Neil and Christine Hamilton lined up to be next UKIP MEPs for the region? (UPDATED) - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Neil and Christine Hamilton lined up to be next UKIP MEPs for the region? (UPDATED)

Friday, 30 November 2012
The excellent and well-informed Michael Crick has today published a blogpost on the potential new candidates for the UKIP party at the next European elections, which made my heart sink. It appears to confirm rumours I had heard for a while; namely that Christine and her disgraced former MP husband Neil Hamilton could be lined up as the next UKIP MEPs for the South West England and Gibraltar region.

Since UKIP are not like the Liberal Democrats whose members elect their candidates to electoral lists and still ride high on an anti-EU protest vote, they are widely expected to win the elections in 2014 meaning Nigel Farage effectively has the power to make somebody an MEP if named either first or second on the regional list.

Nigel Farage certainly wouldn’t deny the possibility of them becoming MEPs when I put the suggestion to him this morning. Indeed he seemed to get quite excited about the idea of the Hamiltons standing for UKIP in 2014. Nor did Neil Hamilton try to scotch the suggestion when I put it to him a few weeks ago,Crick writes.

It’s no secret that the UKIP leader Nigel Farage is planning a purge of many, if not most, of the party’s existing 11 MEPs. He feels that too many of his MEPs up to now have been oddballs and eccentrics, too old, often lazy, sometimes corrupt. He thinks his MEPs don’t project the right kind of modern, serious image that will appeal to young people and those who’ve never voted for UKIP before.

So clearly the best candidates are I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! contestant and her husband who has taken to TV shows and pantomimes after his political career was ended by the cash-for-questions scandal in 1994 in which it was reported that he had accepted money by the then Harrods owner Mohammed Al-Fayed to ask questions in the House of Commons…

That said, they might not be any worse than the current two and perhaps their candidacies might lead to a number of voters thinking twice before placing their protest vote…

UPDATE 20/12/12 11.10:

Christine Hamilton has since been in touch via Twitter and refuted this suggestion - see new blog post here.

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