Nigel Farage ‘dominant figure in Ukip’

Ukip leader Nigel Farage. Picture: Jane Barlow

Ukip leader Nigel Farage. Picture: Jane Barlow

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A SENIOR Ukip figure has appeared to suggest that Nigel Farage is a “control freak” in the way he runs the party.

Patrick O’Flynn said policy decisions were a “sort of collective operation” but Mr Farage is the “dominant figure” in the party.

The economic spokesman announced that Ukip could look at introducing a luxury goods levy - quickly dubbed the WAG tax - at the party’s annual conference but was slapped down within hours by the leader.

He told BBC One’s Sunday Politics “that one didn’t make the cut, no”.

Mr O’Flynn added: “It’s not just Nigel Farage, but clearly we have a party leader who leads, which is a bit of an innovation in contemporary politics.”

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He added: “I remember Tony Blair in my days as a journalist saying to me you are either a control freak or you have lost control.

“And, if you have to decide which side of that fence to go on then having control is probably the right option.”

Asked if that meant it was the “Nigel Farage show”, he replied: “Well, Nigel Farage is the dominant figure in the party who has transformed us from a 3% party to a 18/20 plus party.”

Mr O’Flynn dismissed the row that erupted earlier this week when Mr Farage suggested women could sit in the corner if they were breastfeeding, saying it was a “first world problem” that did not “particularly engage” him.

Meanwhile, the party has announced it is appointing a veteran BBC political producer to be its director of communications - a position previously held by Mr O’Flynn.

Paul Lambert, nicknamed Gobby, is well known in Westminster for chasing down under-fire politicians and putting them on the spot.

High-profile politicians, including Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, backed a “save Gobby” campaign on Twitter three years ago when his parliamentary pass was suspended after he broke rules by filming in the Commons in the aftermath of a foam pie attack on Rupert Murdoch.

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Former Conservative MP Louise Mensch also raised the ban in the Commons chamber.

Mr Lambert said: “Over the past few years I have been following the work of Ukip and Nigel Farage and I feel that he is changing British politics for the better.

“I am delighted to be able to add my experience to his team. He has been one of the best, most hard working and most normal political figures I have worked with, and trust me I have seen the lot.

“Ukip is today the place to be if you want to be a part of a party that is changing the face of British politics for the better, and providing a new, clear and honest voice.”

Mr Farage said: “I am delighted to welcome Paul to our team. Knowing him, and how effective he has always been in getting his message across he will fit Ukip like a glove. Drive, passion, hard work, honesty and immense good humour are the hallmarks of Paul. It’ll be fun working with him.”

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