A UKIP councillor has quit the party’s Portsmouth branch after claiming he has been ‘badly treated’ and given a lack of support in his role.
Paul Godier has given up his membership just days after the party announced its expansion in the city – and questions now remain over his future on the council.
But Portsmouth Ukip group leader, Cllr Colin Galloway, said Cllr Godier’s attitude has changed since he became a councillor in May last year and now believed he was ‘untouchable’.
Speaking to The News, Cllr Godier, who represents Charles Dickens ward, said: ‘I was treated badly, the branch is run poorly.
‘The branch is a shambles.
‘I was asking the branch committee for months and months about what the next step was in terms of who our parliamentary candidate was (for Portsmouth South).
‘But we as councillors got told to shut up all the time and told it’s nothing to do with us.’
Cllr Godier said the branch had failed to live up to its promise and give him any training for his duties.
‘When I started I asked for one thing, that I needed support to do the job in terms of education, because I was illiterate, and I needed help improving my political knowledge. Yet you want to know where my support came from? The Tories.’
Cllr Godier added the stress of not being able to do his work properly affected his health. ‘I was suffering with depression and I couldn’t even leave my house, I was refusing to go out because of the stress,’ he said.
Cllr Galloway said: ‘I am deeply disappointed and shocked. Shortly after he was elected, Cllr Godier seemed to think the role of councillor is godly almost and was untouchable. He had a strange attitude about his councillor duties.’
Ukip now has two party committees in Portsmouth serving the north and south.
Cllr Stuart Potter, Ukip Portsmouth North chairman, said: ‘His claims about the branch are certainly untrue. Paul Godier has been running hot and cold.
‘One minute, he is all for the job of helping people, but then he withdraws away from it and misses council meetings and group meetings.’
Cllr Godier said he has yet to decide whether he will continue in the Ukip council group or be an independent councillor. Cllr Godier said colleagues were ‘playing games’ – and is ‘struggling with more power, let alone wanting more.’