UKIP deputy leader’s fury after Wirral meeting is cancelled “out of the blue”
Paul Nuttall says cancellation “smacks of a deliberate attempt to stifle our message to voters”
A UKIP politician has complained of being victimised after a Wirral hotel pulled the plug on a public meeting he was due to host just a week before the event.
MEP Paul Nuttall, from Bootle, who is the deputy leader of the party, reacted with anger at the sudden cancellation of his party’s public meeting at the Arrowe Park Hotel.
The heavily advertised meeting was due to take place on Thursday March 5, until hotel management cancelled it this week.
Mr Nuttall said the sudden cancellation is “completely out of order and smacks of a deliberate attempt to stifle our message to voters on the Wirral” after UKIP Wirral branch chairman, Phil Griffiths, said he had received a phone call “out of the blue” from hotel management saying that the booking for the upstairs function room had been taken in error.
He was told there was a regular booking for that room each Thursday and also that they do not take bookings from political organisations.
The meeting was to be addressed by Mr Nuttall, a high profile politician who regularly appears on TV and radio.
UKIP’s four candidates for the Wirral parliamentary constituencies were also due to attend.
Mr Nuttall said: “I find it hard to accept the hotel’s explanation as they were told when the booking was made last year that it was a UKIP public meeting and when the £70 deposit was paid mid-December it was with a UKIP cheque.
“It strikes me that the hotel may have been got at by Labour supporters who are keenly challenging Esther McVey in this marginal West Wirral constituency.
“Labour are running scared of UKIP because they know quite well that they are losing votes to us as more and more long time supporters are becoming disillusioned with their policies and attitude.
“It could be someone is trying to gag us and sabotage our plans for the Wirral but voters will see through any dirty trick campaigns against us. We have four excellent parliamentary candidates who will take votes from both Labour and the Conservatives and we are also, as usual, fighting all 22 council seats in May.”
When contacted, the Arrowe Park Hotel referred the ECHO to Greene King. A spokesperson for the pub chain said: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused by the late cancellation of this meeting. We will be reviewing the booking process with the pub.”
Liveraf Comment. Honestly folks, we had nothing to do with this. As a matter of fact, we were caught with our pants down for once, because we didn’t even know about the meeting. If we had, we’d have been ready to turn out in force with leaflets, banners etc, to wake up the public as to the dangers of UKIP. That, my friends, is the way to fight them, not by making surreptitious phone calls to the pub management.
In any event, what’s all this about Labour supporters running scared of UKIP? Those of us who loathe Esther McVey – known to many of her constituents as The Wicked Witch of Wirral West – would be delighted if the UKIP candidate split the vote and Esther lost her seat as a result.