Fresh Ukip turmoil as pair quit committee

TWO members of a Ukip committee have resigned, claiming it is an '˜almost impossible task' to promote the group.

Friday, 28th October 2016, 6:53 am
Updated Monday, 31st October 2016, 9:44 am
Paul Sturgess

Paul Sturgess and Graham Wyatt, the chairman and secretary of the Ukip Fareham branch committee have announced that they are resigning from their roles.

The move follows the acrimonious exit of Fareham borough councillor Chris Wood, who defected to the Tories earlier this month, leading to him being depicted as a rat in a drawing.

Despite their resignations from the committee, both members still remain members of the party.

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A joint statement from the pair read: ‘We both feel the very public and ongoing in-fighting at national level, together with the resignation of Diane James after 18 days as leader makes the job of promoting Ukip locally an almost impossible task, especially given the strength of the Tories in Fareham and frankly, the generally good job they do in making the town a pleasant place to live, work and play in.

‘We are not prepared to put our names up in defence of a party and leaders who promote themselves in this way any longer.’

John Bowles, chairman of the Gosport branch of Ukip said that the group would try to get the Fareham branch ‘back on its own two feet’. He said: ‘In the case of Graham I think it was a case of him being disillusioned with what was going on nationally with the party. What will happen now is that Gosport will help the branch get back on its own two feet. The group is strong and will continue to be strong despite this.’

He added that despite his resignation from the committee, Mr Sturgess is acting chairman of the Fareham group.

Portsmouth Ukip members have remained committed to the party, which has come under scrutiny following national leadership issues and a spat in the EU parliament involving MEPs Steven Woolfe and Mike Hookem.

However, city councillor Alicia Denny has admitted the party is now different to the one she signed up to.