UKIP’s nightmare continues as 17 councillors quit the party. Thurrock, which is an area in Essex, has been a huge battleground for UKIP in the past. However, this is a significant blow for the party, and with the 2018 local elections just 3 months away, it will be a miracle if UKIP can hold onto any of their seats.
One of the councillors who resigned was also an MEP (Member of the European Parliament) Tim Aker (image right). Mr Aker has fought the Thurrock Parliamentary seats in the 2015, and 2017 General Elections. In 2015, the party was less than 1,000 votes from winning the parliamentary seat.
The new group has been named the “Thurrock Independents”, and this includes all of the councillors who have resigned from UKIP. This means that the new group replace UKIP as the official opposition for the Conservatives on the local council. UKIP have only 224 councillors remaining in the UK, a sharp decrease from the over 600 they had during their prime.
Graham Snell, who is the leader of the new group, said the party would only stand during local elections and not in parliamentary ones. He said “our mission is to maximise the quality of life of all Thurrock residents not gain power for power’s sake,”.
This mass-resignation could not come at a worse time for UKIP, with their current leader already facing calls to quit the role just 2 months into the job. The National Executive Committee unanimously gave a vote of no confidence in him last week, but Henry Bolton OBE has insisted he wants to remain as leader.
Very simply, UKIP are dying and unless they can move past this internal infighting, they will soon be finished. However, there was always been an internal problem within UKIP, even when Nigel Farage MEP was leader, so it is highly unlikely that the party can survive.