What's the point of Ukip now?

What is the point of the continued existence of Ukip now that voters endorsed the concept of Brexit in the referendum last June?
1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA
1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA

You might think they would quietly disperse under the banner of “mission accomplished”. But no. Ukip does not disperse and it does not do anything quietly.

At the moment, they are engaged in a bitter civil war of self-destruction that makes the troubles in the Labour Party seem tame by comparison.

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Ukip’s former leader Nigel Farage is having a blistering feud with the party’s only MP, Douglas Carswell, who is said to be inching back towards his former party the Tories again.

The mud has been flying in all directions as the two men hurl insult after insult at each other. If Carswell really does want to rejoin the Conservatives, which he denies, he could do that by simply announcing that and staying in Parliament. But that could bring his political career to an abrupt halt.

Meanwhile, Farage’s friendship with President Trump must do wonders for his already considerable ego, but I would doubt whether it will earn him brownie points anywhere else.

Elsewhere, businessman Arron Banks, Ukip’s biggest benefactor, has described the current leader Paul Nuttall as “weak” and claimed the party is being run like a squash club committee.

What an utter shambles!

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- If you are expecting an end-to-austerity Budget and a crash-bang-wallop spending spree, prepare for an acute shock.

Theresa May’s abrupt removal of George Osborne from the Treasury and the arrival of his replacement, the dour Philip Hammond, pictured, does not mean the Treasury’s fiscal policies are suddenly to be turned upside down. The UK economy has stood up well to the EU referendum result last June, but that is not a signal to untie the purse strings and spray money all over the place. However, with higher-than-expected tax receipts, Hammond should be able to undershoot his borrowing target, with the expectation of a £45bn windfall over the next five years. Hammond is not renowned as an all-singing, all-dancing politician, and he is unlikely to put the British nation in that mood either.