Ousted Ukip leader Henry Bolton today attempted to channel Disraeli as he launched a new political party.
Mr Bolton, unceremoniously axed from the Ukip leadership last month following a row over racist texts sent by his girlfriend, said OneNation would serve “a need for a truly professional political party that believes in Britain, that preserves our national identity, culture, heritage and confidence and talks our great nation up rather than down”.
It would be “a party dedicated to the full independence of the UK in all areas of law, government and public administration”, he said.
Mr Bolton was turfed out from the Ukip leadership after just five months when it emerged his partner Jo Marney, a 25-year-old ex-model for whom the 54-year-old had left his wife, had sent racist messages about Meghan Markle.
The party’s national executive committee triggered a no-confidence motion in him, which was passed by 867 votes to 500. Mr Bolton resigned from the party shortly afterwards. OneNation founder Henry Bolton and girlfriend Jo Marney
Launching OneNation today, Mr Bolton said Ukip had “sadly lost its much of its credibility, influence and ability to shape national events”.
He said: “There is an urgent requirement for a 100% leave party willing and able to contribute constructively towards determining the trajectory that the UK follows upon leaving the European Union and beyond, a party able to represent those Britons who wish to see a confident, optimistic, prosperous and secure United Kingdom emerge, a party dedicated to building an outward-looking trading nation that rebuilds relations with the Commonwealth and that supports its friends and allies abroad, respects human rights and freedoms whilst preserving its own heritage and culture, a nation that, has a clear and comfortable identity and is proud to be called British.”
He sought to channel Victorian prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, widely seen as the architect of one-nation conservatism, saying: “OneNation’s approach reflects Disraeli’s One Nation social conservatism and the party’s structures and management mirror some of the changes that I sought to bring to UKIP when its leader.”
The party is branded in British racing green colours, which its website says “was the international motor racing colour of the United Kingdom” and “represents British branding and excellence”.
And its logo, showing Parliament rippling in the waters of the Thames, bears a remarkable similarity to Thames TV’s on-screen idents of the 1980s.
Mr Bolton added: “OneNation will work, without prejudice or favour, to identify the problems suffered by individuals, communities and businesses. It is a party considers [sic] that the best solution must be applied no matter whether that solution might be traditionally considered as a socialist, liberal or conservative solution. The best solution is the best solution.”
Policies were being drafted, a variety of campaigns and events were in the planning, membership would be open soon and more details would emerge over the coming days and weeks, he said.
Anne Marie Waters, who won 21.3% of the vote in last year’s Ukip leadership election, also left after she and her supporters were branded ‘Nazis and racists’ by former leader Nigel Farage and Mr Bolton. She has since formed For Britain, a far-right party with support from Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League.
Another unsuccessful leadership contender, Jonathan Rees-Evans, best known for claiming that a gay donkey raped his horse, has also quit and formed a new party, the Democrats and Veterans Party, with a logo including a picture of a donkey raising a hoof and carrying a union jack flag
All will hope to have more success than Veritas, a party formed from a previous split in Ukip and which was led by former MEP and TV presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk. It flopped and subsequently merged with the English Democrats.
Gerard Batten has taken over as Ukip’s interim leader, with another leadership election due within 90 days.