Today's the day that Nikki Sinclaire MEP faces the kangaroo court that is the UK Independence Party NEC.
Her crime? Leaving the EFD Group in the European Parliament because of the number of right-wing loonies from assorted countries that are in the group. To give you an idea the Lega Nord, from Italy, were thrown out of the ID Group because of their extreme xenophobia. The ID Group was UKIP's EP grouping prior to the June '09 elections.
Miraculously they were rehabilitated by Nigel Farage immediately after the June '09 elections, much to the shock of many members, not least Nikki. Some say there expulsion was a cynical PR stunt prior to the elections.
Nikki discussed her intention to leave the group with Party Leader, Lord Pearson, who promsed her his full support. Sadly he has shown no support for Nikki's principled stand since she resigned from the group. Nikki has now been banned from using the UKIP name, can no longer describe herself as 'UKIP MEP' and is not allowed to use party offices or attend party meetings.
Contrast that with UKIP's treatment of Tom Wise. Tom Wise is now languishing in chokey having been found guilty of fraud, he couldn't keep his hands off his allowances when he was a UKIP member of the European Parliament. It seems he had a penchant for fine wines and cars but his exorbitant MEP salary wasn't enough. Tom Wise was never disciplined by UKIP.
It's now quite clear where UKIP's priorities lie.
I wish Nikki luck today but suggest that she remains true to her principles and remains an independent MEP, or joins a party that would value her courage and principles.