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Nikki Sinclaire: Nigel Farage Is A Bullying, Hypocritical, Preening Show Pony

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Nigel Farage is a bullying, hypocritical, preening show pony: Sex change MEP who clashed with her ex-boss argues why he's a disgrace to UKIP - and to intelligent women like her

  • Nikki Sinclaire was a UKIP activist for 15 years before becoming an MEP
  • Saw Farage is the reason there are more former members than current
  • Claims he pressured her into signing votes against her judgement and will
  • Last week claimed he employed mistress and wife at taxpayers' expense


I grew up thinking that it would impossible for me to have a career in politics.

I was a transsexual who lived on a council estate and attended a school where a teacher once gleefully led the laughter in class after I said I wanted to become an MP.

I never thought I would prove them wrong.

Much of my early life was dominated by uneasiness with my body. I eventually received treatment in my early 20s and became the woman I had always known I was.

I refused to discuss this in public. Was I afraid of ridicule, or that my political views might not subsequently be taken seriously? Perhaps. I also did not want 'Sex-Change MEP' to be the default start to every headline.

I had taken much inspiration from Margaret Thatcher. To me, her message was clear: personal responsibility, hard work, conviction and the ability to achieve regardless of background.

I met her in 2008, a year before my election as an MEP and told her that I was going to get my country back from the EU. She said: 'Never give up! However long it takes.'

I was elected to Brussels in June 2009 for UKIP, a party I had been a leading activist with for 15 years.

It had been a long journey from foot soldier up through the ranks to the national executive committee, party secretary, political adviser and finally MEP. Once elected, I could fight the EU from within.

But I soon discovered why UKIP has far more former members than current members – Nigel Farage.

Nigel and I were always at opposite ends of an eternally feuding party. He was a key player in all UKIP's civil wars. It was his way of dividing and conquering, and shedding his political opponents.

Today he is on non-speaking terms with four out of the previous six UKIP leaders. In addition, more than 75 NEC members have resigned over UKIP's 20-year history, and nearly all cite Nigel as the reason.

Last week, Miss Sinclaire accused Nigel Farage of employing his wife and his 'mistress' Annabelle Fuller (right)

Nigel struggles to get on with anyone. People would often face the wrath of his henchmen. He would make late-night phone calls to manipulate NEC members to vote in a certain way.

During meetings he would throw tantrums and threaten to resign if he didn't get his own way.

'I just want to give up,' he would shout. 'This f****** party – I don't know why I bother.' The threats would work: party rules were frequently rewritten at Nigel's behest.

I once remarked that I thought Nigel had only ever read one novel and that was George Orwell's Animal Farm – an allegory about Stalinism. I quipped that he took it as an instruction manual in how to run UKIP.

Trying to organise UKIP is not l ike organising a political party. It is more about organising the events that surround one man's ego.

The BBC once ran a piece on him accompanied by the soundtrack to XTC's Making Plans For Nigel. It should be UKIP's anthem.

I once remarked that Nigel had only ever read one novel: George Orwell's Animal Farm - an allegory about Stalinism - and took it as an instruction manual in how to run UKIP

I first came across his spin doctor Annabelle Fuller when she volunteered at UKIP's headquarters in Birmingham in May 2004. I had been tipped off that she was potentially a troublemaker, so I gave her mundane office tasks.

I soon learned what her personality was like – definitely a devoted Faragista, but, I would argue, highly eccentric and lacking in political acumen.

Nigel was not comfortable with me. I once remember a group of MEPs going out for a meal in Brussels and then ending up in a bar on Place Luxembourg.

A UKIP MEP was making a fool of himself by coming on to a much younger female assistant.

Nigel must have seen the disapproval on my face as he came over and said: 'What happens over here stays over here.' It was a typical Nigel warning.

A more direct threat was made when I objected to UKIP's inclusion in a new European Parliament grouping which included some very Right-wing politicians, some of whom had convictions for violence.

Nigel needed me to sign up in order for the group to get extra money from the EU for communications – without me it would be one short of 30 MEPs required to get higher levels of funding.

He told everyone that I would cost the party £500,000 by not signing up.

To my utter shame I signed the next morning. This was not the first time – nor would it be the last – that I feel that I was bullied by Nigel Farage.

As UKIP MEPs, we held informal meetings, chaired by Nigel as party leader. One meeting will always stick in my mind.

