OnTheWight has been hearing that the story that we broke earlier today – Conservatives accuse UKIP candidate of falsifying official paperwork – had been rapidly-elevated to the National level.
This has borne out to be true as the leader of the party, Nigel Farage has, this afternoon, written directly to Alan Wells.
Farage is true to form and doesn’t hold back in giving Alan Wells a dressing down, starting with “In my whole political career I have never seen such a case.”
The full letter is below.
Mr Alan Wells, Chairman
Isle of Wight Conservative Association
?58 The Mall,
Isle of Wight
16th April 2013
Dear Mr Wells
I have seen your letter of 15th April 2013 to our candidate Mr Richard Wilkins of 69 Fairmount Drive, Newport.
In my whole political career I have never seen such a case.
Mr Wilkins assures me that he went to collect signatures for his nomination and knocked on doors in the Atkinson Drive area. He submitted 14 names – more than required – with attached electoral roll numbers and the first 10 were taken. Having more than enough signatures, he had no need knowingly to submit a false signature.
If he knew the signature was false he would have to be mad to submit it when he had enough in any event. To be guilty of a corrupt practice, as you allege, requires him to know the signature was false.
He has acted in good faith and, in the circumstances, has no motive or need to falsify anything.
I can only imagine that either the lady concerned changed her mind, has genuinely forgotten the event, or someone has impersonated her. It would, one imagines, not be the first time someone has – unknown to a candidate or agent – given a false name when signing such a form.
Given the very high standard of proof required in such a case, you may wish to be cautious of what public allegations you make.
Your reaction in this affair, however, does not surprise me in the least. Theresa May’s comment about the nasty party was clearly accurate when she made it and remains so today.
Perhaps the fact that we turned down your Party’s earlier request to withdraw a candidate on the Island has prompted this action.