Kurten absent as Bolton unveils UK Independence Party shadow cabinet Had been promised Deputy Leader role

New UK Independence Party leader Henry Bolton has announced his shadow cabinet, and has named MEP Margot Parker as his Deputy Leader.

The decision to appoint Parker, 74, has surprised many as London Assembly member David Kurten was promised the role by Bolton during during the party’s leadership contest, which Bolton won last month at the party’s annual conference in Torquay. Fellow MEPs Mike Hookem and James Carver have been appointed Assistant Deputy leaders.

Kurten, 46, has been a member of the London Assembly since 2016 and came third in the leadership contest. A qualified chemistry teacher, Kurten has also acted as the party’s Education Spokesman, but decided against retaining the post in this reshuffle. In a statement issued on his Twitter feed, Kurten said that Bolton made the promise at an “official hustings in Birmingham, and to my understanding, branch meetings in Wales and Salisbury.”

“It was public knowledge that Henry said I would be deputy had he won, but he’s made the decision to appoint Margot Parker. This is disappointing on a personal level but I wish her well,” Kurten told NMC, adding: “I’ve decided not to continue as the Education Spokesman given the circumstances, and to move on to other things.”

Asked if he will continue his role on the London Assembly, Kurten said he “will of course continue in the Assembly. We have the task of putting the Mayor (Sadiq Khan) under pressure and I was elected to do such a thing and shall carry-on doing so.”

Asked on his thoughts on the shadow cabinet, Kurten noted that the list “is dominated by MEPs. It would have been nice to have seen some more new faces but it’s up to Henry to make those decisions and I wish the team well.”

Kurten’s stock within UKIP has risen since his election to the Assembly, and is known for his humourous and informative speeches which is popular with many of the party’s supporters. The decision not to appoint him Deputy was met with negative responses on social media.

Editor of Breitbart London, Raheem Kassam, said that Bolton’s reneging of the promise to appoint Kurten “is deeply disappointing and causes a loss of trust,” adding in a further Tweet that “if I were David I would defect or go independent at this point.”

Fellow London AM Peter Whittle has been appointed the Spokesman for UKIP in London; Paul Oakden remains as Chairman but in an “interim” capacity, and Jonathan Arnott MEP has been appointed as Bolton’s Political Advisor.

Full UKIP shadow cabinet:

Deputy Leader Margot Parker MEP
Asst Deputy Leader Jim Carver MEP
Asst Deputy Leader Mike Hookem MEP
Interim Chairman Paul Oakden
Political Adviser Jonathan Arnott MEP
Leader of UKIP in Wales Neil Hamilton AM
Leader of UKIP in Scotland David Coburn MEP
Spokesman for UKIP in London Peter Whittle AM
MEP Delegation Leader Ray Finch MEP
Home Affairs/Police & Fire Jane Collins MEP
Justice Peter Jewell
Immigration & Integration John Bickley
Cyber & Terrorism Richard Bingley
Treasury Jonathan Arnott MEP
Aid and Intl Development Margot Parker MEP
Business Christopher Mills
Small Business Ernie Warrender
Trade & Industry William Dartmouth MEP
Employment Andrew Charalambous
Transport & Infrastructure Jill Seymour MEP
Energy Jonathan Bullock MEP
Agriculture Stuart Agnew MEP
Fisheries Mike Hookem MEP
Environment Dr Julia Reid MEP
Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs Ray Finch MEP
Defence Henry Bolton
Veterans Mike Hookem MEP
Health Dr Julia Reid MEP
Culture & Arts David Meacock
Communities & Local Government Tim Aker MEP
Equalities & Disabilities Cllr Star Anderton
Exiting the European Union/BREXIT Gerard Batten MEP
Electoral Reform David Allen
Sport Bill Etheridge MEP


Jack Oliver Smith is an Associate Editor of New Media Central. Follow him on Twitter @MisterJackSmith