After Farage's resignation I was at a loss. Who would be the next leader of UKIP and who had the vision to take us forward as a political party? Steve Woolfe is great MEP and a stalwart of UKIP but do not appeal to me and with Suzanne Evan's leadership bid being blocked I had no idea who I saw as the leader of UKIP. There was nobody who was suspected to stand who I could put my utter faith in to take UKIP forward, rebrand and fight tooth and nail for Brexit.
That was until Jonathan Arnott MEP through his hat into the ring. Jonathan has a true vision for UKIP, we are no longer a party of protest but a party for the future of the United Kingdom. No means no and that is regardless of the views of Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn, we as a party must fight to secure the best deal possible for the United Kingdom outside of the European Union.
Jonathan's visions for UKIP are exactly what I hoped a candidate would announce. We must reach out to the 13.6 million people who voted to leave on June the 23rd but did not vote for UKIP in the general election. The traditional Labour voters especially in the North East (the area where Jonathan is an MEP for) have been abandoned by the champagne socialists who have completely forgotten the working class that they claim to represent. They are too busy holding secret meetings and internal infighting.
Conservative voters will also be looking for something new along with some of their membership because of one women, Theresa May. Her chief of staff is Stephen Parkinson worked for Vote Leave, this shows the true moral standing of some elitist Conservatives. Their payroll is more important than their values, they do not need to care about what really happens to this country as inside their little bubble everything will always be fine. The Conservative party's membership will not stand for appointing a prime minister through the backdoor; UKIP should be willing and ready to take these hardworking activists and with Jonathan we will be. The Conservative party have denied the British public the best opportunity to get the best possible deal when leaving the European Union and they will not forgive or forget if the negotiations are screwed up.
As Jonathan said, the British people need to see a credible plan for Brexit, how we will create jobs and how we will deal with crime. They need a party which helps the workers, rewards hard work and supports SMEs. We as a party need to empower women and allow stay-at-home mums who want to work get there through improving our education system which is currently failing them. UKIP is not anti-immigration, it is anti-uncontrolled mass net immigration. The powers will soon flood back from Brussels to Westminster and this power needs to then, through devolution, come back to the people.
Nobody can become the new Farage, he was a one off. He fought 7 days a week, 18 hours a day to give us this referendum. He created and connected with UKIPs core voters and is one of the best orators of our time and Jonathan knows that this will be hard to emulate. He wants to do things differently, drawing on the vast talents, skills and expertise within UKIP. A team-based approach would bring even more democracy into UKIPs internal structures and give volunteers in UKIP the opportunity to shine.
However to appeal to the 13.6 million voters that voted to leave but not for UKIP we need a strategy and Jonathan knows that. He is ready to establish task-forces for a variety of upcoming elections. Defending the council seats won in 2013 is a starting point, one for by-elections and obviously for the 2020 general election with contingency plans in place in case of an early general election. He understands the need for funding and fundraising which is a necessity for target seats such as Hartlepool in 2020. UKIPs message needs to develop, the quality of the literature needs to improve as do campaign materials. The constitution needs to be updated, bringing power back to the party membership with continued development on the party website as well as reforming the membership structure. Jonathan knows that the leader's job is to provide direction and accountability at every stage but not to micromanage it.
These ideas are the exact reason I joined UKIP, a party for the people without elitism where everyone has a voice and is allowed an opinion, with no whips and no "party line" but modernising and becoming more professional will increase UKIP's chances in the future, we are no longer protesting the establishment and this vision from Jonathan will take the party forward and make us the unstoppable force we can be.