UKIP’s only Member of Parliament, Douglas Carswell, has met the party leader’s challenge to those briefing against him to have the courage to speak out. Mr Carswell has taken to the Times newspaper — the same outlet that UKIP MEP Patrick O’Flynn used to launch a broadside against the party leader — to publicly urge Nigel Farage to ‘take a break’.
Writing in the openly UKIP-hostile newspaper, Mr Carswell insists that the UKIP leader has repeatedly struck the wrong tone over the course of the last few months, especially when making comments about health tourism in the United Kingdom.
The latest intervention comes after days of UKIP infighting, wherein the party’s Economic Spokesman, Patrick O’Flynn MEP, and Mr Carswell were accused of attempting to launch a leadership coup. They strenuously denied this allegation just a day ago, but Mr Farage’s challenge that those briefing against him should “put up or shut up” seems to have prompted Mr Carswell into action.
He writes in the Times:
“On Monday, Ukip’s national executive committee made a decision to reinstate Nigel as party leader. Yet even leaders need to take a break. Nigel needs to take a break now.
“Politics is about persuasion. And getting noticed isn’t enough to win over people. You need the right tone. At times, Ukip has failed to strike the right tone. By all means we should highlight the problem of health tourism. But we need to admit that using the example of HIV patients to make the point was ill-advised.”
Mr Carswell muses on how difficult party leadership is, and what it requires, despite having never come close to running a political party himself.
His comments about health tourism are also contradicted by the fact that following the TV debates in which Mr Farage raised the issue of health tourism, polling found massively in the UKIP leader’s favour.
Mr Carswell’s latest intervention is set to stoke the fires raging inside UKIP’s Brooks Mews office further, with party insiders telling Breitbart London that Mr Farage is keen to resolve internal issues even whilst his MPs and MEPs continue briefing against him.