POLITICS

Ukip Risks 'Morphing' Into Tories Under Nigel Farage, Warns Godfrey Bloom

18/10/2013 12:29 BST | Updated 18/10/2013 17:32 BST
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LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20: Godfrey Bloom MEP sits in the audience before addressing delegates during the UKIP annual conference on September 20, 2013 in London, England. Members of the United kingdom Independent Party have gathered at Central Hall, Westminster, for their annual conference. Party Leader Nigel Farage in his keynote speach earlier said, that the party will come first in next year's European elections, saying it is 'growing up' after success in local elections. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Ukip is losing its "radical" edge under Nigel Farage's leadership and risks "morphing" into the same as the big three parties, former Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom has warned.

"There is now a huge force in the party to be a Conservative Party which isn't in the European Union. If we suddenly start morphing into what the others are like, only with an out-of-Europe policy, it won't work," he told the Huffington Post UK.

Bloom warned that the only Ukip policy voters are aware of is their aim to withdraw from the European Union, adding: "anything else on top of that is really a bit outside the mainstream".

He said the Tory drift came from political defectors who have "brought that baggage", adding that "radical, libertarian" thinking "no longer reflects the mainstream [of Ukip]".

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The controversial MEP now sits as an Independent for Yorkshire and Humber after a furore at UKIP's conference when he jokingly called a room full of women "sluts" and hit the Channel 4 journalist Michael Crick over the head with a conference programme.

"If you live in Notting Hill and eat brown rice and read the Guardian, it’s your job to be outraged at any UKIP representative in the same way it’s my job to bait them because they’re all so very silly," he quipped.

The MEP spoke to the Huffington Post UK to mark the publication of his autobiography "A Guinea A Minute". He revealed that he tried to resign from Ukip a year ago due to "fundamental differences" with Nigel Farage but was dissuaded by his local committee. "We had been drifting apart for two years on matters of how the party should be run and on policy." he added.

Bloom suggested the Ukip leadership stripped him of his party whip in order to "appease the media", adding: "We are now worried what [Guardian commentator] Polly Toynbee might say and that is a serious issue that Ukip are going to have again. The only reason people come to UKIP is because we're not like the others."

The independent MEP said he felt there was "no future for me" in Ukip after the party chairman, Steve Crowther, publicly criticised him for advocating "radical" policies.

"Clearly there's no future for me in the party when the chairman, an ex-LibDem who believes he should have an interest in policy and not count the paperclips which is what he was employed to do, now feels he is entitled to criticise me when I talk about radical or libertarian policies, it's something I simply don't tolerate."

In his book, Bloom accused the UKIP leadership of "throwing a noose over the nearest beam" as the furore broke about his "sluts" remark, rather than "putting any number of articulate women on [the media]".

Speaking to HuffPostUK, Bloom warned that Nigel Farage was in danger of losing his "political touch" because he has been too busy to spend time in the pub.

"Nigel's political touch was based on the fact that he what people were thinking in the pub. He can't do that now because of the force majeure."

He said that he was still personally on good terms with Farage, with whom he shares a flat in Brussels, recounting an evening they spent getting "completely pissed" last week.

"When was I out in Brussels? Wednesday? Thursday night? [Nigel and I] We got completely pissed in an Irish pub.

In a joking reference to his quote that he wanted "women to clean behind the fridge", Bloom added: "The fridge is still dirty now because the lady hasn't been in to sort it out but we did what we always do, we drank a bucket load of beer, and wine and talked about military history."

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