Katie Hopkins is not the first person who comes to mind when thinking about electoral reform, but she spoke at an Electoral Reform Society fringe event at Ukip conference to discuss the party's performance in May's general election. The former former Apprentice star and Mail Online columnist advocated gassing the House of Lords:
‘People like me, people I represent, the things I articulate for the nation, actually don’t really give a shit about the House of Lords because we think they’re actually a bunch of plonkers. They’ve just put Michelle Mone in there and frankly once you’ve got Michelle Mone in anywhere you really don’t really care about it. Frankly, I don’t really mind if we seal up the room and gas the lot of them.’
— Sebastian Payne (@SebastianEPayne) September 25, 2015
‘This is a defining moment for Ukip in my opinion and it is the opportunity to say if you want to protect your NHS, if you want to get a next days doctors appointment, if you want to be able to get your child into a school that is just opposite your house, it’s time to support Ukip That to me would be the rallying cry that I’d be going for — is to talk about things that matter on a daily basis which is doctors, being able to get their kids into a school, being able to walk up the street with safety, being able to have a police who can respond to the things they need them to respond to, things that matter to me in an acute point of self interest.
‘Talk to that and that would make me vote for Ukip and I will be voting for Ukip, or somebody that’s supporting getting us out of the European Union during referendum absolutely.’
Ukip is keen to stress that Hopkins is not a member, never has been and was a guest of the Electoral Reform Society. The party apparently wasn't aware that she was attending until a few days ago. Coffee House understands that Hopkins has applied to be a member several times, but her application was vetoed.
So far, Ukip’s conference feels like a smaller, less energetic event than its previous gatherings. Hopkins' comments are a throwback to the days of Godfrey Bloom, when Ukip was better known for gaffes than winning elections. Those who want the party to move in a professional direction will despair that Hopkins is here.