UK Independence Party donor and Leave.EU co-founder Arron Banks has said that he has been suspended by the party.
Understand my UKIP membership has been suspended. Interesting times lie ahead …
— Arron Banks (@Arron_banks) March 14, 2017
In following Tweets, Mr Banks, in response to a user who suggested he start a new party, said: “UKIP 2.0, the force awakens…” and also wrote that his suspension was: “apparently for saying current leadership couldn’t knock the skin off a rice pudding”.
Mr Banks has previously said that he is willing to form a new movement, and has released a statement on Westmonster.com – a website he co-owns with Nigel Farage’s former Head of Communications, Michael Heaver – to this effect, saying:
“UKIP has somehow managed to allow my membership to lapse this year despite having given considerably more than the annual membership fee over the past 12 months.
“On reapplying I was told my membership was suspended pending my appearance at a NEC meeting.
“Apparently, my comments about the party being run like a squash club committee and Mr Carswell have not gone down well.
“I now realise I was being unfair to squash clubs all over the UK and I apologise to them.
“We will now be concentrating on our new movement.”
Mr Banks recently criticised what he described as “the Tory cabal” that he believes is running the party, and offered to become Party Chairman in an open letter to Paul Nuttall, the party’s leader.