Another Tory blunder as they sign UKIP campaigner as member

Massive embarrassment for Croydon’s Conservatives – another one following #WadGate – as one of their Coulsdon councillors had to be told that one of his own local Tory party members is not only on the membership list for their political rivals UKIP, but has also been actively campaigning on behalf of Nigel Farage’s party.

Who's that at the back of the latest Croydon Conservatives meeting?

Who’s that who’s sneaked in at the back of the latest Croydon Conservatives’ party meeting?

The revelation came at the weekend, when Peter Staveley, UKIP’s parliamentary candidate for Croydon Central, sought to distance himself – not for the first time – from comments attributed to his UKIP counterpart for Croydon North, Winston “the Chump from the Dump” McKenzie.

McKenzie, or whoever it is who manages his Twitter account for him, had opposed proposals for 20mph speed limits in the borough’s residential streets, and in doing so chose to blame two victims of road accidents in Coulsdon for their tragic fates. This comment was then repeated by a host of UKIP-tagged trolling accounts for wards in Croydon and Lambeth.

“Obviously I disown everything that @WinstonMcK (ie Peter Morgan) has said, certainly on 20mph,” Staveley responded on social media.

This remark was seen by Mario Creatura, the thrusting new Tory councillor for Coulsdon West. “Peter Morgan from Coulsdon? Is he a member of yours?” the gobby fac totum asked.

Staveley responded by saying that Morgan – who has been well-known throughout Croydon for many years for his role in the successful campaign against the last Tory council’s parking proposals – was indeed a UKIP member.

“He’s also a Conservative member,” Creatura stated publicly on Twitter (which may have been a breach of confidentiality over revealing party members’ affiliations without their consent). “Against rules for anyone to be in more than one,” said Creatura, who holds down a state-funded full-time job as the social media fag for MP Gavin Barwell.

Whoops! The shortage of members and campaigners in Croydon Tories has been known for some time, and was reflected in their lack of manpower when it came to canvassing for the local elections earlier this year. But signing up people who are also UKIP members may be something of a first, even by Croydon Tories’ standards of incompetence.

“I’ve always thought it is a healthy thing to be a member of more than one political party,” former Tory MP, now Labour councillor, Andrew Pelling, told Inside Croydon with intended irony. “But rather like Winston Churchill, I’ve always believed its best to be a member of only one party at a time.”

According to Staveley, Morgan is persona non grata in UKIP’s Croydon Central and South branch, having been banned from meetings two years ago for being disruptive while also refusing to campaign openly for the party. His parallel membership of the Conservatives may have made that a little awkward.

Morgan is also an active member of CCC, the so-called “Croydon Communities Consortium”, which received a £5,000 council grant from the former Tory administration on the strict proviso that it is apolitical. Morgan was the organiser of several election hustings events across the borough ahead of May’s local elections, some of which he chaired, some of which were chaired by a colleague from CCC. At none of which did Morgan declare any political affiliation. Or affiliations.

The council’s Labour administration may want to take a close look at CCC’s apolitical membership – Staveley is openly on the committee – and reconsider whether its activities warrant the spending of any public money.

Peter Staveley: uncomfortable with McKenzie's and Morgan's social media rants

Peter Staveley: uncomfortable with McKenzie’s and Morgan’s social media rants

This is not just a recent gaffe by the Tories. Morgan has been a member of UKIP for 10 years.

UKIP’s rules differ from the major political parties in that they allow membership of other parties, although members of other parties cannot be candidates or hold office within UKIP.

According to Staveley, Morgan has busied himself by running a string of faceless and barely coherent UKIP-tagged Twitter troll accounts, seemingly in support of another gadfly of local politics, McKenzie.

The spat on Twitter over the 20mph policy was the latest sign of the deep rift in UKIP in Croydon: Staveley is clearly frustrated that his efforts to have his party taken seriously are constantly undermined by McKenzie’s half-baked stunts, such as May’s “Croydon Carnival”, and by Morgan’s social media rants.

Creatura is understood to have taken up Morgan’s secret political double life with the local Tory party’s agent. Can an expulsion be far off?

But with the Conservative party nationally troubled by hundreds of desertions and facing a parliamentary by-election next month when a former Tory MP, Douglas Carswell, is likely to be elected to Westminster on behalf of UKIP, the fact that in Croydon they are unaware that they have paid-up Farage supporters in their midst at their meetings and on their mailing lists must be hugely embarrassing.


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Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 407,847 page views (Jan-Jun 2014) If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Coulsdon, Coulsdon West, Croydon Central, Croydon North, Mario Creatura, Parking, Peter Staveley, Winston McKenzie and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Another Tory blunder as they sign UKIP campaigner as member

  1. davidcallam says:

    The Conservative Party and Ukip are interchangeable, surely?

    • davidjl2014 says:

      Nonsense. The Conservative Party are largely a pro European political institution. They believe in this federal Europe that is slowly enforcing itself on everyone in this country. The basis of UKIP is to remove ourselves from this horror. Now the issue of whether or not McKenzie or Staveley see eye to eye about traffic humps has nothing whatsoever to do with the broader picture. The main issue is the Uk’s continued membership of the EU and this site can carry on throwing as much sh*t at the wall about UKIP and it’s members as they like. But UKIP want out, in the best interests of this country. Having achieved a resounding result nationally in the recent EU elections indicates the British people want that too. But with no help from the Conservative Party. So much for Interchangeable Politicians. Best ask Andrew Pelling about that, what flag will he wave when the Labour Party have had enough of him like the Conservatives did?

  2. mraemiller says:

    ““I’ve always thought it is a healthy thing to be a member of more than one political party,” former Tory MP, now Labour councillor, Andrew Pelling, told Inside Croydon with intended irony. “But rather like Winston Churchill, I’ve always believed its best to be a member of only one party at a time.””

    We noticed that when he used to come to Labour party fundraisers while still being a member of the Conservative party

  3. davidcallam says:

    “The Conservative Party are largely a pro-European political institution.”

    What a laugh! I did chortle at that. You must think the rest of us came down in the last shower of rain.

    The Tories are champing at the bit to do deals with Ukip, particularly if they involve ditching the EU.

    Fortunately, the majority of the population sees the advantage of remaining in the Union, albeit reluctantly in many cases. And that’s before business puts its money behind a pro-Europe referendum campaign.

    Not that a referendum is likely to materialise. In truth, Ukip will be lucky to win more than six seats in next year’s General Election and the Tories will be even luckier to win an overall majority. Any other scenario will see a referendum kicked into the long grass for at least another five years. Meanwhile with every passing month we become more firmly integrated into the European family, thank goodness.

    Do we need to make changes to the EU structures? Certainly. Should we negotiate them with our partners within the EU? Of course, that’s the common sense approach.

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