sitting MP to be expelled for voting in the House against a Conservative government on a matter of conscience, and so I wouldn't expect ordinary members to be expelled either.

To take the expullsion route would risk causing a severe split within the party that WOULD destroy our election winning position, alienate many potential voters and lead people to conclude that there is little difference between the Tories and the control freaks in the Labour Party.

"But on this matter of conscience we cannot because our party has chosen to ignore the majority view."

Not just ignore the issues, but go out of their way to insult people of an EUsceptic view.

UKIP are the Tory eqvalient of The Militant Tendency. Membership of UKIP or support for them must be incompatible with membership of The Conservative Party.
The Tory party shouted for Labour to deal with there extremists and they did. Now its time for the Tory Party to do the same.

This is a dangerous road to go down. I know a very large number of Conservatives who intend to vote UKIP in the Euro Elections. Are we going to expel them all?

I know he has loaned money too, but its really just an extension of the same thing. Partial support for another party over a single issue.

All this would go away if we could just confirm the referendum after an election, regardless of ratification. That's really all it would take to knock this issue on the head in my opinion.

If the problem is with the front-page news aspect sit on it until 5th of June and send him a nice quiet letter telling him his £25 is no longer required and he can sling his hook. The news would be buried under the complete wiping out of the hypocritical UKIP snouts from the Brussels trough anyway.

If I went around my Association bragging I'd given my cash to a party full of obsessives who think they're going to destroy the Tory Party, I'd expect to be thrown out. There should be no special treatment for Wheeler.

This subject has produced one thing; there are quite a lot of nasty Tories who put loyalty to the party before loyalty to the country.

Mr. Wheeler is a patriot who believes in Conservatism (as I do) but can no longer tolerate the party`s wishy-washy stance on the EU.

It is obvious that, like his predecessors, Mr. Cameron believes we should be "at the heart of Europe" and "in Europe but not ruled by Europe". He has ruled out the possiblity of our ever leaving that corrupt institution, come what may. But he won`t use those actual words of course.

I don`t care if Mr. Wheeler is expelled or not, and I dont think he does either.

How pathetic that the party cannot even make a decision as small as this a week after total confusion on IHT.You cannot both sit on the fence and flip flop at the same time.

If the Conservative Party was to start banging on about Europe and committ to withdraw to keep Mr Wheeler and UKIP friends happy then it would not win a general election.

I wonder if the Conservative Party will get around to considering expelling Lady Thatcher:


Ms Sinclaire explained that she was standing for the UK Independence Party in the West Midlands.
"Good for you. Never give up, never give up," Lady Thatcher told her.

"He has ruled out the possiblity of our ever leaving that corrupt institution, come what may."

Or even clawing back any of our lost sovereignty from the EU.

Its amazing that all our paper tigers in Parliament roar about this, that and the other, but then meekly accept what powers have been handed over as a fait-a-complete.

I think the tories (leadership) deserve a good kicking at the euro elections.

Leaving the EPP is not being done as a favour to anyone - it is the (eventual) honouring of a clear and freely given promise (about time too).

The tories are likely to be the next government and need a firm reminder that they can't go around acting with the same arrogance displayed by the current government.

People who support something purely because they are told to rather than because they have formed their own view don't deserve a vote at all...

If you're a pretty eurosceptic type, you might think that voting for UKIP in the euro elections is the best way of bringing the Conservatives round to your way of thinking. Votes for UKIP in those elections do count because of proportional representation. But to carry on voting UKIP in the County elections, or in the General Election, would be pointless because they have no chance there.

So, Wheeler's viewpoint is a rational one for many Conservatives; thank goodness we have a secret ballot and people who do it won't be hounded out of the party as many on this site would seem to want to happen to Wheeler.

I used to be a member of the party and still generally give my support, but I will be voting UKIP in the Euro elections as they reflect my views on this most important of issues.

The party must realise that the control over EU policy by a minority of eurofanatics at the top will continue to have a corosive effect. The majority of Tory party members and supporters want a more aggressive anti-EU approach.

A man with obviously more money than sense!

Yes lets expel a man whose only crime was that he had principles. That will look awfully good in the news wont it? I can see it already:

"Tories have no principles"

It would be a cock-up of Royal proportions to expel anything even remotely eurosceptic from the party. People are eurosceptic, most want out and even more at least want a say on whether we are in or if we are out - half way measures do not work! Please get this, please. The sooner the party adopts a proper EU policy which truly reflects the vox populi the more mandates you will have. In or Out referendum it is the only way forward and if it takes and old pensioners expulsion to highlight this, well then you really have got your priorities mixed up.

