Farage blasts Alan Wells over attempted UKIP candidate smear

Nigel Farage’s opening salvo to Alan Wells is, “In my whole political career I have never seen such a case” … We have the full letter.

Nigel Farage

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.

Both barrels
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,
Carisbrooke Road
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.

Yours sincerely

Nigel Farage

Tuesday, 16th April, 2013 6:04pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2aH7

Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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39 Comments on "Farage blasts Alan Wells over attempted UKIP candidate smear"

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Right on Nige!!

Robert Jones
It has to be said – Mr Farage has a point; actually, several points. I think the backfire to which I referred in the other thread threatens to become prolonged and deafening … Mr Wells isn’t without political experience; it’s amazing to me that he’s conducted his complaint this way. Taking Nigel Farage’s version of events at face value, ie assuming he’s speaking in full knowledge of… Read more »
The Coal Man

@ Robert Jones and ‘backfire’
I’m not stalking you but this man is PRICELESS
For those who may have missed it early….

‘… and it may backfire badly’

Well, Well, Wells then I would suggest that Alan stops looking at the mantle-piece when he’s poking the fire in future!
Silly Man.

Robert Jones

I don’t know Alan Wells personally – is he, perhaps, just a touch inclined to leap after a soundbite before he’s thought whose backside it might end up chewing….?

Mason Watch

I have a sneaky suspicion that Mr Turner might be quite relieved to see the back of the buffoons representing his party……. Alan Wells must be the only agent who is better saying nothing at all. Jeez, you couldn’t make up this stuff although “Private Pike” Pugh is a recognised character!

Surely if there is an issue here Alan Wells should have taken it up with the Electoral Commission? Who gave him access to the original documentation anyway ? Someone in County Hall? Can anyone go in and scrutinise nomination forms? Alan Wells is obviously bored now he is not standing for re-election on Cowes Town Council, perhaps he should scrutinise some of his own Conservative candidates. Suggest… Read more »
Robert Jones
We can all check the statement of persons nominated – have to say I rarely took a lot of interest in who had assented to a nomination, but I would just quickly check the proposer and seconder. Real agents don’t go out of their way to catch each other out on technical issues: but of course if someone had told me they suspected someone’s signature had been… Read more »
Maybe Alan Wells, Chair of the Conservative Association on the Isle of Wight and Agent for all Tory candidates, would be well advised to put one of his other hats on (Chair of Governing Body, Cowes Enterprise College and Director of Cowes Pathfinder Trust) to sort out the mess he and his Council colleagues have left CEC students with… Ah, never mind, you can’t beat the entertainment… Read more »

Two neoliberalists squabbling over underhanded tactics, neither with any kind manifesto to reverse the mess that their core beliefs now leave us with.

What’s the issue?

Fred Karno
This is all rather intriguing and whatever anyone thinks of the personalities involved, only one version is true. I am therefore rather puzzled by the statement that the candidate allegedly got 14 signatures to “Make Sure” as it were. The problem with that statement is that the forms are preprinted and there are only ten spaces for nomination signatures. Therefore as a candidate, you get the requisite… Read more »
Retired hack

Farage doesn’t claim to have submitted 14 names. He says the first ten were taken (ie submitted).


I think tomorrow will be a good day for the Conservatives to bury bad news.

island life
FYI the Newport North elector involved in this case was very shocked and upset when she realised that her name had been used on the nomination form. IW Council checked her signature (as she is a registered postal voter) and they did not match. If she had forgotten or changed her mind about the form, the signatures would have matched surely? Has anyone had a thought for… Read more »
Davy Jones
What is really, really interesting is how frightened the Torys are that Island electors will find other candidates far more attractive than their own. Otherwise why spend hours wading through forms to see who has nominated who – or who might have the damn cheek to put a photo of their own MP on their literature? Farage says they asked a UKIP candidate to stand aside and… Read more »
it is quite correct that the nomination form only has room for proposer, seconder and 8 nominees. What I believe has happened is that a UKIP representative ( as UKIP have no records of previous voters or pro UKIPPERS) has had to door knock to try and convince 8 people to act as nominees (presuming that proposer and seconder would at least be available)…shear number of UKIP… Read more »
@Davy Jones “In Shanklin they’re even threatening people suspected of supporting Priest/Gilby with having membership of the Shanklin Con Club taken away” The application forms to joing Shanklin Con club- admittedly good food, good beer- commits the successful applicant to support the Conservative Party in a number of ways As fulfilling that obligation would have made my stomach rebel and thus waste the good food and good… Read more »
I have just noticed a mention of election expenses. So a question to those in the know. How much are they allowed to spend? Also when a retiring conservative sends a newsheet around all his ward announcing his retirement and at the same time reccommending the new man who will be standing, with an electioneering message from the new man, will this count as expenses. This was… Read more »
mike starke
It really is tremendous fun watching two right wing factions tearing seven bells out of each other over a scribble on a piece of paper. May I add my six penn’orth to the (mostly) entertaining speculation surrounding the issue? Unlikely though it might seem, given past form for intellectual ability, is it not possible that Tory agent Alan Wells’s blustering is a Baldrick-like “cunning plan”. Because all… Read more »
steve s

As usual, Mike makes a very valid point. Let’s not get bogged down in the minute detail of electoral etiquette and end up forgetting what this administration has been doing to us for the past eight years.

