|Leader of the Brexit Party|
20 January 2019 – 20 March 2019
|Preceded by||Party established|
|Succeeded by||Nigel Farage|
|UKIP Economics Spokesperson|
September 2018 – November 2018
Catherine Anne Blaiklock
April 1963 (age 56)
|Political party||Brexit Party (January–July 2019)|
UK Independence Party
|Spouse(s)||Gyaljen Sherpa (divorced)|
|Residence||Lingwood, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom|
|Education||Christ Church, University of Oxford (MA (Hons) Geography)|
|Known for||Founding the Brexit Party|
Former UKIP Economic Spokesman
Catherine Blaiklock (born April 1963) is a British financial trader and hotelier who was the founder and first leader of The Brexit Party, a political party established in January 2019 to support a no-deal Brexit. She was forced to resign as leader in March 2019 when it was disclosed she had made anti-Islamic and racist statements online. Blaiklock was a former Economics Spokesperson for the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which she left in late 2018. Before entering politics in 2016, she worked as a financial currency and derivatives trader. She also founded a Nepali healthcare charity with her ex-husband, an Everest Sherpa. Her father is polar explorer Ken Blaiklock.
Blaiklock entered Christ Church, Oxford on a scholarship in 1981, the second year the College admitted women. She studied geography and climatology. She then went to India on a Commonwealth Scholarship.
Blaiklock worked as a financial currency and derivatives trader with Merrill Lynch and other investment banks, and was located in New York, Tokyo and Singapore. She returned to Asia and founded a health care charity in Nepal, called Nepal in Need, with her then-husband Gyaljen Sherpa, with which she is still involved, and for which she continues to raise funds. Since returning to Norfolk in 1999, she has run a guest-house and other small businesses in the local hospitality sector.
Blaiklock joined UKIP in 2014, having never voted before, and said that she only really entered politics after the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum. She was the unsuccessful UKIP candidate for Great Yarmouth in the 2017 general election. During the campaign, she produced photographs of her British Jamaican husband to argue that UKIP was not racist. In September 2018, she was appointed the Economic Spokesman of UKIP, was the Eastern Regional Chair, and wrote articles for UKIP in The Daily Telegraph. Blaiklock left UKIP in 2018 when Gerard Batten appointed the English Defence League's Tommy Robinson as a personal advisor.
Brexit Party (January–July 2019)
On 20 January 2019, Blaiklock launched a pro-Brexit political party called the Brexit Party, and listed her Norfolk guest house as the headquarters. She immediately outlined her desire for former UKIP leader Nigel Farage to lead her new Brexit Party, and on 8 February 2019, Farage announced he would be a candidate for the Brexit Party in any upcoming European Parliament elections. In a 27 February 2019 interview, Reuters said: "Blaiklock wants Britain to leave the EU without a trade deal and says the threat of economic damage from a potentially disorderly no-deal Brexit has been vastly exaggerated".
On 20 March 2019, Blaiklock resigned as party leader after The Guardian enquired about deleted anti-Islam messages from her Twitter account from before she took on the role. Her deleted tweets were recovered by the advocacy group, Hope not Hate. Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit party, described her comments about Islam as "horrible and intolerant". In May 2019, The Guardian reported that Blaiklock still remained as a Director of the Brexit Party.
Attempt to join Conservative Party (August 2019)
Blaiklock applied to join the Conservative Party on 23 July, the day of Boris Johnson's victory in the 2019 Conservative Party leadership election, and received a membership number on 6 August. However, a few days after her public disclosure of her application, the Conservative Party, who said her application was subject to final approval, rejected her application, with Blaiklock saying: "And it was central office who cancelled it even though the local branch knows who I am".
Blaiklock has been criticised for articles she posted on The Conservative Woman where she discussed introducing hanging for drug dealers and argued that food banks are contributing to obesity in low-income families, who should be eating potatoes, being cheaper and healthier. She has also been noted for her anti-Islam statements written on a range of conservative websites.
In January 2019, The Guardian reported that, in blogs and tweets since deleted, she had "argued crime and fatherlessness among black men are due to high testosterone levels, and suggested their lower academic achievement could have a biological basis".
