New Ukip leader Henry Bolton named the party’s new ‘shadow cabinet’ today – and what a bunch they are
Long-serving (two weeks, five days) Ukip leader Henry Bolton today unveiled his new ‘shadow cabinet’ – inviting mockery for a party with zero MPs and 1.8% of the vote.
But that didn’t stop the New European from answering the big question: who on earth are these people? Here’s your guide to the faces sitting around Mr Bolton’s big table…
Margot Parker, deputy leader and aid and international development spokesperson
MEP for the East Midlands since 2014. The party’s women and equalities spokesperson under Paul Nuttall, she said the issues “need to be promoted without patronising tokenism, virtue-signalling and political correctness”. According to party funder Arron Banks’ diaries, she once fell into the swimming pool of his sprawling country estate outside Bristol – bought from Mike Oldfield of Tubular Bells fame – while wearing “full billowing evening regalia”.
Jim Carver, assistant deputy leader
MEP for the West Midlands since 2014. Born in the same hospital as Nigel Farage, Mr Carver made his money in the family’s umbrella business. “The chances are that, whenever you see a bookmaker’s umbrella on racecourses across the UK and Ireland, it will be Jim’s work,” boasts his website. Quit as the party’s foreign affairs spokesperson earlier this year in protest at what he called Ukip’s “vile” policy on banning the burka (having previously quit a senior party role will be a theme in this list).
Mike Hookem, assistant deputy leader, fisheries spokesperson and veterans spokesperson
MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber since 2014. Best-known for what he euphemistically described as a “tussle” with Steven Woolfe in the European Parliament last year which left the leadership contender prostrate and in hospital. Stood for Grimsby in the general election earlier this year but lost his deposit after describing the town as “poor” and “full of working-class people”. Quit as a party whip in protest at Anne Marie Waters standing for the leadership.
Paul Oakden, interim chairman
A former Conservative who was fired as the agent for MP Andrew Bridgen in 2008 after allegedly spending too much time on dating sites during work hours. Mr Bridgen described him as a “Walter Mitty” character who listed his occupation as a pilot on the site, MingleVille, and posted a picture of himself with a grey Aston Martin which actually belonged to the MP. Mr Oakden countered he had been training for a pilot’s licence at the time so it was not strictly untrue.
Jonathan Arnott, Treasury spokesperson
MEP for North East England since 2014. Was part of the British Stratego – a board game – team which won bronze at the 2012 world championships. Quit as Ukip’s general secretary earlier this year, labelling the party “bland and anti-Muslim”.
Neil Hamilton, leader of Ukip in Wales
Disgraced former Conservative minister who has been a member of the Welsh Assembly for Mid and West Wales since last year. Lost his parliamentary seat to BBC war correspondent Martin Bell in 1997 after being implicated in the cash-for-questions scandal. Joined Ukip in 2011 but quickly fell out with Nigel Farage. Reprimanded in the Welsh Assembly last year for saying “suicide is an option” for those sad about Brexit. Released a World Cup song with wife Christine in 2006 called ‘England are Jolly Dee’.
David Coburn, leader of Ukip in Scotland
MEP for Scotland since 2014. Former art dealer and city trader who was banned from Wikipedia in 2015 after attempting to edit his own page 69 times in six days. Among many other slips, he has caused controversy by comparing SNP minister Humza Yousaf to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza, dismissed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as ‘helmet hairdo’ and claimed Scottish Nationalists all “loathe the English”. On women, he has philosophically said: “A woman is a special sort of a man. They are a man that can produce children.”
Peter Whittle, spokesperson for Ukip in London
Leader of Ukip’s two-strong team in the London Assembly since last year. An openly gay former journalist who had been considered the favourite to win the party’s latest leadership battle.
Ray Finch, MEP delegation leader and foreign and Commonwealth affairs spokesperson
MEP for South East England since 2014. Former Hampshire councillor and cable TV engineer whose favourite show is Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads (“a great piece of social commentary on the changes in our class system in the 60s and 70s”). Quit the party’s national executive last year after Steven Woolfe was excluded from the leadership contest.
Jane Collins, home affairs spokesperson
MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber since 2014. An equine physiotherapist who was ordered to pay £54,000 High Court defamation damages to three Labour MPs earlier this year over remarks she made about Rotherham’s child abuse scandal. Has called for “indigenous” children who are in contact with the Roma Slovak community to receive vaccines.
Peter Jewell, justice spokesperson
Former director and trustee of the Magistrates Association who was accused of involvement in a plot to try to become interim party leader with Nigel Farage’s blessing last year. Was employed in the diamond and jewellery trade in South Africa. Told the Kidderminster Shuttle in 2015: “I am not a political prostitute and will only stand for the county of my birth”, meaning Worcestershire. Stood for Richmond and Twickenham, in London, in the general election earlier this year.
John Bickley, immigration and integration spokesperson
Cheshire businessman who was forced to apologise last year for retweeting a cartoon with the slogan ‘if you want a jihadi for a neighbour, vote Labour’, saying he had not realised its connection to the racist slogan used in the in the 1964 general election campaign in Smethwick. Took nearly £100,000 of EU cash to prop up his computer software business in 2006, saying his stance was not hypocritical because he was not a member of Ukip at the time.
