A scandal at UKIP - or is it?
UKIP's General Secretary, Roger Bird, has been suspended over allegations that he made improper approaches to a potential female Asian candidate.
Surprisingly, the media hasn't made such a fuss about this as one might have expected and one wonders whether this is because there is "more in this than meets the eye" and they don't want to take any risks with possible damages claims.
The female in question is
Natasha Bolter and she was first seen at this year's UKIP conference when she was on the platform as a Labour defector.
She is described by the media as being a single mother of five children, Her maiden name was Ahmed, so one assumes that she was married at one time although the media has not mentioned an ex-husband. So she's hardly a single mother, she's either divorced, separated or widowed.
Roger Bird has taken the rather unusual course of publishing all her text messages that she'd sent him, and she hardly seems to be a reluctant participant in whatever happened! Roger is single, so there is no reason whatsoever why he should not pursue any woman of his choice provided that he does not offer her advancement within the party in exchange for sexual favours.
Her claim claim of a top degree in
politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University unravelled
yesterday when the Wadham College (she spelt it Wadam) took the rare step of denying she had ever
attended the institution.
So what was she, a real defector, a plant or just on the make?
I don't think she was a plant; if she'd come from the Tories, I would probably have taken that view, but some how I don't see it as a Labour tactic. Was she a real defector, I'm inclined to say no, as if she had been, she wouldn't have resigned from UKIP at the start of this saga but stood her ground.
I tend towards the belief that she was "found out" by Labour and realised that she would never achieve candidate status and so looked for another home. She picked UKIP as a suitable choice, knowing, quite rightly, that as a female from an ethnic minority she'd be welcome if only to prove that the party wasn't racist or anti-female. Perhaps Roger Bird realised this and rejected her as a candidate with the resultant harassment complaint.
Time will tell, but as usual in cases like this, no-one emerges smelling of roses and the innocent party (if there is one) invariably suffers with the guilty.
Whatever the outcome, the party will have learnt a valuable lesson, be wary of new members who join the party and rapidly seek a position of importance. UKIP is going to have to be somewhat more professional in vetting its candidates for all posts where they could harm the party.
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