Following hours of umming and ahing, Nigel Farage finally declared that he won't stand for election in the upcoming by-election in Newark, desperately insisting that he is still "a fighter". It is remarkable that the very man who claims he is not your typical politician, that he says what he thinks and does what he wants, only decided that he would not represent the residents of Newark after consulting internal political polling. Hardly the stuff of a principled and fearless man of the people. It is a surprise he didn't consult a focus group too.
Political commentators will churn up column inches debating whether he bottled it or not, and what impact this will have on Teflon Nigel. However, this debate misses the central point about UKIP - they hold the electorate in utter contempt.
In less than a month, there will be elections to the European Parliament to select the 73 Euro MPs fighting Britain's corner in Brussels. This is a hugely important role - the European Parliament has extensive powers to amend and approve legislation across a wide-range of important policy areas that directly affect the lives of British people from trading rules for British businesses to police cooperation to environmental, health and consumer protection. Every country within the EU is different and has its own traditions and cultures, and it is crucial that not only British ministers but also British Euro MPs work day in, day out to make sure that EU rules work effectively for British jobs, for fighting crime, for combating climate change and for projecting British values around the world.
That is what Liberal Democrat Euro MPs have spent the past five years achieving. It was Liberal Democrats who led the charge in launching trade negotiations with the USA and Japan worth billions to the British economy. It was Liberal Democrats who pushed through radical reforms which will end the scandalous practice of throwing perfectly good fish back into the sea. And where were UKIP's Euro MPs? Mostly they didn't bother turning up. Nigel Farage has only bothered to attend 43% of votes, ranked 759 out of 764 of all Euro MPs, and UKIP's Deputy Leader, Paul Nuttall, is even worse with 42% attendance, ranked 760th! And when they do turn up, UKIP have not lifted a finger to make sure EU rules work better for British fishermen and they refused to support the EU-US trade negotiations, which will create thousands of British jobs.
Nigel Farage's flirtation with standing as an MP in Newark is the latest example that UKIP want your votes in the European elections but they have no intention of representing their constituents when they get elected. UKIP have admitted that they have no interest in achieving anything as Euro MPs, they are only interested in leaving the EU and want to elect MPs to achieve this aim. Therefore, as soon as the general election comes into view, their Euro MPs will give up on their current jobs and try to be elected in Westminster. They simply aren't interested in fighting for a better deal for Britain in Europe. They do not care whether our smallest businesses create more jobs, if our fishermen can earn a living or if young Brits get career opportunities. A vote for UKIP in the European elections is a wasted vote.
If you do care about protecting our economic recovery and creating millions more jobs, it is only the Liberal Demcorats that are standing up for Britain in Europe. Labour and the Tories are simply missing in action, too scared of UKIP to put their head above the parapet. Only the Liberal Democrats will work day in, day out to secure a better future for this country because we know that being in Europe means being in work.