Anne Marie Waters:
“She personifies a change which has come about in recent years, I think she has something to contribute. I’m keen to have her as part of a broad based team of leadership. What we can’t do is replicate the Farage model of leadership where everything is focused upon one man, Henry Bolton is not that kind of character and we do need to compliment each other’s skills by having an effective team leadership.”
So do you think he can unite the party?
“I think he can, yes. He doesn’t come from a faction, as far as I’m aware he’s got no real political history, so I think that’s a good thing, he starts with a clean sheet.”
Is it fair to say, since he got 29.5% and that combined with him being other peoples 2nd choice would then back him?
“Well he won by a significant margin over Anne Marie Waters so there can be no doubt about the authority that he carries and I do think that there would be very few people, if anybody at all who has any grudge or an axe to grind against him”
If it had been the other way around, if Anne Marie had come first and Henry second do you think it would be the same?
“I think if Anne Marie had come first it would have been very difficult because a lot of people have nailed their colours to the mast already and said they would leave the party and whether they would have done or not is another matter but it would have been much more difficult to put a team together.”
I heard there was a mass-walkout planned, if she had won people would have stood up and left the hall.
“Well I don’t know anything about that, I wasn’t going to walk out anyway. I believe in not anticipating events and closing off options but anyway, that’s all water under the bridge and we can now go forwards.”
One wonders whether water under the bridge was an intended pun? Probably not.