UKIP's Farage vows to 'get a grip' after 'amateur' jibe
With success at European elections in sight, leader moves to increase party's 'professionalism'
NIGEL FARAGE, leader of UKIP, says he will step back from public politics to "get a grip" on his party. His comments follow a series of controversial remarks by his MPs and criticism of the party's professionalism by its former chief executive, Will Gilpin.
"I will have to do less politics, fewer interviews, fewer public meetings, fewer appearances and I will have to spend more time directly overseeing the jobs being done, because the problem we have had is one of non-delivery," Farage told the Daily Telegraph. "We do need to professionalise things and so I'm going to have to take a much more direct, managerial role."
Farage appears to have been stung into action by Gilpin, who delivered a barbed assessment of UKIP's structure when he quit the party this week. Gilpin said Farage's reluctance to accept professional management meant the anti-EU party will remain "a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs" who never fulfil their political potential.
Farage told the Telegraph that Gilpin "couldn't be more wrong" about UKIP fulfilling its potential, but conceded the party "does need professional management". In an apparent criticism of Gilpin's performance he added: "But thus far we haven't found the person to deliver it."
The UKIP leader told the Telegraph he will take more control of the party until he is "confident" the right managerial structure is in place.
UKIP is expected to inflict more pain on the major political parties next year by delivering a solid performance at the European elections. Farage believes that European success will provide the party with a springboard for the 2015 general election. But its image has been dented in recent weeks by a string of controversial remarks by its MPs.
The Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire MEP Godfrey Bloom sparked outrage this month by saying British aid should not be sent to "Bongo Bongo Land". Bloom was in trouble again today after he described feminism as a "passing fashion" created by "shrill, bored, middle-class women of a certain physical genre" and added that women were "better at finding mustard in the pantry" than driving a car, The Independent reports.
Farage did not mention Bloom today or say if his move to assume a "much more direct, managerial role" was designed to impose more discipline on his MPs. But he did say the party's "energy" needed to be "managed and directed in the right way". ·