Craig Mackinlay

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Craig Mackinlay
Leader of UK Independence Party
In office
July 1997 – 1997
Preceded by Alan Sked
Succeeded by Michael Holmes
Deputy Leader of UK Independence Party
In office
1997 – 22 January 2000
Preceded by New position
Succeeded by Graham Booth
Personal details
Born 1967
Chatham, Kent, England
Political party Conservative (2005–present)
UKIP (1993-2005)
Independent (1992–1993)
Alma mater University of Birmingham

Craig Mackinlay (born 1967) is a British politician. In July 2014 he was selected as the Conservative candidate for South Thanet in the 2015 general election.[1] In 2012 he was the Conservative candidate in Kent for the first ever Police and Crime Commissioner elections.[2] He previously served as Deputy Leader of the UK Independence Party.[3]

Early life[edit]

Mackinlay was born in Chatham and raised in Kent, South East England. He went to school at Rainham Mark Grammar School and studied Zoology and Comparative Physiology at the University of Birmingham. He trained as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser and is now a Partner in a Kent firm.[4]

Political Background[edit]

Mackinlay first became interested in politics after observing the impact of Britain's membership of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism on clients and friends who were going bankrupt as a result of soaring interest rates.[5] After hearing Alan Sked, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, speak on a BBC politics programme,[6] he was persuaded to stand at the 1992 general election as an independent in support of the Anti-Federalist League, taking 248 votes in Gillingham.[7]


When the Anti-Federalist League became the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), Mackinlay became Treasurer[8] and Vice-Chairman. He stood again in Gillingham at the 1997 general election, taking 590 votes.[9]

In July 1997, Sked resigned the leadership of UKIP, and named Mackinlay as his successor.[10] Mackinlay decided that the only way to keep the party going was to rework its constitution and hold a leadership election. Mackinlay stood in the election against Michael Holmes and Gerald Roberts. Holmes, with the backing of Nigel Farage, easily won, and appointed Mackinlay as deputy leader.[10]

After the European Parliament election in 1999, Holmes dismissed Mackinlay and party secretary Tony Scholefield at an NEC meeting, which led to an immediate vote of no confidence in Holmes, who agreed to resign the following month. After extensive wrangling, Jeffrey Titford was elected as the new party leader, and Mackinlay stepped down as deputy, but remained on the NEC.[10]

Mackinlay remained active in UKIP, standing in Totnes at the 2001 general election, at which he took 6.1% of the votes cast,[11] then back in Gillingham in 2005, where he took 2.6%.[9] He also stood in the 1994, 1999 and 2004 European elections.[12]

Conservative Party[edit]

In July 2005, Mackinlay resigned from UKIP and joined the Conservative Party.[3] He was subsequently elected as a Conservative councillor on Medway Council and was re-elected with an increased majority in May 2011.[13]

In 2010 he fell out with Kent Police over special constable David Craggs, who was advised that there would be no conflict with him standing for election to Medway Council but, after being elected as a councillor, was informed that he could not hold both roles.[14] In May 2011 he was then appointed as a member of Kent Police Authority.[15]

In June 2012 Mackinlay was selected as the Conservative’s candidate in Kent for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, beating off competition from Jan Berry, who was in charge of the Police Federation of England and Wales for several years, and former High Commissioner to Uganda, Francois Gordon.[2] In the November county-wide poll, he was defeated by the former Kent Police Authority Chair Ann Barnes. Ann Barnes: 114,137 Craig Mackinlay: 60,248 on a turnout of just under 16%.[16] Barnes was allegedly backed by the Liberal Democrats,[17][18] a charge denied by Barnes.[19]

In 2014 he was selected as the Conservative candidate for South Thanet in the 2015 general election.[1]

Community Service[edit]

Since 2006, Mackinlay has served as a magistrate on the North Kent Bench.[15]

He is a trustee of four Kent charities: Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, Foord Almshouses in Rochester, Medway Sculpture Trust, and the City of Rochester Round Table.[20]

Electoral history[edit]

