UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass loses legal battle

| August 30, 2013 | 0 Comments

Mike-Nattrass-5792759UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass has lost a legal battle to be selected by his party for the 2014 European elections.

Nattrass failed a candidate assessment test recently introduced by UKIP. The MEP has represented the West Midlands since 2004. He has been the party’s chairman and deputy leader. After his legal case was dismissed, Mr Nattrass said: “I did not get a proper opportunity to speak or explain why I think the system is unfair. It was like trying to nail jelly to the ceiling. I stand by my opinion that the selection process is a fiddle and a fix.”

UKIP Chairman Steve Crowther said: “Common sense has prevailed. The system is designed to be fair, and it is fair. Everyone goes through the same selection process, even the party leader Nigel Farage.”

Nattrass, 67, has decided not to appeal the decision. Before the hearing in Birmingham he said: “The assessment interview was a stitch up. It is a similar story across the country. People who are willing to do service to Mr Farage have been selected. I support the principles UKIP stands for, but this is not the way to run a party. What’s happened is a breach of democracy.”

Nattrass claimed the real reason behind his non-selection was for refusing to “blindly” follow Nigel Farage. Mr Nattrass has, in the past, accused Farage of being a “control freak”.  In an email he’d stressed: “I’m concerned the party brand will be tarnished, even holed beneath the water-line by his monopoly of power.”

Nattrass has also denounced the EFD group, in which UKIP sits, for its extreme right wing views. And he openly supported fellow MEP Nikki Sinclair – now sitting as an Independent – after she accused UKIP of “sexism and racism and homophobia”.

A UKIP insider said yesterday: “Nigel has a long memory for people who have crossed him.”

Potential candidates went through a lengthy selection process, which included delivering a speech and an interview in front of a panel led by Steve Crowther.  The two-hour assessment included public speaking, an interview and a written test. Applicants are graded and those with the top grade are placed on the party’s national approved list of candidates.  Psychometric tests were used to analyse the personalities, reliability and honesty of more than 300 people looking to stand in the 2014 elections.

The tests were aimed at ‘weeding out’ potential candidates who might disgrace the party.  After last May’s local elections a number of new UKIP councillors were accused of sexism, racism and homophobia after comments were found on their social media websites.  Out of the 300, hopefuls 77 were selected.

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Category: A Frontpage, MEP Elections

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