Patrick O'Flynn

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Patrick O'Flynn
O'Flynn in 2014
Member of the European Parliament
for the East of England
In office
1 July 2014 – 1 July 2019
Preceded byRobert Sturdy
Succeeded byRichard Tice
Personal details
Patrick James O'Flynn

(1965-08-29) 29 August 1965 (age 58)
Cambridge, England
Political partyUKIP (before 2018)
SDP (2018–present)
Alma materKing's College, Cambridge
City, University of 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

Patrick James O'Flynn (born 29 August 1965) is an English journalist and Social Democratic Party (SDP) politician who served as Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the East of England from 2014 to 2019. He was elected for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) but defected to the Social Democratic Party in November 2018. Since 2019 he has written frequently for The Spectator.[1]

Early life and journalism[edit]

O'Flynn read economics at King's College, Cambridge, graduating in 1987. He subsequently received a diploma in journalism from City, University of London.[2] He then worked as chief political commentator and then political editor at the Daily Express.[3]

Political career[edit]

O'Flynn was the UK Independence Party spokesperson on the economy until 19 May 2015.[4]

He was the UKIP candidate in Cambridge at the general election in 2015 and came fifth, with 5.2 per cent of the vote.[5] Afterwards he described UKIP leader Nigel Farage as "snarling, thin-skinned and aggressive".[6]

O'Flynn was the running-mate for Lisa Duffy in the September 2016 UK Independence Party leadership election.[7] He left the UKIP frontbench in July 2017, believing that the party no longer supported his centrist economic policies.[8] He joined the SDP in November 2018. He cited UKIP leader Gerard Batten's appointment of Tommy Robinson (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) 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."[9] 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,[10] but received only 135 votes (0.4 per cent), and lost to Lisa Forbes. O'Flynn narrowly avoided a repeat of the 1990 Bootle by-election result by beating the Monster Raving Loony Party candidate, who polled 112.[11]

In April 2021 O'Flynn started the Snap, a podcast with Michael Heaver.


  1. ^ "Patrick O'Flynn - The Spectator columnists & writers". The Spectator. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Patrick James O'FLYNN". Debrett's People of Today. Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  3. ^ "UKIP appoints Express journalist Patrick O'Flynn as director of comms". Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  4. ^ "UKIP is delighted to announce that party membership has reached yet another record high". United Kingdom Independence Party. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Cambridge - 2015 Election Results". UK Parliament - General Elections Online. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  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. ^ "Lisa Duffy battles to lead UKIP". BBC News. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Patrick O'Flynn quits UKIP front bench over party's direction". BBC News. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  9. ^ Stone, Jon (27 November 2018). "Ukip MEP Patrick O'Flynn quits party in protest at growing Tommy Robinson links". The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Peterborough by-election:Final list of 15 candidates revealed". Peterborough Telegraph. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  11. ^ Leishman, Fiona (7 June 2019). "Live Peterborough by-election 2019 updates: Results, reaction, national picture and full coverage". Cambridgeshire Live.