UK Parliament elections

Date of election Constituency Party Votes  % of votes Result
1992 general election Gillingham Independent 248 0.4 Not elected
1997 general election Gillingham UKIP 590 1.2 Not elected
2001 general election Totnes UKIP 3,010 6.1 Not elected
2005 general election Gillingham UKIP 1,191 2.6 Not elected
2015 general election South Thanet Conservative

Police and Crime Commissioner elections

Date of election Police force Party Votes Percentage of votes Result
2012 PCC elections Kent Conservative 51,671 25.2 Not elected

Local elections

Date of election Ward Party Votes Result
2011 Medway elections River Conservative 1,037 Elected

European Parliament elections

Date of election Constituency Party Votes Percentage of votes Result
1999 European election London UKIP 61,741 5.4 Not elected
2004 European election South East England UKIP 431,111 19.5 Not elected


  1. ^ a b "Ex-UKIP leader to stand as Tory MP for Thanet South". BBC News. 6 July 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Conservatives unveil candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner". Kent News. 18 June 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012. Chatham councillor Craig Mackinlay has been selected to be the Conservative’s candidate for the upcoming Police and Crime Commissioner election. 
  3. ^ a b Walden, Celia (15 July 2005). "FROM UKIP TO TORY". The Daily Telegraph (London). onetime deputy leader of the UK Independence Party, Craig Mackinlay, has left the party after 12 years to join the Tories 
  4. ^ "About Craig". Craig Mackinlay personal website. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Daniel, Mark (2005). Cranks and Gadflies: The Story of UKIP. Oxford: Timewell Press. p. 11. ISBN 1-85-725209-8. he had no interest in politics until he observed at close quarters the effects of Britain's short lived and ill-fated membership of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. 
  6. ^ Daniel, Mark (2005). Cranks and Gadflies: The Story of UKIP. Oxford: Timewell Press. p. 11. ISBN 1-85-725209-8. He heard Sked on a BBC politics programme, telephoned and attended a meeting at the LSE. He too was dragooned into standing for the 1992 election. 
  7. ^ "UK General Election results April 1992". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Daniel, Mark (2005). Cranks and Gadflies: The Story of UKIP. Oxford: Timewell Press. p. 47. ISBN 1-85-725209-8. Craig Mackinlay, as the party Treasurer... 
  9. ^ a b "Constituency profile: Gillingham". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c Daniel, Mark (2005). Cranks and Gadflies: The Story of UKIP. Oxford: Timewell Press. pp. 48–51. ISBN 1-85-725209-8. he resigned the party leadership, naming Craig Mackinlay as his successor... Holmes accepted the leadership and immediately appointed Mackinlay as his deputy 
  11. ^ "Results & Constituencies: Totnes". BBC News. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  12. ^ CONSERVATIVES:Founding member of the UKIP joins Conservative Party[dead link],, 15 July 2005
  13. ^ "Councillor Craig Mackinlay". Medway Council. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "Medway councillor resigns over conflict of interest". BBC News. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2012. Councillor Craig Mackinlay, who also represents the River ward, said there were no regulations preventing special constables from serving on the council and said he knew of three who are serving MPs. 
  15. ^ a b "Changes to Medway members who police the police". Kent Police Authority. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  16. ^ "Results of the election". Kent Police Area Returning Officer. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  17. ^ "Ann Barnes independent Candidate For Kent Police Commissioner". Folkestone & My Kent Magazine. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012. The Conservative Party has put forward a candidate, as have the Labour Party; though the Liberal Democrats has not, they have thrown their weight behind Mrs. Barnes. [dead link]
  18. ^ "Police And Crime Commissioner Election Do We Care?". Folkestone & My Kent Magazine. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012. Ann Barnes...may have blotted her independent ticket by linking up with Lynne Beaumont and the Liberal Democrats. [dead link]
  19. ^ "Innuendo, Smear, False statement – Truth and Integrity are My Best Weapons". 10 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "Notice of Members' Registrable Interests: Craig Mackinlay". Kent Police Authority. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Alan Sked
Acting Leader of the UK Independence Party
Succeeded by
Michael Holmes
Preceded by
New position
Deputy Leader of the UK Independence Party
Succeeded by
Graham Booth