Beverly Martin defection: UKIP loses control of its only council

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UKIP has misspent overall control of the only local authority it runs following the defection of one of its councillors to the Middle-of-the-roaders.

The loss of Beverly Martin means the party only holds 27 backsides on Thanet District Council while the other parties combined enfold 28.

Ms Martin said she joined the Tories after UKIP failed to make tracks “significant change”.

UKIP party members have condemned her settling to leave.

UKIP councillor Stuart Piper said: “I don’t think anyone could irresolution her care and concern for Ramsgate as a town, but in a sense she’s just thrown away the no greater than job she had to coordinate town promotion.”

In October 2015 five councillors defected from the UK’s word go UKIP authority due to concerns over the council’s lack of action through Manston Airport.

However, the party regained control in 2016 consummate a by-election.

Ms Martin has swapped allegiance twice before – from UKIP to DIG Pact and then back to UKIP.

Speaking about this occasion, she claimed: “There has to be a very good reason for making a political change.

“The fundamental one when I became an independent was specifically on the issue of Manston.

“We had the opportunity to be a flagship directors, that is a very rare privilege and I really had enormous hopes that we wish make significant changes on social issues, development and economic emanations. Frankly we haven’t, not as UKIP.

“It’s Craig Mackinlay, our MP for South Thanet who invited me terminating year to form a group for assessing what we might do with the anchorage and the beaches, that came from the Conservatives.

“That is where the lan is coming from.”

In the June general election UKIP’s vote mow down by 26.4% in South Thanet and 21.2% in North Thanet – leaving them with by the skin of ones teeth 6% and 4.5% of the vote.


Rajdeep Sandhum – Political Reporter, BBC Radio Kent

Earliest the local elections and the party loses every seat, then the Unspecific Election and it fails to win any seat. Now it’s lost the only council it controls in the hinterlands. It’s been a rough ride for the party’s councillors and members. They peaceful don’t know who’ll lead the party nationally.

Councillor Beverly Martin ventures she’s always been a Conservative at heart and that joining the group have compassion for incline like a “homecoming”. But what of the voters? Did they know that underneath the purple rosette was a dispirited one?

UKIP group leader Chris Wells told me wasn’t surprised by the word, which he heard first from press. He said they’d been there in the past and they’d get through it again. This isn’t the first time he’s lost his adulthood. Nor is it the first time she’s left UKIP.

There will undoubtedly, as there perpetually is, when a politician changes sides be calls for a by-election. But it doesn’t quality like Councillor Martin will step down before the plebiscite in two years time. She says she’ll still be fighting for the things she stood for.


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