Blaiklock is the daughter of explorer Ken Blaiklock, who moved his family to Norfolk when she was three months old, from where Blaiklock was raised until college. Blaiklock says she detested growing up in Norfolk, describing it as "intellectually devoid". As a teenager she spent four years in care homes because she had bulimia and her parents found her "wayward and difficult". Blaiklock’s first husband was a Nepali called Gyaljen Sherpa whom she met in 1997 at Everest base camp,[a] and with whom she has two children. Her second husband is a British Jamaican, Christopher Kirkpatrick.
As of February 2019[update], Blaiklock continues to run a guest house from her home in Lingwood in Norfolk called The Annapurna Guest House. Her husband manages the guest house on a day-to-day basis, and the BBC reported that its Tripadvisor page has been the subject of politically motivated attacks, requiring intervention by Tripadvisor.
- "CATHERINE BLAIKLOCK - NORWICH - REAL ESTATE". CheckCompany. Archived from the original on 18 February 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
MS CATHERINE BLAIKLOCK is a Real Estate from Norwich. This person was born in April 1963, which was over 56 years ago. MS CATHERINE BLAIKLOCK is English and resident in England
- David Hannant (2 May 2017). "Catherine Blaiklock confirmed as UKIP's general election candidate for Great Yarmouth". Dereham Times. Archant Community Media. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
Ms Blaiklock, 53, who recently fronted a campaign against a proposal for dualling the A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham, will represent the party in June's snap general election
- "Charity ball raises cash for Nepal". Great Yarmouth Mercury. Archant Community Media. 3 July 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
Catherine, 46, and Gyaljen, who met 12 years ago when they were both at Mount Everest base camp, will go back to the centre at the end of September to oversee while work is completed on the last few rooms.
- Fiona Parker (18 May 2017). "Ukip candidate 'proves' party isn't racist by showing off photo of her black husband". Metro. DMG Media. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
Ms Blaiklock, who runs a charity called Nepal in Need, has two children from her marriage to her Nepalese ex-husband.
- "Bed and Brexit: The guest house which is new Farage HQ". The New European. Archant Community Media. 14 February 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
- Geraldine Scott (15 February 2019). "Brexit Party founder, friend of Nigel Farage, and Norfolk resident – who is Catherine Blaiklock?". Eastern Daily Press. Archant Community Media. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
- Halliday, Josh (20 January 2019). "Nigel Farage to lead new pro-Brexit party if EU departure delayed". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
- Catherine Blaiklock (3 October 2018). "Theresa May has turned a deaf ear to those wanting powerful leadership on Brexit". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 3 October 2018. (subscription required)
- Peter Walker (20 March 2019). "Leader of Nigel Farage's party resigns over anti-Islam messages". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
The leader of the new pro-Brexit party backed by Nigel Farage has abruptly resigned, after the Guardian asked her about a series of deleted anti-Islam Twitter messages sent from her account before she took on the role.
- "Catherine Blaiklock appointed as Economics Spokesman". UKIP. 12 September 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
- Dan Grimmer (6 June 2017). "WATCH: Who is standing in the General Election 2017 in Great Yarmouth and why do they think you should vote for them?". Great Yarmouth Mercury. Archant Community Media. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
- "Christ Church Matters: Trinity Term" (PDF). Christ Church College. 2011. p. 24. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
Norfolk Lunch: One wintery afternoon this year, thanks to Catherine Blaiklock and her husband [Sherpa] Gyaljen, alumni of the House convened in rural Norfolk for wonderful food and company. From one of the first women to enter the House as a student, [to myself] one of the most recent to leave.
- "Trustees". Nepal in Need. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
- Peter Walsh (30 April 2015). "Norfolk call for tents to help Nepalese aid effort after devastating earthquake". Norwich Evening News. Archant Community Media. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
Catherine Blaiklock, from Lingwood, founder of the charity Nepal in Need, has today issued an urgent plea for people to donate tents so that they can be taken out to the devastated region by trustees who are flying out in the coming days
- Guy Faulconbridge; Andrew MacAskill (27 February 2019). "Interview with Catherine Blaiklock: Brexit 'betrayal' would explode British politics, Farage's party warns". Reuters. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
- Steve Anglesey (26 January 2019). "Brex Factor: Another strange sidekick making plans for Nigel". The New European. Archant Community Media. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
It's as a pundit, though, where Blaiklock comes into her own. On New Year's Day she popped up on the Conservative Woman website where, under the headline 'Hungry? Let them eat spuds!' she explained that poor people 'cannot be bothered' to cook and claimed the use of food banks was causing obesity.
