An aide to UKIP’s leader in Wales has threatened to quit the party if a group of carpet-bagging politicians — including London-born Mark Reckless (above) — are selected to stand for the Welsh Assembly.
Kevin Mahoney, who is also a councillor, blasted:
“All these people have been foisted on Wales … unfortunately the party seems to have fallen prey to the same sort of political cronyism which I detest in other parties.”
Reckless’ birth was registered in the City of London while UKIP spinner Alexandra Phillips hails from Gloucestershire. Disgraced former Tory MP Neil Hamilton was born on the right side of the border but is accused by Mahoney of having “no political association with Wales”.
He is right to be worried. The party’s all-powerful NEC is in the habit of manipulating local selection processes (particularly in favour of Tory defectors) with one described as a “corrupt pantomime”.
But the BBC report of the comments seemed to miss the bigger story — that the European Parliament website and Mahoney’s council declaration of interests list him as an aide to the party’s leader in Wales, Nathan Gill MEP.
With the Wales leader position in the gift of Nigel Farage, Gill might well fear for his own position should higher-profile politicians secure Assembly seats.
Was Mahoney’s intervention actually conceived in Gill’s office?