Richard Bingley, cyber and terrorism spokesperson
Former Labour press officer and councillor who defected to Ukip in 2014, Mr Bingley is a university lecturer who teaches security management at Buckinghamshire New University.
Christopher Mills, business spokesperson
Millionaire hedge fund boss and party donor. Managing partner of Harwood Private Equity who is personally worth £85m according to the 2017 Sunday Times Rich List.
Ernie Warrender, small business spokesperson
South-west businessman described by Country Squire magazine as having “a penchant for classic cars and Elgar” as well as being “eccentric” but a “good egg”.
William Dartmouth, trade and industry spokesperson
MEP for South West England & Gibraltar since 2009 and a hereditary member of the House of Lords, where he goes by his proper title of William Legge, 10th Earl of Dartmouth. A stepbrother of Diana, Princess of Wales, he was educated at Eton and Oxford before taking up a career as a chartered accountant. Regularly rails against what he calls “the political establishment”.
Andrew Charalambous, employment spokesperson
Businessman who was exposed in 2014 as claiming to hold a ‘fake’ degree and a professorship at an unaccredited academic institution. He removed mention of the professorship from his website along with claims that he ‘is a qualified Barrister-at-Law’ and a ‘Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts’. Mr Charalambous said that the claim about his professorial post ‘shouldn’t be on’ his website and that the ‘website people take stuff from various places and they put that on there’.
Jill Seymour, transport and infrastructure spokesperson
MEP for the West Midlands since 2014. Came under fire in 2015 for using taxpayers’ money to pay the rent on an office owned by her husband.
Jonathan Bullock, energy spokesperson
MEP for the East Midlands since earlier this year, Mr Bullock is a former Kettering councillor who defected from the Conservatives in 2012. Worked in advertising and public relations before joining the European Parliament in August upon the retirement of Roger Helmer this year. Has said chlorinated chicken is “completely edible”.
Stuart Agnew, agriculture spokesperson
MEP for the East of England since 2009, Mr Agnew is a Norfolk farmer who has described climate change as a “scam”. Would have been the far-right Anne Marie Waters’ deputy had she won the leadership, having likened the anti-Islam campaigner to Joan of Arc. Has claimed women who want to have children lack the ambition to “go right to the top”.
Julia Reid, environment and health spokesperson
MEP for South West England since 2014. Dr Reid is a diabetes laboratory researcher who was a member of the SDP who rejected the party’s alliance with the Liberals. Joined Ukip in 1993. Dismissive of climate change.
David Meacock, culture and arts spokesperson
Musician and councillor who sparked outrage in 2014 after he ‘publicly humiliated’ a six-year-old, sending out a group email accusing a small child of taking his son’s toy. In the email chain he added that ‘more naming and shaming’ would perhaps result in less delinquency and ‘young lives being wasted’. Made further local headlines in 2015 after branding a mother a ‘nasty spoilt brat’ for cancelling her 10-year-old son’s piano lessons with him. Leads the Ukip choir, whose version of the Dad’s Army theme music goes : “Who did you think you were kidding Mr Cam’ron? No we were not thick poor plebs.”
Tim Aker, communities and local government spokesperson
MEP for the East of England since 2014. Previously previously campaign director for Get Britain Out and a coordinator for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, he quit as Ukip’s head of policy in 2015.
Star Anderton, equalities and disabilities spokesperson
Dudley councillor and fibromyalgia sufferer who uses a wheelchair. Suspended as a prospective Conservative council candidate in 2011 after posing with a golliwog in a picture on her Facebook page as part of a campaign against “the politically correct brigade”. Said at the time: “I have a lot of black and Asian friends and as children we had golly dolls and we never once thought of them as racist.”
Gerard Batten, Brexit spokesman
MEP for London since 2004, Mr Batten is a founding member of Ukip and party secretary from 1994 to 1997. A British Telecom salesman, he has said that non-Muslims should have a ‘perfectly rational fear’ of the faith, which he described as a ‘death cult’ steeped in violence. Also believes the EU was conceived by Nazi Germany and the Bilderberg Group is a ‘shadow world government”. Has claimed some parts of Britain are “more like enclaves of Pakistan, Bengal or India than English cities’. Likes wearing pink suits.
David Allen, electoral reform spokesman
Brief leadership candidate this year who pulled out early and endorsed Henry Bolton, his crowdfunding campaign for the tilt raised £40. Otherwise a man of mystery.
Bill Etheridge, sports spokesperson
MEP for the West Midlands since 2014. Was the other half of Star Anderton, and was similarly suspended by the Conservatives after their joint golliwog stunt, joining Ukip shortly afterwards. Made headlines again in 2014 when he highlighted the speaking style of Adolf Hitler during a public speaking seminar he gave to members of UKIP’s youth wing. According to Etheridge, Hitler he was “the most magnetic and forceful public speaker possibly in history” who “achieved a great deal” in relation to convincing people. He later clarified that “Hitler and the Nazis were monsters”.