PROSPECTIVE parliamentary candidate Don Jerrard called time on his election campaign on Monday citing his opposition to Ukip supporting a convicted criminal as his main reason.
The former business lawyer, who was due to run for election in Fareham, said he could not stand for a party that he did not believe in.
He said that Ukip appointing Paul Lovegrove, who has a criminal record, as its Hampshire organiser on January 12 was the final straw.
Video shows reporter Kimberley Barber explaining Paul Lovegrove’s decision to speak out
Pictured, from top to bottom, are Paul Lovegrove, Don Jerrard and Paul Godier
Mr Jerrard, who joined Ukip in March 2013, said: ‘He has a serious criminal record.
‘I reported my concerns to some senior people in Ukip who told me to “shut up”.
‘I could not run a campaign and ask people to match what I was putting in under those circumstances.’
Mr Jerrard was suspended by the party over outbursts at meetings relating to Mr Lovegrove.
He then quit his campaign but said he would still be supporting Ukip as he wanted to help fix the party.
Mr Lovegrove said he was not sorry to see him leave.
He said: ‘Don Jerrard is a one-man campaign.
‘I am not impressed with his one-man crusade as it has nothing to do with politics.
‘The world of politics will be better off without him.’
Councillor quit due to Lovegrove
COUNCILLOR Paul Godier quit Ukip earlier this month and said he was ‘disappointed’ with the way the party handled his complaints about Paul Lovegrove.
Cllr Godier was elected to represent Ukip in the Charles Dickens ward in May and said Mr Lovegrove was the main reason he left the party.
Cllr Godier stormed out of the political hustings on January 12 when Mr Lovegrove was elected as chairman for Portsmouth South.
He then quit the party, vowing to continue as an independent.
Cllr Godier said: ‘I’m a great believer that if you have done your time then you should be allowed a second chance.
‘However there are certain matters that cannot be overlooked.’
Mr Godier said he complained to Ukip eight months ago about incidents relating to the way Mr Lovegrove had spoken to him, before he knew about his convictions.
He said: ‘Me and my family put everything in to Ukip, we are disappointed.’
Mr Lovegrove said taking on Cllr Godier was a mistake.
He said: ‘I took on a guy from a council estate. I thought I could lead the way by putting normal people in.
‘He won and he imploded. He went because he had to go. I gave him a chance and he blew it.’
Chairman quit due to inaction
HARDWORKING Bob Ingram, who until recently was the chairman of the Fareham and Gosport branch of Ukip, has quit after becoming disillusioned with how complaints were being handled.
Mr Ingram, who was Fareham’s prospective parliamentary candidate Don Jerrard’s campaign manager, said he had seen first hand how Mr Jerrard’s complaints were dealt with.
He said: ‘It was a matter of principle. I went because of the way the candidate was treated.
‘I don’t like to see people being bullied when they try and point out things that are wrong.
‘There are some things in life that you just reach the end of and I feel that way with Ukip.’
Meanwhile, the Havant branch of Ukip says it is stronger than ever and have been unaffected by the turmoil.
Prospective parliamentary candidate John Perry said: ‘The Havant branch is busy, active and membership is increasing.
‘We have a full set of candidates for the election and we are excited about the opportunity. We are very optimistic.’