Ukip's job in Hampshire is '˜far from over' say party officials

LOCAL Ukip members say the party still remains a force in Hampshire and vowed '“ their work is far from over.

Thursday, 13th October 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:35 pm
UKIP Havant group leader John Perry Picture: Sarah Standing (150770-6900)

Supporters have spoken out in light of uncertainty surrounding the party, which this week prompted Hampshire Ukip group leader, Councillor Chris Wood, to jump to the Tories.

Problems emerged after Diane James stepped down as Ukip’s national leader 18 days after being elected – and a scuffle in Strasbourg involving would-be leader Steven Woolfe.

But Havant Ukip group leader Cllr John Perry says he is committed to keeping voters on side.

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He said: ‘What’s happened hasn’t affected my position. Ukip’s objective was to leave the EU, and the people of Britain voted to leave the EU.

‘So our work is not really done, not until we really know when we are leaving the EU. That is not the case today.

‘Our job is probably, no more than half finished. We have a lot more to do.

‘We have had the referendum, our objective now is to ensure we hold Theresa May’s feet to the fire until we get Brexit, rather than a weak Brexit.’

‘If you look at the Havant constituency, 62.5 per cent of the people voted to leave the EU, that’s two-thirds.’

Portsmouth Ukip officials say they are also committed to staying put.

Paulsgrove Ukip councillor Stuart Potter said: ‘The people who have defected were previously Tory anyway, and for whatever reason have gone back to their original party.

‘None of this changes my position in Ukip. I have never been a member of any other political organisation.

‘The leadership situation will all be cleared up and sorted by the end of November.’

Portsmouth Ukip group leader Cllr Colin Galloway has already said his ‘prime concern’ is his residents and said ‘the party is stronger than one or two individuals’.

But Copnor Ukip councillor Alicia Denny said the party had changed.

She said: ‘The current Ukip leadership differences have put us in an awkward position, because it’s not the party we represented originally.

‘We need a strong leader.’

While independent councillor and former Ukip member Paul Godier admitted he had considered a switch back before changing his mind following recent problems.