I may have left UKIP ( for reasons I have made clear over the current leadership )but the Alan Bown story deserves the lid lifted on the background to the way that he was forced to the high court by the Electoral Commission.

I like Alan Bown, and his supportive wife, and we should all be grateful that he has spent hundreds of £thousands of his money on the anti-EU cause. He had many ideas to promote the party through literature which he donated freely to the party.

The story I wish to tell you is about the Electoral Commission. Now that the court case has been settled it is safe to tell you.

As UKIP Party Nominating Officer in the run-up to the 2009 European elections I was asked to try to block new parties from registering party names which to some extent were a 'copycat' name of United Kingdom Independence Party or its 12 ballot paper 'descriptions', such as UKIP or UK Independence Party.

Clearly, these parties were trying to undermine the UKIP vote, especially in the North West where NO2EU - Yes to Democracy, the party with communist union leader Bob Crow in support, were trying to stop Labour from being thrashed by UKIP.

By way of background information the Electoral Commission (ElComm) had previously rejected UKIP requests for 'descriptions' claiming that UKIP and EU were 4 words and 2 words respectively, which took our applications over the permitted 6 words. You will appreciate that NO2EU - Yes to Democracy is 7 words and that the Electoral Commission had permitted an illegal name under their own rules. Not only that but they had also registered 2 'descriptions' which I had registered on behalf of UKIP.

Following my protest to ElComm they admitted that they had made a MISTAKE and withdrew NO2EU-Yes to Democracy's 2 'descriptions'. However, they stalled on the error in registering an illegal party name.

Bear in mind that by this time they were already pillorying Alan Bown for his MISTAKE in not being a registered voter.

On with the story: with less than a week before close of party nominations for the European elections ElComm's director Lisa Klein ( fine old British name ) wrote to say that they had 'recently' ruled that the acronym EU was now deemed to be a word because it was listed as a word in the Collins English Dictionary. Now NO2EU-Yes to Democracy was OK! Can you imagine what probably happened. Fearful that this party would have to register a new party name with only days before nominations closed ElComm were facing the prospect of telling Bob Crow that they were illegal because of an ElComm MISTAKE. So they fudged it. No other party were told of this change of policy except UKIP, who were then left with no time to use in their party literature a new 'description' using EU as one word.

Can you imagine the hiatus in Great Peter Street as the Director said to her staff - "Find me a dictionary with the word EU in it". It was not listed in my copy of the English Oxford Dictionary, the 'bible', but little old Collins did contain both EU, and - wait for it - UK. So UKIP say NO EU

So here we have ElComm making important MISTAKES registering 'descriptions', and fiddling the system at the last minute to cover their error in registering NO2EU-Yes to Democracy, whilst at the same time using the whole weight of Government money to prosecute UKIP (whom Alan Bown promised to reimburse).

Alan Bown wanteed to fight the case on the basis that UKIP had been unreasonably treated by ElComm and that ElComm's desire to pursue the case to the High Court should be resisted.

In my view that is the kind of freedom and fairness we all hope for in the British legal system. I admire Alan Bown for taking on ElComm, particularly in the light of the FACTS that they admitted errors, and then changed the rules at the last minute to COVER-UP their error over NO2EU-Yes to Democracy. now becomes 6 words! Ironic.