This site has been covering with some interest the current row over whether or not the Conservative Party faces a dangerous ‘Blue Momentum’ takeover via the membership.
Only yesterday, we noted that any recent increase in membership must be at least in part of CCHQ’s own recruitment drive – and that Brandon Lewis’s own association has welcomed UKIP defections with open arms. Our editor has also explored the difficulties involved in trying to prevent UKIP supporters from joining the Tories.
But in at least one corner of the country, the Party seems to be doing just that. Alan Day, a former UKIP candidate perhaps better known by his social media handle ‘Kilsally’, has had his application vetoed by the Mid Ulster Conservatives.
My application of the 8th August for membership of the Conservative & Unionist Party ad been rejected. I have no convictions. I work full time as a Tech Manager in the Security industry, I have previously voted Scottish Conservative. Not a member of any party for over 2 years. pic.twitter.com/zdnilViMi3
— Kilsally (Alan Day) (@Kilsally) August 31, 2018
Before allowing his membership to lapse after the EU referendum, Day was a UKIP candidate in Mid-Ulster at the council, Assembly, and Westminster level, although he claims to have supported a range of parties previously including the Tories, Democratic Unionists, and Referendum Party.
There is much we don’t know about this specific case. For example, did the spur to block Day’s application come from an alarm bell at CCHQ, or from somebody in the (sadly small) world of Ulster Conservatism? Some sources suggest that Mid-Ulster doesn’t even have enough members to form an association, which raises the question over who made the decision.
More importantly, was the justification that Day had previously been an active UKIP figure in that constituency, or was it unrelated?
What is clear, however, is that CCHQ is not just blocking the applications of high-profile trolls such as Aaron Banks. How many other would-be members, without the platform of Kilsally’s social media profile, have received similar letters?