The Bexley, Trafford and Peterborough branches of UKIP have become the latest to add their names to a growing list calling for Gerard Batten MEP to stand in the leadership contest due in May.
Grassroots UKIP activists are voicing strong support for the candidacy of Mr Batten who took over the permanent leadership of the Party last year. When he made the transition from interim following the ousting of Henry Bolton OBE, Batten promised only to serve one year of the alloted four-year term so that there he was elected unopposed and a costly contest was avoided.
Despite controversy over Batten’s support for some of the views expressed by Tommy Robinson and high-profile resignations and attacks from the likes of Nigel Farage, UKIP has flourished under Batten with the financial situation stabalising and membership growing.
Darrell Goodliffe, speaking to the Peterborough branch reminded Party members that Battens leadership was the only reason that they were gathered in the first place as Henry Bolton and prior strife had left the Party “on its knees, begging to be put out of its misery.” UKIP needs the continued “stability and continuity” that Mr Batten can provide as leader, he said.
UPDATE: We have received an email from the Secretary of UKIP Oxfordshire who advised us that his branch have voted to support Gerard Batten.