Former UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe has been forced into a major shake up of his backroom team following his resignation from the party. No longer a recipient of the lucrative group funded offices and staffing allowances which were given to him as part of the far right EFDD, Woolfe has tightened his belt as he adjusts to life sitting alone within the “non-attached” (NI) section of the European Parliament.
This new found austerity hasn’t stopped the now independent MEP from making changes though, having decided to appoint close friend, Gibran Registe-Charles, as his primary aide and manager of his EU office. Registe-Charles is not known to be a UKIP member but has previously been in and around the fringes of the party and close to Steven Woolfe for many years.
Steven Woolfe’s new ‘aide-de-camp’.
After making his drastic career change, the Woolfe’s confidant will enjoy earning a substantial tax payer funded salary via the North West MEP’s much lower personal MEP expenses allowance. However, his previous experience does not appear to qualify him for such a high pressure role.
Our research shows that prior to joining MEP Woolfe in Brussels, Mr Registe-Charles, 41, was a director of no less than four liquidated companies; the longest spell lasting a mere eight months. One of his companies remains active, presumably his directorship is within the EU staff regulations on financial conduct and interest.
It is also interesting to note that Mr Registe-Charles’ most recent company, Beauty Design Group Ltd, (which has no website or any social media presence) is registered at the same address where “a network of phantom companies with reported combined assets of over £13 million [were] ordered into liquidation by the High Court on grounds of public interest.”
The liquidation of the previous tenant, 3D Media Ltd, occurred in March 2016, and came just one month prior to the establishment of Beauty Design Group Ltd. There is no suggestion of wrong doing on the part of Mr Registe-Charles.
With his highest known qualification being a NVQ 2 Beauty Therapy and Beauty Retail, it remains to be seen how Mr Registe-Charles will cope the rigours of front line European politics, especially as Woolfe remains committed to both Brexit and resistance to the free movement principle as part of any negotiation to leave the EU. A position our sources say he wants to continue in a “very public” way.
Steven Woolfe’s new right hand man enjoys a photo op at the EU Parliament in Strasbourg.
Perhaps uncomfortably for his boss, the once prospective UKIP leader still retains his office near his UKIP colleagues – including Mike Hookem – on the third floor of the European Parliament in Brussels. We’re told he is planning on relocating to a different part of the building after Christmas.
One positive for Woolfe is that given the poor attendance records of UKIP MEPs, the chances of an embarrassing meeting in the corridors or restaurants are quite slim.
Steven Woolfe’s UKIP career came to a dramatic end in Strasbourg.
Woolfe previously surrounded himself with a team of handpicked aides recruited from the the party’s youth wing, much to the chagrin of Farage’s Brussels Chief of Staff Aurelie Laloux, who we are reliably told “didn’t like” the idea of Woolfe having an “autonomous state” within the EU Parliament offices which could threaten Nigel Farage’s grip on power.
Several ‘Woolfepack’ insiders from his aborted leadership campaign such as Dan Jukes jumped ship after the Strasbourg debacle. Others such as Matthew McKinnon, Steven Ling and Tory defector, Ed Sumner, had already become casualties of internal battles as Woolfe’s support within UKIP melted away over the summer.