Confused by another week in Brexit? We round up the losers and the losers (because there are no winners) of another crazy seven days on Planet Brexit
10. Paul Nuttall (RE-ENTRY)
Having failed to become the new MP for Stoke – where he once played with distinction alongside the great Stanley Matthews – UKIP’s hapless leader marched out of the count in the wrong direction and had to be shown to his car by police. Paul then went on holiday, presumably to experience the novelty of staying somewhere which isn’t his real home, while back home party seniors were mocking him as ‘Andy Capp’. Nuttall’s post-vote quote, ‘I’m not going anywhere’ might be the truest thing he’s ever said.
9. Alex Nieora (NEW ENTRY)
A proud week for the baby-faced activist, social media warrior and failed UKIP candidate. In the hours after Gerald Kaufman’s death, Nieora tweeted images accusing the MP of anti-semitism, then twice retweeted an image of Michael Heseltine with ‘Traitor’ and ‘Scum Scum’ written over the Brexit opponent and Tory peer’s features – something so outlandish it was even criticised by UKIP MEP Roger Helmer. Nieora’s previous brush with infamy came last March, when he apologised after Tweeting ‘all feminists I have spoken to on here are man-hating c**ts who think it’s ok to spread vile hate against men’.
8. Ann Rapnik (NEW ENTRY)
The leader of the UKIP group on Arun council in West Sussex is piloting an unorthodox form of distinguishing her party from the ruling Tories, having voted through their budget without tabling a single amendment and seeing all three of her fellow ‘Kipper councillors back a £6,000 pay rise for the council’s chief executive, despite her claiming the party is ‘anti fat-cat’. Rapnik said she ‘could have slain’ her colleagues and explained she had decided to pass the budget untouched as ‘there were obviously a couple of things we didn’t agree with but you can never please everybody’.
7. Jeremy Corbyn (NEW ENTRY)
‘The real fight starts now,’ pledged Labour’s leader on February 9; less than three weeks later he was showing as much ‘real fight’ as Monty Python’s Brave Sir Robin when he allowed the party’s peers to be whipped into voting against an amendment to the Article 50 bill which would have told Theresa May to keep the UK in the single market. Run away! Run away!
6. Godfrey Bloom (RE-ENTRY)
When you’re under attack for alleged racism, there’s no-one better to rush to your defence than the former MEP who in 2013 said British aid was going to ‘Bongo Bongo Land’. When a Tweeter told two senior UKIP figures ‘You hate all Jonny Foreigners equally’, Bloom hit back: ‘Back when I was a UKIP MEP we had the highest proportion of foreign wives of any party in the parliament.’ It’s certainly a refreshing twist on the old ‘I can’t be racist because some of my best friends are black’ routine.
5. Victoria Newton (NEW ENTRY)
With sales of her paper sinking 7.5% in a year and bulked up by 95,000 free copies given away each week, the Sun On Sunday editor responded in the only sane fashion possible – by sailing a giant version of Article 50 to Brussels on a boat briefly captained by Michael Gove (somewhat of a climbdown for a man who last July had designs on captaining the good ship UK, having thrown his original choice of skipper overboard). The pointless stunt took place on a craft named The Edwardian, although strangely that name was photoshopped out of photos which appeared in the paper. Maybe that was because it conjured up a time when old-fashioned imperialist attitudes ruled supreme and the world was on the verge of war.
4. David Duke (NEW ENTRY)
‘Farage will make a fine UK Prime Minister. Looking forward to that,’ wrote a supporter on Twitter last Monday. Unfortunately the supporter was David Duke, the white supremacist, Holocaust denier and former Imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, who spent much of the rest of the week implying that recent attacks on Jewish cemeteries and bomb threats against synagogues in the US were coming straight from Tel Aviv. With friends like these…
3. Andrew Lloyd Webber (NEW ENTRY)
He composed the Phantom of the Opera but now it seems the composer and life has succumbed to the darkness of the music of the right. Despite attending the Lords on only five sitting days of the last 161, Lord Lloyd Webber’s spokesman told the Telegraph her boss would turn up to vote with the government on Brexit as ‘he feels very strongly that an unelected House of Lords should not overrule the will of the people’. But then Lloyd Webber is no stranger to strongly-held opinions, having said last June, ‘I honestly believe that to leave at such a parlous time could be catastrophic… Never has it been more important for the moderating voice of Britain to be heard loud and clear at the heart of Europe’. As someone once almost sang, has the man lost his memory?
2. Michael Gove (RE-ENTRY)
As if his fleeting appearance on the Article 50 boat wasn’t odd enough, the world’s worst coup planner appeared on TV to explain that he also wasn’t very good at appearing on TV, blaming his famous ‘people in this country have had enough of experts’ remark on the pressure of ‘thinking on your feet’ when defending Brexit in what he called ‘a high-profile, high-intensity, high-tension, high-nervousness encounter’ with Faisal Islam on Sky last June. Asked whether, in the nearly three weeks of campaigning which remained, he should have taken the opportunity to qualify his remarks, Gove replied, ‘funnily enough, it didn’t come up that often’. Apart, that is, from all the times it came up, including the memorable LBC interview on June 21 when he compared experts warning about potential damage from leaving the EU to Nazis who denounced Albert Einstein in the 1930s.
1. Nigel Farage (RE-ENTRY)
Spare a thought for the reclusive ‘Mr Brexit’ who moaned to ITV show Piers Morgan’s Life Stories: ‘I’ve had to live years, frankly, of being frightened of walking out into the street … I have to live like a virtual prisoner.’ Luckily, brave Nigel has been able to conquer his fears sufficiently to appear on all major UK TV networks over the past month, not to mention his 30-odd appearances on Question Time, his nightly radio show on LBC and the odd trip over the Atlantic to have dinner with President Trump. The one place Nigel does appear to be scared of going is the European Parliament, where he has taken part in less than 41% of all votes, ranking him 749th among the 750 Euro MPs.
SNOWFLAKE AWARD: This week’s hero of the revolution
As the Kippers thrash around for excuses about why the Stoke by-election failed to create a second UKIP MP, they’ve hit on a splendid idea – get rid of the first one. Nigel Farage, MEP Bill Etheridge and donor Arron Banks are all calling for Douglas Carswell’s expulsion, regardless of the fact that it would lose the party their only voice in Westminster. The member for Clacton wins this week’s coveted Snowflake by saying of Farage, who has failed to become an MP on seven occasions: ‘If he wants to come and talk to the UKIP parliamentary party about any concerns he has, very happy to respond. It won’t take long, it’s just me.’