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Last Updated: Friday, 21 January, 2005, 08:06 GMT
Kilroy hints at political rebirth
Sketch
Mark Sanders
BBC News, at Hinckley, Leicestershire

Political movements have to start somewhere and I guess the Hinckley golf club is as good a place as any.

Robert Kilroy-Silk
Mr Kilroy-Silk drops heavy hints of a new party
This venue was where Robert Kilroy-Silk would throw off the shackles of UKIP and finally be free to show us his vision for British politics.

The fact that the bar would be open at the back of the function room would be an added bonus.

About 60 people gathered to listen to Robert Kilroy-Silk resign from a party he had joined only last spring.

Golden opportunity

His speech couldn't really be described as bowing out gracefully.

Like many a whirlwind romance, UKIP's relationship with Mr Kilroy-Silk blossomed in the spring

Robert Kilroy-Silk said the party's leadership had squandered a golden opportunity to reach out to the electorate in the months following its success in last June's Euro election.

He accused the party's high command of sitting on their "backsides" in Brussels doing nothing as politics went past them.

The chair of UKIP later retorted in a BBC interview that the party was better off without Robert Kilroy-Silk and that he had resigned that night before he was pushed out.

Robert Kilroy-Silk
The ex chat show host rallies his supporters
Here I really must say that I find this trading of insults in public demeans politics and politicians and distracts us from the important issues this country faces.

But I'd be lying. It's immense fun to watch a good old row between former political colleagues - I really must wean myself off this guilty pleasure.

So now that Mr Kilroy-Silk was leaving the party he had once been so eager to lead, what about the future?

Robert has been playing footsie with the media (hold that thought), dropping some pretty heavy hints he is about to form a new party.

The word is that it will be called Veritas - Latin for "truth".

Some in UKIP have dubbed it Vanitas.

New party

Mr Kilroy-Silk did not confirm whether he intended to start a new party called truth but towards the end of his speech he used the word truth in practically every other sentence.

And he stressed that he would be campaigning at the general election but still no announcement of a new party. You tease, Robert!

After his speech the lean and bronzed former Labour MP moved among us pasty-faced hacks doing a round of interviews.

Trying to interview Robert Kilroy-Silk is like throwing pebbles into Niagara.

You lob a question at him and it is quickly consumed by a torrent of rhetoric.

Robert Kilroy-Silk is now an independent MEP.

But he always seemed pretty independent even when he was in UKIP.

He is now able to craft a new party in his own image.

What I witnessed at Hinckley golf club was a small step for the tan but one giant leap for tankind.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Robert Kilroy-Silk speaks about his resignation




SEE ALSO:
Kilroy quits UKIP group of MEPs
27 Oct 04 |  Politics
Major warns Tories against UKIP
24 Oct 04 |  Politics
UKIP branches 'reject Kilroy bid'
20 Oct 04 |  Politics
Profile: Robert Kilroy-Silk MEP
20 Jan 05 |  Politics


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