A question was asked of James if he felt that UKIP was a party of 'fruit cakes' and closet racists. I do not however agree with David Cameron in that all those who are members of UKIP are closet racists but the answer to the question was revealing.
James was quoted as saying:
"However if we have any closet racists as members they should be warned never to come out of the closet because they will be immediate disciplined and thrown out of the party"
Strong rhetoric, but is this strictly true? Since 2008, UKIP have had a policy whereby membership is not available to anyone who is or have previously been a member of the BNP, National Front, EDL and other like minded organisations.
Last month, Robert Ray, a UKIP councillor in Thurrock, was exposed as having a fascist past after a leaflet emerged showing that Cllr Ray had stood as a National Front candidate in 1977 for a ward in the London Borough of Newham.
It was revealed in the Echo this week that Cllr Ray joined UKIP in 2011.
Are you confused as to why Cllr Ray continues to be a UKIP councillor? Enter the explanation given by James Moyies. UKIP were unable to 'under English Law' to expel members of a political party so new rules were introduced last year so new members have to sign a declaration denying previous membership.
Based on this snippet, I decided to have a look on the UKIP website as to how people join the party. It was quite revealing. Yes, those wanting to join the party have to click to confirm that they have not belonged to BNP, National Front, EDL etc but they also have to abide to the UKIP constitution.
4.2.3 of the constitution states that UKIP can treat renewal of membership as if it was membership for the first time. This surely would have allowed UKIP to deal with Cllr Ray in 2012 and this year? The fact is UKIP didn't want to as Cllr Ray confirms that the UKIP hierarchy have give him the green light to continue.
James Moyies actions are also worth looking at. Whilst he described Cllr Ray's past as 'disappointing' and 'uncomfortable' he could not bring himself to condemn his membership of UKIP. I mean, how could he, as the article revealed, as Eastern Counties Chairman James set up a Thurrock branch last month with Cllr Ray an integral part.
Interestingly, a UKIP member alerted me to a recent conversation on his twitter feed from May this year.
Now if this is James Moyies committment to eradicating closet racists from within UKIP in Essex when Eastern Counties Chairman it can only be compared to the Captain of the Costa Concordia's committment to passenger safety!