Just in case anyone has forgotten what the Conservatives set out to do, these are the priorities taken from IoW Conservatives website: you can add a mark out of 10 for each: “In 2011, the Conservative Team at County Hall agreed the local authority’s Corporate Plan for the following two years. This sets out the eight priorities to which the IW Council directs its limited resources. These… Read more »

Tory’s given £600 each by the party machine,
ALL independents are having to pay ALL their own expenses,,think it is time to vote for people who put their OWN money where their mouth is


I think you’ll find that every candidate of, whatever party, has a limit of £600. Nobody is given £600.

steve s

Does anybody know if Labour and UKIP candidates receive the same kind of support from their respective parties?

Robert Jones
I doubt they receive anything like the same level of support; in my time, we paid for the election address and incidentals (sorry you were out cards, canvass cards and so on) but the poor candidate had next to no say in how many leaflets he got, unless he dug into his own pocket to pay for extra ones. Reasonable that party members should get their basic… Read more »

Nope… we get great support and education from the longest serving Councillor in opposition on how to connect to the electorate and the ins and outs of electoral procedure, but our budget is limited well below that…about the same amount again will come out of my own pocket

Davy Jones
Speaking of smears and broken promises – this was sent by Eddie ‘Asphalt’ Giles – to every tory candidate last week. “And the Indies said they would post the names of all 35 of their candidates by yeserday. Another broken promise from them. Actually they should have 36 because when the 35 figure was announced thet were saying they had 5 vacancies for candidates and one of… Read more »
Adi w

i always fine it funny that people bring up old news may be this person has nothing better to do i guess he is on of the island bigoted nimby


Is this the same Adrian Whittaker, who’s father, David, a Tory, is a convicted sex offender and standing in Newport?

Adi w

dont for get also the convicted Wayne Turncoat Whittle’and his last brush with the law was not his first

sam salt
@ Davy, thanks for giving me a laugh. If what you say is correct about the correspondence sent by one of the leading IW Councillors last week my IQ must be higher than his and he a man who was once giving legal advice. How many times do these pigheaded tories have to be told that there is a difference between being an Island Independent and an… Read more »
Sam, my understanding of Island Independents would lead me to amend your second point about them being “like-minded”, and about if they “change parties”, in case you are misunderstood by anyone. I believe Island Indies are each totally individual as regards their policies and how they would like to see the Island change/not change. They are not a party and do not therefore sign up to shared… Read more »

so they might as well as stood for Labour then :)


No, because an Island Indie isn’t signing up to Labour party (or anyone else’s, just their own) policies, nor are they accepting the Labour party’s (or anyone else’s) whip.

phil jordan
This might be a good point to remind some people that Epsom & Ewell have been independently controlled for over 60 years! Under a banner of Residents Association that have managed to ‘work together’! progress and prosper the borough(s) and gain sufficient success and confidence to be continually re-elected for this amount of time. A unique achievement in the South of England. The model of governance is… Read more »
mike starke
This is such sidesplitting stuff! No sooner do I hit the “send” button on my Tory “cast of clowns” comment than Davy Jones rings up the curtain on some slapstick stand-up by red-nosed, big-booted, bow-tie-rotating Eddie “The Legal Eagle” Giles. Among Eddie’s other jovial one-liners to his chums in the cheap seats is one about PFI “lies”. And this from the merry prankster who always told me… Read more »
downwind resident
Mr Wells is trying to divert attention from the real issues on this island. Cllr. Pugh has refused the opportunity to stand up and make his own case for re election at the Shanklin hustings. Eurovia has refused to meet our Member of Parliament in a public meeting to answer his written questions from WRAP about the proposed asphalt plant. Perhaps Mr Farage MEP would like to… Read more »
Barney McGrew

Mike is right, yet again. I’m not impressed with this mud slinging surely it should be about informed debate – something sadly lacking over the last 8 years.

As for underhand deceit I was witness to a Conservative councillor telling a prospective Independent candidate that they would endorse their canditature if they promised to become a Conservative when they won.

Island Monkey

Wells and Pugh – pathetic and desperate men who lost the plot a long long time ago.

I can understand Wells and the rest of them panicking about UKIP. Last month Crewe parish (town) council in Cheshire held its elections. Labour swept the board, as usual, taking all 20 seats. But in every ward,UKIP beat the Conservatives into third place. They are stealing Tory votes by the bucketload,and one doesn’t need to agree with a word they say to wish them the best of… Read more »