Patrick O’Flynn MEP has today stepped down as UKIP economic spokesman and issued a ‘humiliating‘ apology to party leader Nigel Farage for his recent statements.
Mr O’Flynn, who launched a broadside against Farage and his closest advisors this weekend, said today:
“I would like to express to colleagues my sincere regret at going public with my frustrations about the turn of events following polling day. And more than that, I would like to apologise directly to Nigel for the phrase ‘snarling, thin-skinned and aggressive’. This was a fragment of a wider passage about perceptions and is not what I think of him. Nonetheless, I should have known better than anyone what use would be made of phrases that were both unfair and unkind.
“I am proud of what we achieved in the general election and am only sorry to have succumbed, as Roger (Helmer) put it with such impressive understatement, to public remarks that were ‘unhelpful’. I think it appropriate to stand down as economic spokesman, which I have done. I hope in the months ahead to be of use to the great campaign to persuade the British people to leave the EU, which is after all what brought me into politics in the first place.”
UKIP was plunged into civil war immediately after the General Election on May 7th, when a “coup team” of Douglas Carswell MP, policy chief Suzanne Evans, and Patrick O’Flynn MEP attempted to rid the party of its long-standing leader Nigel Farage.
The trio, in conjunction with the party’s Director of Communications Paul ‘Gobby’ Lambert, demanded the departure of Farage’s advisors, according to a number of party sources, in an attempt to weaken the leader before targeting him directly.
Mr Farage’s senior advisor, Raheem Kassam, left UKIP and returned to Breitbart London, while both Mr Lambert and Mr O’Flynn were forced to resign. It was reported by the Guido Fawkes blog that Suzanne Evans, who privately referred to Mr Farage as “toxic”, will also be losing her post as Head of Policy, to be replaced by Mark Reckless.
Mr Farage issued a statement following a meeting with Mr O’Flynn this morning in Strasbourg:
“Patrick O’Flynn came in person to tell me he had realised that he had made a mistake and, being the honourable man that he is, tendered his resignation as UKIP Economics Spokesman.
I accepted his resignation with some sadness, not least because he is very able and has been a great asset to the team. He continues to be a committed UKIP member and MEP.”
While the worst now seems to be over for UKIP. questions will now arise as to who the mastermind behind the failed coup was.