- Charlotte England (18 May 2017). "Election 2017: Ukip candidate takes photo of her black husband to hustings to prove party isn't racist". The Independent. ESI Media.
- "The new Ukip? Nigel Farage offers 'full support' for another Brexit party". The Independent. 20 January 2019.
[..] former Ukip economics spokeswoman Catherine Blaiklock applied to register the new party last week and she sounded out Mr. Farage for a role in the organisation. He told the paper: "This was Catherine's idea entirely – but she has done this with my full knowledge and my full support.
- Sophia Sleigh (17 February 2019). "Nigel Farage's Brexit Party may relocate after 'malicious' trolling on TripAdvisor page". Evening Standard. ESI Media. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- Catherine Blaiklock (21 January 2019). "My new Brexit Party, supported by Nigel Farage, will fight for our democracy". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
- Samantha King (24 January 2019). "Founder of The Brexit Party: 'I won't run it without Nigel Farage'". Talkradio. Wireless Group. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
- Jim Pickard (8 February 2019). "New 'Brexit Party' backed by Nigel Farage launches". Financial Times. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
Catherine Blaiklock, founder of The Brexit Party, said hundreds of Tory members had been in contact saying they wanted to defect to the new party(subscription required)
- "Nigel Farage back in frontline politics as Brexit Party leader". BBC News. 22 March 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
The ex-UKIP leader is taking over from Catherine Blaiklock, who quit over what he said were "horrible and intolerant" comments on Twitter about Islam
- Peter Walker (5 May 2019). "Brexit party figures who left over offensive posts are still directors". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
Former leader and former treasurer of Farage’s party were supposed to have cut ties
- Christopher Hope (15 August 2019). "Brexit Party founder Catherine Blaiklock who quit over anti-Muslim comments 'joined Tories after Boris Johnson became PM'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
- Geraldine Scott (16 August 2019). "Brexit Party founder's Conservative membership rejected after podcast appearance where she stood by anti-Islam tweets". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
- Liz Coates (26 January 2019). "'Let them eat spuds!' Ex-UKIP candidate says food banks are fuelling the obesity crisis". Eastern Daily Press. Archant Community Media. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- Anoosh Chakelian (12 February 2019). "'Let them eat spuds': we should fear the Brexit Party – but not for the reasons you think". New Statesman. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
Its leader, former Ukip candidate Catherine Blaiklock, has had Islamophobic, racist and classist remarks dredged up by BuzzFeed and from other online pieces.
- Alex Wickham (11 February 2019). "The Founder Of Nigel Farage's New Brexit Party Has A History Of Anti-Muslim Comments". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
In a blog post titled "Burka's [sic] in Detroit" published on her website in May last year, Blaiklock complained that when she ordered a Thai takeaway meal in the US city it was delivered by a woman in a burka.
- Peter Walker (22 January 2019). "Farage ally said black men are violent due to high testosterone". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
Soon after Blaiklock announced she had registered the party with the Electoral Commission, her Twitter feed appeared to be deleted, as were some posts from her personal blog. One of the deleted posts, titled 'Baby mamas, gangs and testosterone', argued biological reasons could be behind gang violence and family breakdown among men of African-Caribbean origin in the UK and the US.
- Martyn Brown (23 February 2019). "BREXIT BOOST: Nigel Farage to POACH senior Tories from UNDER MAY'S NOSE for Brexit Party". Express.co.uk. Express Newspapers. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
Ms Blaiklock, the daughter of surveyor Kenneth Blaiklock - who took part in the first overland crossing of the Antarctic - said members signing up to the party had now topped 150,000 and that donations were continuing to pour in.
- "TripAdvisor suspends reviews on 'Brexit Party B&B'". BBC News. 19 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
TripAdvisor has suspended reviews for the bed and breakfast used as the official address for the new Brexit Party after "malicious trolling". Annapurna Bed & Breakfast in Norfolk, run by leader Catherine Blaiklock's husband, was the address used when the party registered on 5 February. A party spokesman said the venue's rating had dropped in recent days. TripAdvisor said it halted reviews after "an influx of review submissions that did not meet our guidelines".
- Official website
- Catherine Blaiklock The Conservative Woman
- Articles by Catherine Blaiklock The Salisbury Review:
- Nepal in Need UK charity founded by Blaiklock and her ex-husband Gyaljen Sherpa
|Party political offices|
|New political party|| Leader of the Brexit Party