If we in the Conservative Party truly believe in democracy then we should have the courage to campaign on a platform of giving the people of this country the final say on our relationship with the EU.

We should offer an absolute promise that within a fixed timeframe we will have a national debate concluding with a binding referendum. It should not be whipped, but a free campaign where ideas and facts can be presented and discussed so people learn what EU membership really means for this country, positives and negatives.

We should have the guts and honour to do this then no one could complain about the democratic outcome, even if they do not like the result.

It should not be too much to ask and it would stop ridiculous splits like this one. Rediscover democracy and let the people of the UK decide this important issue.

If Wheeler is expelled it will represent a coup at the top by pro-EU 'wets' and will be a signal that those who support a pro-British policy on europe and a more agressive stance on many other policy issues are not wanted.

On the mention of Lady Thatcher and what has been said before on this thread I cannot help but borrow from one of her famous replies

"UKIP if you want to".

As for myself I will be voting Conservative.After all I want to see Dan Hannan and Nirj Deva returned and not a bloody Green or Lib-Dem take their place. I am sure that Nigel Farage will retain his seat anyway.

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.

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

Kich him out of the party hes a no body anyway

The Conservative Party will be out of the cupboard on this one because the whole country will now finally understand that we are a full blown pro EU party,and about time too.
Lets make an honest,loud and clear statement that we are determined to give up the sovereignity of the UK/Britain to be a 100% EU State.
After all,we started all this communist styled EU stuff didn't we in the 70s?

"As for myself I will be voting Conservative.After all I want to see Dan Hannan and Nirj Deva returned and not a bloody Green or Lib-Dem take their place. I am sure that Nigel Farage will retain his seat anyway."

Lucky you, for having the good fortune to live in a region in which there are excellent Tory MEPs at the top of the list. If the excellent Dan Hannan or Roger Helmer were my candidate, I'd be voting Tory too.

Unforthunately, I live in the West Midlands. All of MY Tory candidates are totally and utterly useless. I don't have the advantage of a really good Eurosceptic Tory candidate, and so I will have to look elsewhere for someone who more closely represents my views.

The only other alternative I could stomach would be to just not vote-which I'm not happy about doing. But the one thing I'm sure about is that I am NOT voting for these Tory EUphiles in June!!!

CCHQ has just had to fire 20-odd staff because it isn't fund-raising enough to retain them.

When will the Conservative Party realise that it's like a business making products no one wants to buy - respond to the market demand, supply people with the policies they want and the credit will come flooding back.

The Cameroons must accept they don't own our consciences, nor do they have a monopoly on conservatism (in any incarnation). Party leaderships are transient, conservative principles are transcending.

Shaun Bennett | March 29, 2009 at 14:51

If you think most tories in your area think the same - put up the candidates that should have been chosen as independants via:


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

Tell you what, Tim, I have never voted anything other than Conservative in 46 years of elections but I will vote for UKIP in the Euros...

Before we all self-destruct over Stuart Wheeler doing what quite a lot of conservatives will obviously also do, could we please have a clear statement of the conservatives' policy with regard to the EU?

Thanks to Stuart, the pressure is on Cameron for a policy on EU that reflects the majority view of conservatives - ie renegotiate our membership, recover our sovereighnty

Kick Him Out.

I thought this had been settled. Of course he can give money to who so ever he likes. Of course he must also be prepared to face the consequences of such an action.Being a member of a party comes with some fairly obvious strings attached. Supporting the opposition by paying their bills is clearly not acceptable, and it amazes me that anyone would think otherwise.

"there are quite a lot of nasty Tories who put loyalty to the party before loyalty to the country"

What rot, loyalty to the party is the same thing as loyalty to the country. The Conservative party is the only party that can turn this messed up nation around. Can you imagine a football game in which the rules were completely ignored? It would not be Football now would it. (maybe I should have used cricket as an analogy here, as it would make the point clearer)As it stands Mr Wheeler has clearly breached the spirit of his membership of the party and he should be expelled, or at the very least suspended until he means his ways.

Grief I mean mend his ways of course..

Ross Warren says that loyalty to the party is the same thing as loyalty to the country. Sorry Mr. Warren, I don`t think many would agree with you.

Stuart Wheeler will be speaking at the UKIP conference in Exeter on April 18th.

Mr. Warren will be able to protest there if he wishes. It`s a free country, but not for much longer if we stay in the EU I`m afraid.

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