UKIP Leader Gerard Batten MEP has written to all UKIP members informing them that he will submit a motion to the NEC meeting on this upcoming Sunday, the 18th, calling for an all-members vote on whether to admit Tommy Robinson as a UKIP member. Under the heading, ‘Your Party – Your Decision’, Batten outlines how Tommy found himself briefly in the BNP and founding the EDL: “He explains his brief membership of the BNP as an uninformed youthful mistake. He further explains that the EDL, which he founded, was not a racist or far-right organisation under his leadership. He left it when it was infiltrated by elements he could not control.”:
Although any individual who has been a member of either is barred from being a member of UKIP, the constitution does allow for exceptions to be made. The motion Batten intends to submit reads as follows:“There should be a ballot of the UKIP members asking if they approve, Yes, or No, of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) being allowed to join UKIP. This ballot should take place at the earliest opportunity, e.g. in the next edition of Independence Magazine. If a majority of Party members vote in favour of the proposition, then the Chairman and NEC will consider his application at the NEC meeting following the result of the ballot. They will then make the decision whether to waive the relevant rule or not based on a majority vote of the NEC.”
He goes onto say unequivocally that he does not wish to remove the ban. The case of Tommy Robinson is “exceptional and unique”, he argues, and UKIP now has a window of opportunity to become a mass movement but for this to happen it must make some difficult decisions.
Tommy Robinson responded by saying the prospect of political revolution in the UK is becoming real:
This is certainly a fork in the road for UKIP.