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Patrick James O'Flynn (born 29 August 1965) is an English journalist and politician who served as Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the East of England region between 2014 and 2019. He was elected for the UK Independence Party but defected to the Social Democratic Party in November 2018.

Patrick O'Flynn
Member of the European Parliament
for the East of England
In office
1 July 2014 – 1 July 2019[1][2]
LeaderPaul Nuttall
Steve Crowther (Acting)
Henry Bolton
Gerard Batten
Preceded byRobert Sturdy
Succeeded byRichard Tice
Personal details
Born (1965-08-29) 29 August 1965 (age 53)
Cambridge, England
Political partySocial Democratic Party
(2018-present)
UK Independence Party
(before 2018)
Alma materKing's College, Cambridge
City University London
Other UKIP offices
UKIP Media and Sport Spokesperson
In office
1 December 2016 – 27 July 2017
LeaderPaul Nuttall
Preceded byposition established
Succeeded by~
Special Political Advisor for the
Leader of the UK Independence Party
In office
28 November 2016 – 27 July 2017
LeaderPaul Nuttall
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byJonathan Arnott
UKIP Economics Spokesman
In office
7 April 2017 – 27 July 2017
LeaderPaul Nuttall
Preceded byMark Reckless
In office
24 July 2014 – 18 August 2015
LeaderNigel Farage
Preceded bySteven Woolfe
Succeeded byMark Reckless

Early life and journalismEdit

He read Economics at King's College, Cambridge, graduating in 1987. He subsequently earned a Diploma in Journalism from City University London.[3] He previously worked as Chief Political Commentator and then Political Editor of the Daily Express.[4]

Political careerEdit

He was the UK Independence Party Economic Spokesman until 19 May 2015.[5]

He was the UKIP candidate in Cambridge at the 2015 general election. He came fifth, with 5.2% of the vote.[citation needed] After the disappointing election result he described UKIP leader Nigel Farage as "snarling, thin-skinned and aggressive".[6]

He was the running-mate for Lisa Duffy in the September 2016 UK Independence Party leadership election.[citation needed]

He left the UKIP frontbench in July 2017 believing the party no longer supported his centrist economic policies.[citation needed]

O'Flynn joined the SDP in November 2018. He cited UKIP leader Gerard Batten's appointment of Tommy Robinson as an adviser as a key reason for his departure from the party. He said of his decision to join the SDP: "like many on the communitarian wing of [UKIP], I have decided to join the resurgent SDP, which campaigned for Brexit during the referendum and espouses broad and moderate pro-nation state political values that I – and I believe many of our voters from 2014 – will be delighted to endorse."[7] In defecting, O'Flynn became the first MEP to sit in the European Parliament for the SDP (though in 1984 Michael Gallagher MEP had joined the original SDP).

O'Flynn stood as the SDP candidate in the 2019 Peterborough by-election,[8] but received only 135 votes (0.4%) and lost to Lisa Forbes. O'Flynn narrowly avoided a repeat of the May 1990 Bootle by-election by beating the Monster Raving Loony Party candidate who polled 112.[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Key dates ahead". European Parliament. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Key dates ahead". BBC News Online. British Broadcasting Corporation. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Patrick James O'FLYNN". Debrett's People of Today. Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  4. ^ "UKIP appoints Express journalist Patrick O'Flynn as director of comms". Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  5. ^ "UKIP is delighted to announce that party membership has reached yet another record high". United Kingdom Independence Party. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  6. ^ Rowena Mason (14 May 2015). "Nigel Farage is a 'snarling, thin-skinned and aggressive' man, says campaign chief". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  7. ^ Stone, Jon (27 November 2018). "Ukip MEP Patrick O'Flynn quits party in protest at growing Tommy Robinson links". The Independent. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Peterborough by-election:Final list of 15 candidates revealed". Peterborough Telegraph. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  9. ^ Leishman, Fiona (7 June 2019). "Live Peterborough by-election 2019 updates: Results, reaction, national picture and full coverage". Cambridgeshire Live.