Gerard Batten makes first appointments to his leadership team promising "strength in depth' moving forward 

UKIP interim leader, Gerard Batten MEP, last night announced the first three members of his new leadership team, saying he was "choosing people with strength in depth" and "who showed a true desire to move the party forward." 


Speaking in London, Mr Batten said, "I am pleased to announce that Former UKIP South-West Chairman, Mr Tony McIntyre, has been selected as UKIP's Interim Party Chairman.

"Tony has worked tirelessly and expertly for UKIP in the South-West of England and brings a wealth of political and people management experience to the role. I am in no doubt that Tony will quickly settle into his new role and start to move UKIP in a positive direction.

"I am also very pleased to announce that Margot Parker MEP has agreed to support Mr McIntyre by becoming UKIP's Deputy-Chairwoman. Margot brings a great deal of political and media experience to the chairmanship, along with a famously cool head and her sharp analytical abilities.

"I am convinced that Tony and Margot will quickly become a dedicated and formidable team, who will achieve great things in rebuilding UKIP's reputation and political credibility.

Mr Batten continued, "I also have the great pleasure to announce the appointment of Mike Hookem MEP as my deputy leader.

"Mike is one of UKIP's most active MEP's and has dedicated himself to rebuilding the party and achieving a complete withdrawal from the European Union. Mike has exceptional political awareness and the strength of character to aid me in making the changes we so desperately need in our party." 

"I am looking forward to working closely with Tony, Margot and Mike in the coming weeks and to a rejuvenated UKIP that can once again challenge the status quo of the traditional parties.

"In the week since my appointment, we have already taken steps to steady the UKIP ship; reviewed many of the systems and practices currently in place and begun to understand the range of challenges we face moving forward.

"At this stage, each small step forward is a victory not only for us as a party, but also for all the people of Britain who are being betrayed by the LibLabCon political elite.

"It is time UKIP rose to the challenges ahead, and I am determined we will once again be the voice of the people."

Speaking of his appointment, Tony McIntyre, the new Chairman said, "At the NEC meeting held yesterday, it was agreed that I should take on the role of Interim Party Chairman. As you will know this is an appointment at the behest of  Gerrard Batten MEP. I have a great of respect for Gerrard and am humbled to be his chosen person for the role. I feel very strongly that UKIP still has an important role to play in the political climate of today, particularly with the members of both the Labour and Conservative parties doing their very best to water down the referendum result of June 2016 as we near the date to Leave the European Union. 

"I have been a member of the party since 2006 and have been Chairman of UKIP South West for the past 5 years. I am looking forward to working with the NEC and the Regional Chairmen to stabilise the party after the unfortunate events of the past few months. Where there is a will there is a way."

Speaking of his appointment as UKIP Deputy Leader, Mike Hookem MEP said, “I am honoured that Gerard has given me the opportunity to serve our great party and our membership as deputy leader."

"No-one in UKIP is better placed than Gerard to speak with authority on Brexit and highlight UKIP’s message. I will dedicate myself to rebuilding UKIP and reclaiming the party’s position as the only credible alternative to the tired status quo of the traditional parties.”

“With the Conservative’s quickly becoming the ‘Remain' wolves in ‘Brexiteer’ clothing, and Labour announcing their ‘pie in the sky’ ideas of a bespoke customs union, both main traditional parties have shown their determinations to keep the UK tied to the EU, come what may."

"It is, therefore, becoming increasingly obvious that the British public needs a credible political party that not only champions a full and complete withdrawal from the European Union but also continues to put forward new and innovative policies aimed at moving Britain forward. 

"UKIP is the only true alternative, and I for one will be doing everything I can to make sure we live up to and fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the British people in the future.”

New deputy chairman Margot Parker, who is a UKIP MEP for the East Midlands, said, "I am delighted to be part of the new team supporting Gerard Batten, our interim leader. It is time we put the country and Brexit first!"


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Article first uploaded 28 February - 2018
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