First of all may I apologise for being rather tardy in taking just over a week to introduce myself. I was asked shortly after the EGM in Birmingham if I would be prepared to take on the role of voluntary Interim Party Chairman for a period of 90 days after Paul Oakden, who had been in the position for 18 months, decided to stand down.
I wanted to meet Gerard Batten MEP before accepting the role, and this I did later in the week. I was impressed with his forthright approach and felt I could work with him in the interim period before the result of the next leadership election.
I have been a member of the party since 2006, shortly after retiring from a career in Education. Over the years I have been a branch treasurer, branch chairman, regional secretary and for the last 5 years Regional Chairman for the South West. I have stood for Parliament three times, stood in various local elections and was fourth on the South West List for the 2014 European Elections. I have never been a member of another political party and have made many friends through UKIP in the South West over the years. I look forward to making many more now across the country.
Over the past week I have been talking with the various Regional Chairs to put forward a plan of action in preparation for the forthcoming local elections. We need candidates in place to contest the seats that are coming up in the local election in May. If you would like to stand then please get in contact with your branch chairman. I appreciate that times are difficult for us at the moment but we must turn the tide back in our favour if we are to remain a force on the political map of our country.
Let us revitalise the party behind Gerard over the next few months. Brexit is far from being done and dusted. There are many out there who are working hard to overturn the vote of the people. Spread the word that UKIP is still in place and as determined as ever that we leave the political union that we call the EU.
Interim Party Chairman