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. Michelle Brown (NEW ENTRY)
In an item straight out of the ‘this never happened to Mrs Thatcher’ file, the UKIP Welsh Assembly member for North Wales was forced to deny she had been smoking cannabis in a budget hotel in Cardiff. Ms Brown checked into the Future Bay shortly after her election last May, but was forced to pay a £250 cleaning fee after checking out because of the strong smell of smoke she had left behind – so bad the hotel was unable to move other guests into her room for 24 hours. Since the heavy use of cannabis can cause the kind of fear and paranoia which drips off the pages of a typical UKIP manifesto, the hotel accused her of skinning up but happily a UKIP spokesman assures us all that they ‘can only be basing the allegation on the fact she smokes roll-ups and that could look slightly unusual’.
9. Mike Bush (NEW ENTRY)
UKIP’s spellcheck-averse candidate in the Great and Little Oakley district council ward by-election in Harwich is one to watch – or, as he might put it, ‘won two witch’. Bush, standing under the brain-melting slogan ‘Vote UKIP Get UKIP’, unveiled his new campaign HQ on the high street but quickly had to alter the signage after passers-by pointed out that that ‘independance’ isn’t actually a word. The suspicion must be that the spelling error was all Bush’s, since his @LordOakley Twitter feed warns of chaos ‘if Britain stays in dingke market’, notes of Bradley Wiggins ‘Sir Brad made Brutain proud’ and, after finding a stray turtle, wonders ‘anyone list a terrapin?’
8. David Davis (RE-ENTRY)
The Brexit Secretary launched a White Paper which suggested Britons would get 14 weeks paid holiday a year after departure from the EU and faced more embarrassment when a leaked memo of remarks made to the a private meeting in the City of London suggested he believed the UK would retain full access to the single market without accepting any freedom of movement. He was also the subject of an extraordinary Daily Express profile which began with hagiography (‘he exudes self-confidence … combining a mastery of detail with good humour, resilience and openness … even some diehard Remoaners have hailed his very assured performances at the despatch box’) before ending in character assassination. Writer Leo McInstry said Davis was prone to ‘aggression and egotism’, sources lined up to call him ‘a thug, a bully and a careerist’ and ‘divisive and arrogant’. Even his own wife Doreen weighed in, calling him ‘quite selfish and inconsiderate at times’. With friends like these…
7. Fiona Mills (NEW ENTRY)
The UKIP candidate in February 23’s Copeland by-election took a leaf from the Ken Livingstone manual by spending valuable campaign hours arguing about Hitler. Mills took to Twitter to claim the dictator was ‘on the left’ of politics and must have been a socialist because he was ‘leader of the National Socialist Democratic Workers Party’. A bit like saying Fiona Mills must be fun at parties because UKIP have got ‘party’ in their name. Faced with compelling evidence that she was wrong, Mills tweeted ‘I am completely correct’, then confidently backed herself by deleting all her tweets on the subject.
6. Richard Broughan (NEW ENTRY)
Suspended by UKIP in 2015 after tweeting a sick joke about the death of 71 migrants, Stoke councillor Broughan is back on the campaign trail for the party as Paul Nuttall tries to win the February 23 by-election. Broughan, who has been sitting as an independent, responded to the discovery of decomposing corpses, including one of a baby, in a refrigerated lorry driven from Hungary, by asking ‘#IsItOk to ask migrants to ‘chill out’ following the Austrian refrigerated lorry incident?’ He now claims to have Nuttall’s approval after meeting him in a pub, and says of his disgrace: ‘It was blown out of proportion… I wasn’t saying that it’s OK. I wasn’t condoning the question.’
5. Jane Collins (UP 5)
After her failed attempt to claim immunity from the same EU Parliament she despises, UKIP’s Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire MEP must pay out £160,000 in libel and slander damages and possible costs of £196,000 for falsely claiming three Rotherham MPs were aware about child grooming gangs in the town but had ignored them because of political correctness. Showing admirable solidarity, Collins’ party is understood to have told her they will not be contributing, leaving the former horse physio to find the money herself. Neigh, neigh and thrice neigh!
4. Richard Desmond (RE-ENTRY)
Friend of both celebrity trout farmer Roger Daltrey and celebrity trout Nigel Farage, Desmond was forced to publish two front page corrections in his Daily Express in only a week. The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) ruled that Express exclusives – in the sense that no-one else would have had the brass neck to publish them – headlined ‘EU Exit Boosts House Prices’ and ‘98% Say No To EU Deal’ were misleading and inaccurate. Desmond also published a remarkable column by Peter ‘Mentally’ Hill in which the former editor argued that the worldwide shortage of courgettes might be ‘a crafty way to punish Britain for daring to leave the European Union’ and called for the Home Office to mount a campaign against ‘liberal extremism (yes, it exists)’.
3. Paul Nuttall (UP 1)
An awesome start to the UKIP leader’s by-election campaign in Stoke, during which he’s been egged by protestors, had to backtrack on his one-time desire to privatise the NHS and been told he faces a police investigation into why he registered an empty house in the city which he’d never ever visited as his primary home on nomination papers, a seeming breach of guidelines which state: ‘It is important that the address given on a nomination paper as a candidate’s home address is actually his home address since a nomination is defective if that address is not given.’
And then, magically, it got even worse as Nuttall’s first campaign event was hijacked by pranksters who registered online for scores of the free tickets then sadly failed to turn up, leaving Nuttall and opening act Nigel Farage playing to a half-empty hall. There was better news, though, as Donald Trump estimated the crowd at around two million.
2. David Rowlands (NEW ENTRY)
The refreshingly candid UKIP member for South East Wales caused gasps in the Welsh Assembly as he admitted the Leave campaign had lied to win the referendum. Rowlands, who boasts of once owning the Alice Springs Golf Club (relax, it’s the one in Monmouthshire which has since closed down) told fellow AMs that ‘the lies that took us into the European Union were the greater lies than the ones that have taken us out. Those lies that took us out pale into insignificance’.
1. Laure Ferrari (NEW ENTRY)
It’s tough enough for EU immigrants in the UK right now but spare a thought for this poor Frenchwoman, a former waitress, currently forced to share a home with Nigel Farage. Your donations to the Free Ferrari Fund could help rehouse her somewhere more palatable – an empty house in Stoke, say. Farage insists that he and Laure have ‘a working relationship’; readers who want to know more about the 37-year-old should check out the website of her Institute For Direct Democracy in Europe, where last July she wrote with unusual perspicacity on the subject of ‘an unhappy marriage’, noting that Britain and Europe ‘should have maintained a discreet relationship, based on mutual esteem and respect but marriage, a disaster … The divorce must be seen as an opportunity. The cleaner and quicker the break, the better’. Wherever can Mlle Ferrari get her ideas?