We were discussing finances, and this led to a wider discussion as to how EU funding should be spent.

But I had a few detailed questions about UKIP's money – each of our 13 MEPs received €76,000 a year from the EU's communications budget, or £63,000 (that's €5 million over a parliamentary term).

I challenged him as to whether we would see accounts, and where the money was going. Nigel was furious. His answers were dismissive but I continued to push.

Nigel flipped. His fist suddenly hammered down on to the table in front of me. I felt the rush of air past my face and jerked backwards. I was trembling.

'Stop it!' he screeched. 'You are interrupting the meeting, you are interrupting me, and if you don't stop I'll ask you to leave.'

He shamed me into a voting for something I was against. He told everyone I would cost the party £500,000 if I didn't sign

By the end of 2009, after more of Nigel's abusive, insulting behaviour towards me, I said I wished to resign from the group.

Once again he tried to use intimidation to prevent me leaving. After my resignation in January 2010 he went straight to the BBC and began criticising me.

The party removed the 'whip' and I became an independent MEP.

Soon after David Cameron became Prime Minister in May 2010, he said he 'didn't want to bang on about Europe'. I noticed a section in the Coalition agreement that said if a 100,000-signature petition was submitted it may be considered for debate in the Commons.

So I set up a campaign calling for a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU that collected much more than the required number of signatures.

We duly forced a debate in 2011 during which 81 Tory MPs defied a three-line whip by supporting calls for a referendum.

Neither UKIP nor Nigel Farage supported the campaign. Yet on the day of the debate, he sought to claim the credit. I later challenged him, pointing out that he was not one of the signatories. He belatedly scribbled his name on the petition.

All of a sudden the party was interested in taking me back. Chief executive Steve Crowther invited me to a meeting with Nigel at the Goring Hotel in London.

I was offered a place on UKIP's list for this year's European elections in exchange for the petition's database. This would have breached data protection laws and negotiations broke down.

Farage is a hypocrite and a bully. He talks a good game, but in 15 years as an MEP he – unlike me – cannot point to one tangible achievement that has moved an 'In/Out' referendum closer.

He has no time for intelligent women. He is fine with adoring, submissive females, but not those who stand up to him.

There is no woman in a senior position in UKIP now who was in that post five years ago.

When I was the only woman on the NEC, the committee would hold meetings in the bars of gentlemen's clubs – I was not permitted to join them.

My intervention in the European Parliament last week – where I asked Nigel about the claim that he employs his wife Kirsten and 'former mistress' using taxpayers' money – wrongfooted a normally savvy and quick-thinking politician.

He failed to use his parliamentary right of reply to instantly dismiss the allegations, or offer an explanation. Instead, Nigel left it to his spin doctors in an attempt to deflect the question.

UKIP members are fantastic people. Unfortunately, they are lions led by a preening show pony

Yes, I have been on bail since 2012 over allegations of fraud. I strenuously deny the claims. I have audited accounts that show that I have ploughed more than £100,000 of my own post-tax salary since 2009 back into my work as an MEP. The truth will out.

There have been smears aplenty from Farage's office, including that I am a coward for using parliamentary privilege to make claims about Nigel, his wife and Annabelle.

They forget that Nigel used this same privilege in 2004 when making accusations against European Commissioner Jacques Barrot. Others claim I'm an embittered ex-UKIP MEP. I'm hardly alone there!

I did not become an MEP to make history. I sought election to stand up for the silent majority, those whose voices are ignored by the arrogant political class.

UKIP does not do this. UKIP members are fantastic people. Unfortunately, they are lions led by a preening show pony.

It is a shame that a party set up on principles has allowed itself to become one man's ego trip. The future of our country is more important than that.

Representing the We Demand A Referendum Now Party, I am hopeful of re-election. It is my list of political achievements, not my personal struggles, for which I hope to be recognised and remembered.

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So she doesnt like Farage?!

To be fair to UKIP, she always seemed to be treated like 'just another MEP'

If liebour had got ahold of the 'sex change MEP' she'd be paraded like a trophy to make some sort of political point about liebours 'inclusiveness'.

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Churchill was a manic depressive and an alcoholic.

Roosevelt, Kennedy and Lloyd George were serial adulterers.

These are the sort of people we want in politics - not the dullards we have now. Farage is flawed - but all the greatest politicians are.

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  • 405 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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