UKIP’s death spiral – councillors in mass resignation

Latest UKIP MEP to quit is Tim Aker (above right), seen here campaigning with Nigel Farage in Thurrock, where the entire UKIP group has walked out.

The latest twist in the slow death of UKIP has seen mass resignations in two of the party’s few remaining strongholds. Two MEPs have left the party in the past week, which has led to entire blocs of councillors also quitting.

All seventeen UKIP councillors in the Essex borough of Thurrock (who had been the main opposition to the Tories on the council) resigned yesterday, including Eastern England MEP and former Thurrock parliamentary candidate Tim Aker. They have formed a new group called ‘Thurrock Independents’.

Meanwhile five of the six UKIP councillors in Hartlepool, which had been the party’s only growth area in the 18 months since the Brexit referendum, have also walked out, joined by the MEP for NE England and former UKIP leadership candidate Jonathan Arnott.

Significantly UKIP’s latest leadership crisis – with Henry Bolton refusing to quit despite a no confidence vote by his entire party executive – does not seem to have boosted the breakaway party set up by Anne-Marie Waters, the Islam obsessed runner-up to Bolton in last year’s leadership contest. After their first application was rejected by the Electoral Commission, this new outfit is still not registered as a political party: it now hopes to use the name ‘For Britain Movement’.

Henry Bolton (above left) – the latest catastrophic UKIP leader – with Nigel Farage

Rather than Waters and her ex-EDL associate ‘Tommy Robinson’, the short-term beneficiaries of UKIP’s collapse might be Nigel Farage and his financial backer Arron Banks, though they are likely to build a cross-party movement out of UKIP’s ruins rather than a new party, and it would be focused merely on securing Brexit.

The tragedy is that the broadly nationalist views held by a very large percentage of British voters now have no credible electoral voice. Both UKIP and the BNP have effectively died, and for the time being the only widely-heard spokesmen for any sort of nationalist or even vaguely patriotic politics are cranks or charlatans.

 

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