Wednesday, September 11, 2013

UKIP Lincolnshire County Council group falls apart

In May's local elections UKIP made their most spectacular gains in Lincolnshire, gaining 16 seats and depriving the Conservatives of overall control. True to form, their council group has now split in two.

The BBC News Lincolnshire pages report:
A councillor suspended by UKIP has been removed as leader of the party's group on Lincolnshire County Council. 
Chris Pain said he had been suspended from UKIP because of a "serious issue" between himself and national chairman Steve Crowther. 
Nine of Lincolnshire's UKIP councillors have now signed a letter to the county council's chief executive saying Mr Pain has been removed from their group. 
A national UKIP spokesman would not comment on why he had been suspended.
But Mr Pain, as the Lincolnshire Echo reports, is not taking this lying down:
Ousted Chris Pain will tomorrow spearhead a breakaway group from UKIP on Lincolnshire County Council. 
The shock switch will see the political make-up at County Offices change dramatically, the Echo can reveal. 
Labour will now form the official opposition as former UKIP leader Cllr Pain forms a new party of six members. 
The group will continue to share UKIP ideology but is unaligned from the county’s main UKIP group that now has 10 councillors - two less than Labour.
Chris Pain was UKIP's candidate in the Boston and Skegness constituency at the last general election. Judging by May's results, this seat represents the party's best chance of winning a Westminster seat next time round. Will Pain's estrangement from UKIP see Nigel Farage discovering a sudden affection for the Lincolnshire Fens?

Back in June I reported that Pain had been reported to the police over allegedly racist comments on Facebook.

The Lincolnshire Echo says that no action will be taken by the police and that:
All councillors, including Chris Pain who represents the Wainfleet and Burgh ward, denied making the comments and claimed their accounts were hacked.

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