Jill resigns from the UK Independence Party
This morning I have announced my resignation from UKIP, and will sit as a Brexit Party MEP for the remainder of my mandate. This is the official announcement, below:
PRESS RELEASE, April 15, 2019
West Midlands MEP Jill Seymour has resigned from the UK Independence Party after 18 years of loyal service, and become a member of the Brexit Party.
Jill said she was proud to have helped UKIP grow from strength to strength under the leadership of Nigel Farage, leading up to its success at the 2014 European elections.
But she said the current UKIP, under the leadership of Gerard Batten, had now abandoned its centre ground and chosen to instead occupy ‘the extreme right of politics’.
“I am not walking away from the party’s original core principles, but the present party’s direction means it has walked away from me, and its original membership,” she said.
“I shall now be sitting as an officially designated Brexit Party MEP for the remainder of my mandate in the European Parliament.”
She added: “It is a disgrace that we are even in a position to be talking about having European elections once again, but I would ask everyone who believes in democracy, and honouring the result of the 2016 referendum, to show the political establishment they are disgusted with the betrayal of Brexit by this Government, and go out and vote, believing in Great Britain and its independence.”
Jill’s husband Brian Seymour, a dedicated member and UKIP donor for more than 20 years, has also resigned from his lifetime membership of the party.
Jill said: “Under Nigel Farage’s leadership, UKIP gained brand recognition, and an army of stalwart supporters.
“It was the hard work of the grassroots membership who helped me, and my colleagues, to persuade the British public to vote overwhelmingly for UKIP in the 2014 European elections.
“No one person should ever be bigger than a political party, but sadly I believe that Mr Batten will be instrumental in its demise.”
She accused Mr Batten of attempting to ‘bully’ her into leaving the EFDD ‘Brexit Group’ in the European Parliament, and follow him into a rival far-right affiliation.
“It was suggested that, if I did not do this, it would be a black mark against me. I do not appreciate being bullied by what is clearly just an attempted points-scoring exercise against Mr Farage and his new Brexit Party.”
Jill stepped down as UKIP Transport spokesman at the end of last year, saying she felt unable to remain a member of Mr Batten’s front-bench team which was changing direction, associating itself with extremist characters, and using language which incited hate.
“I wanted to honour my earlier promises to the electorate, feeling it was against my principles to resign from the party altogether, and I have tried to do the honourable thing. But as a politician of strong principles, I now find my position untenable.
“I still see genuine people in UKIP who believe in my values, and will give their last breath to protect those values. But UKIP officials have left a bitter taste in the mouths of many loyal and dedicated past and present members, who now seek a new type of party.
“It is the Brexit Party that will return our country from the European Union, and deliver true democracy.”