£30k given in hope of ousting Fox

PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 February 2015 | UPDATED: 09:48 08 April 2015

UKIP candidate Ian Kealey

UKIP candidate Ian Kealey


A £30,000 donation has been given to the UKIP candidate hoping to oust Dr Liam Fox in this year’s election – by the same man who prompted the North Somerset MP to resign from the Cabinet almost four years ago.

The money has been donated by Dubai-based businessman Harvey Boulter in the hope UKIP candidate for North Somerset, Ian Kealey, will succeed in this May’s General Election.

Mr Boulter was the first to disclose information regarding Dr Fox’s working relationship with his friend and best man, Adam Werrity, which eventually led to Dr Fox resigning from his position as Defence Secretary in 2011.

He was investigated by the Cabinet Secretary and found to have broken the Ministerial Code and Dr Fox also admitted he had ‘mistakenly allowed the distinction between his personal interest and government activities to become blurred’.

Since then, Dr Fox has brought a successful libel action against him, which resulted in Mr Boulter having to pay about £200,000 in costs and substantial damage.

As well as the £30,000 campaign donation, it is understood Mr Boulter plans also pay for a billboard poster to be put up nearer to polling day featuring a picture of Dr Fox and Mr Werrity at his wedding and the slogan ‘Vote him? Get him’.

Mr Kealey, who believes the donation will be enough to ‘tip the balance’ in his favour, has been using the money to produce thousands of campaign leaflets and also organise public meetings.

He said: “Mr Boulter contacted the UKIP head office and then it filtered down to me. I met a representative of his in London and shook hands before the funds were transferred.

“We have a party that relies on donations and subscriptions so it would have been difficult to campaign without this.

“This extra help is definitely enough to tip the balance.

“I think the momentum is on our side.

“Now more people believe we are going to win, I think we will win with an avalanche.”

It is believed Mr Boulter decided to support UKIP following its success in the 2014 European election, which saw it come out on top with the most votes in North Somerset.

Dr Fox said “It is a matter of record that I was successful in my libel case against Mr Boulter who had to pay substantial damages.

“I look forward to fighting the election on the issues that affect my constituents in North Somerset”.

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