KEEP CALM - KEEP UKIP!
Now the dust has settled on the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election, I would like to send a short message ahead of the Brexit vote and the May elections.
Yes, we were all disappointed by the result, because we wanted Paul Nuttall to win. He stood a good chance and hundreds of UKIP activists and members turned out to help including many from Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.
While we did not win, remember that we can come a good second. The Labour Party, which has held the seat since 1950, won on 37% of the turnout, while Paul for UKIP got almost 25%.
The Conservative and Lib-Dem parties would have been very happy with second place on 25% of the turnout.
In fact the biggest winner in Stoke was the 'Apathy Party' which won 62% of the vote. There was a good reason for that, as explained by many voters on their doorsteps. After 67 years of being represented by Labour they felt "abandoned and forgotten". Most people did not bother to vote, and so the minority - entrenched Labour tribal voters - won the day.
Paul Nuttall was subjected to a relentless black propaganda campaign by the media. The political and media establishment want to drive UKIP out of business because they want to reverse the decision of the Referendum. The worst thing we can do now is to help them.
Since Paul became Leader we have had a united Party - as demonstrated by the hundreds of kippers who turned out to help him. Let's keep that spirit going.
Let's now get over the disappointment and move forward. We need to all - Keep Calm and Carry On.
The big challenge facing the party right now is the May elections. We have a strong, positive message and more importantly we have a great track record in making real changes for people which without UKIP councillors they would not have been able to deliver. I hope all of you will be joining me in campaigning for our candidates and spreading the message that we will not accept a watered down Brexit but want what the people voted for: an independent, thriving Britain.
As Home Affairs spokeswoman I am watching what goes on in Parliament and over in Brussels and the fight is not over. We do not want to be left in the unfair European Arrest Warrant and other schemes which compromise our ability to control our laws and our country.
That means we need a strong UKIP. Ask yourself how you can contribute to that.
Jane Collins MEP