|UKIP Home Affairs and Justice Spokesperson|
2 December 2016
|Preceded by||Diane James|
|UKIP Employment Spokesperson|
24 July 2014 – 2 December 2016
|Preceded by||position established|
|Succeeded by||Andrew Charalambous|
|Member of the European Parliament
for Yorkshire and the Humber
1 July 2014
|Preceded by||Godfrey Bloom|
17 February 1962 |
Pontefract, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
|Political party||UK Independence Party|
- 1 Education
- 2 Career
- 3 Political views
- 4 Political career
- 5 References
- 6 External links
On leaving school Collins was appointed Head Girl at a racehorse training establishment in Moss, South Yorkshire. In 1985 her family moved to Selby and eventually bought a stable at Willitoft which she helped run. An equine physiotherapist, she met Katie Bloom with whom she formed a partnership in 1995. Katie Bloom is married to former UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom, and Collins became interested in the party.
Interviewed by the Observer ahead of the September 2014 UKIP conference and therefore unable to discuss their new policies, Collins described herself as a "progressive libertarian." Referring to Godfrey Bloom's comments on international aid (made in his "Bongo-Bongo land" speech), she said that they were valid but badly expressed. She was concerned about "a developing health problem" in Sheffield in relation to the Roma community of Slovak origin. She claimed they have a higher incidence of hepatitis B – the subject of a planned vaccination program – which would put a greater strain on the health service. She has called for those "indigenous" children who are in close contact with the Roma to be vaccinated as well.
In conclusion, journalist Daniel Boffey, said Collins would continue Bloom's tradition of stirring controversy.
Barnsley Central by-election, 2011
Collins stood for UKIP in the March 2011 Barnsley Central by-election triggered by the resignation of Labour MP Eric Illsley over the UK parliamentary expenses scandal. She came second to Labour's Dan Jarvis, winning 12% of the vote.
Rotherham by-election, 2012
She again stood for UKIP in the November 2012 Rotherham by-election triggered by the resignation of Labour MP Dennis MacShane, also over the expenses scandal. She came second to Labour's Sarah Champion, winning almost 22% of the vote, UKIP's best result at the time in a by-election. During the by-election campaign a row emerged after Rotherham's Labour council removed three foster children from the care of their foster parents which the Daily Telegraph wrongly attributed to their membership of UKIP. However, in May 2013, Rotherham council apologised saying that communication about the decision gave the impression that it related to the couple's UKIP membership. This was incorrect, the children were removed because it was in their "best interests" though full details couldn't be given "for legal reasons". The council said it had "taken action to strengthen the way it made decisions and how it communicated information."
Yorkshire and the Humber (European Parliament constituency) 2014
She was selected to top the party's regional list for Yorkshire and the Humber in the 2014 European Parliament elections. Former UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom stated that he gave her his "wholehearted support" and that she "is almost certainly going to be the next UKIP MEP".
Row over her campaigning in South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner by-election
In November 2014 whilst campaigning for UKIP in the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner by-election, 2014 Collins appeared to imply that Mark Russell, head of the evangelistic charity Church Army, was a paedophile. Russell had posted support for the Labour party candidate in the by-election which prompted Collins to tweet "Yes because we’d soon stop your criminal activity. Paedos leave our kids alone. #UKIP." Collins who originally refused to apologise, eventually deleted the tweet and offered to make a donation to the charity after Russell threatened to sue her. Her tweet follows accusations that UKIP exploited the suffering of Rotherham sex abuse victims for political gain in the by-election. One victim denounced the party’s tactics as "disrespectful" after it launched a "1,400 reasons to vote" campaign, in reference to the estimated number of victims in the city between 1997 and 2013." Collins' allegation was retweeted many times by UKIP supporters. In her defence Collins said she apologized unreservedly and admitted “I’m a bit hot headed sometimes.”
In 2015 it was revealed that 3 MPs, Sarah Champion, John Healey and Kevin Barron were suing Collins for libel and slander over comments made by Collins at a UKIP party conference that they knew about widespread child sex abuse in Rotherham. Libel proceedings were commenced in 2016 but were placed on hold in May 2016 when Collins claimed her position as an MEP granted her immunity from prosecution. Under EU law "MEPs shall not be subject to any form of inquiry, detention or legal proceedings in respect of opinions expressed or votes cast by them in the performance of their duties". However in October the European Parliament ruled that immunity did not apply, Collins stated that she was investigating appealing the ruling. In a statement the three MPs said "We welcome the decision of the European Parliament and hope this matter can at long last now be brought to a conclusion in the High Court. This has gone on for over two years and she has tried every delaying tactic she can - including the absurd irony of a UKIP Euro MP trying to claim immunity from the European Parliament to avoid facing justice in the British courts." In February 2017, the High Court ruled that Collins should pay £54,000 in damages to each of the three MPs.
- "UKIP Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire MEP's". UKIP Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire. Archived from the original on 2 November 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- Natalie Clarke "His (many) enemies call Mr Bongo Bongo a sexist monster... so what's it like to be married to him? Wife of UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom reveals all", mailonline, 16 August 2013
- Daniel Boffey (10 August 2014). "Rising Ukip star on Roma in the UK, vaccines and racist gardeners". The Observer. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- "Lib Dems slump to sixth as Labour win Barnsley poll". BBC News. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- "Barnsley by-election: Labour win, Lib Dems sixth". Channel 4. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- "By-elections: Labour retains three seats". BBC News. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- Ford Rojas, John-Paul (30 November 2012). "Ukip takes second place in by-elections". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- "Rotherham Council apologises over UKIP foster row". BBC News. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- "UKIP announces regional Euro election candidates". ITV. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- "Godfrey Bloom Quits As UKIP MEP". Sky News. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- Martin Williams (1 November 2014). "Ukip MEP apologises for apparently calling charity boss a paedophile". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
- Rose Troup Buchanan (1 November 2014). "Ukip MEP forced to apologise after appearing to call the head of Christian charity a paedophile". The Independent. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
- Frances Perraudin (13 January 2015). "Labour trio sue Ukip MEP over Rotherham child sex claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "Rotherham's three Labour MPs to sue UKIP MEP for slander". BBC. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "Ukip MEP Jane Collins invokes her European Parliament 'legal immunity' in British court". The Independent. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
- "UKIP MEP to face prosecution over Rotherham remarks". BBC News. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
- "Jane Collins libel case: Three Labour Rotherham MPs awarded £54,000". BBC News. BBC. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017.