Controversial MEP Bill Etheridge quit UKIP over criticisms and concerns he had over Gerrard Batten’s leadership and decided to join the Libertarian Party just four days later. He now serves as the parties deputy chairman.
Etheridge has been at odds with Gerrard Batten and new populist direction UKIP is taking, he describes himself as a natural libertarian and believes that UKIP under Batten’s leadership is moving away from those values that are listed in the party constitution.
Bill, has also been very critical on Gerrard Batten’s new stance in regards Islam which he describes as: “attacking an entire religion as if everyone who believes in it is the same.”
Bill Etheridge wrote article on Westmonster detailing his reasons for leaving UKIP and joining the Libertarian Party:
“I resigned from UKIP on Tuesday and joined the UK Libertarian Party four days later. As far as I am concerned, I switched labels but remained true to my beliefs – for UKIP has left me, not the other way around.”
“In its constitution in 2010, UKIP declares itself a libertarian party. That constitution is still in force. However, you would not know it from a UKIP Leader advocating state ownership and control – which has to be paid for with higher taxes – and attacking an entire religion as if everyone who believes in it is the same. How can hundreds of millions of people all be regarded as identical in their beliefs – subscribing to what he calls a ‘death cult’? That is absurd.”
“Therefore, I decided I had to switch to a real libertarian party, which fits principles held my entire adult life. Where to go?”
2In my office are photos of Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. If the Conservative Party was remotely the party of these political giants, I might still be in it. But we, the electorate, face a choice between Corbynite Marxism and pastel pink Maybot social democracy also advocating more regulation and taxation – but just not as much as Corbyn.”
Bill, also claimed: “I have joined a party which may be small but stands for what I have always stood for – and which I believe Thatcher and Churchill stood for too.”
Libertarian Party leader, Adam Brown had this to say about Bill Etheridge joining the Party:
“We are delighted to have Bill join us. We often speak to members of other parties who consider themselves Libertarian and have become increasingly dissatisfied with politics within these parties and are defecting to us.
“It is great to be able to give this Libertarian a voice in our party and we welcome those from other parties, who consider themselves Libertarians, to do the same.”
Bill Etheridge was once a councillor in Dudley and even stood for Police & Crime Commissioner, he contested local council elections four times, he won back in 2014, and has stood for parliamentary elections twice.
Libertarian Party Chairman, Andrew Withers also spoke out on Bill joining the party:
“I see this move as a sea change in our profile and welcome Bill’s campaigning expertise and also thank him for his hospitality in Brussels last month.
“The Libertarian Party advocate a written constitution similar to that of Switzerland, where state control ends and the rights and responsibilities of citizens begin.”
Bill Etheridge is certainly not on-board with UKIP on many issues, he even released a press statement denouncing Boris Johnson’s comments on the Burka.
I think Bill Etheridge leaving UKIP will be seen as something that is long overdue by many party members and supporters. He has led an extremely controversial tenure as an active political figure within the UKIP establishment even going as far as to deny party orders and visit Crimea which is of course occupied by Russia.
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