Published: 13:00, 27 February 2015 |
Updated: 09:54, 10 March 2015
Ukip in Shepway has had a grim week with two councillors in Lydd walking out of the party in three days.
Lydd Deputy Mayor Bob Jones quite on Tuesday, citing one main reason as the racially offensive remarks made by Thanet councillor Rozanne Duncan in last Sunday's BBC documentary Meet the Ukippers.
Lydd Mayor Tom Dawes walked out yesterday because of practical problems although he also condemned Cllr Duncan's remarks about, as she put it, "negroes.''
Both had been declared as Ukip candidates for the new Walland and Denge ward to fight May's Shepway District Council Elections.
Neither will now be candidates at all in that poll and will instead continue at Lydd Town Council.
The move comes as a particular blow for leader Nigel Farage as his party gathered for a conference in Margate today.
Cllr Jones said of Cllr Duncan's remarks: "I was totally appalled. You can't say things like that.
"In this world you have to be tolerant.''
Cllr Dawes said he had been unable to watch the programme as he was working as landlord at his pub, the Royal Mail in Lydd, that night.
But on learning of the remarks he said: "Anybody would be offended by those comments. You shouldn't say things like that and even the word 'negro' is derogatory today.''
Ukip has been dogged by a new race storm after Cliftonville East councillor Rozanne Duncan said on the programme to colleagues that she had a problem with people with "negroid features.''
She told colleagues she "doesn't like negroes because of how they look.''
Ukip expelled her because of this and she is now an independent councillor.
Cllr Dawes instead decided to quit because he felt a new role as district councillor would be unworkable on top of running his pub and being a Lydd Mayor and councillor.
He said the job of district councillor would now be even more demanding with their numbers being reduced from 46 to 30 after the May 7 poll.
In a statement issued yesterday he declared; "I would like to confirm my withdrawal from Ukip and that I will therefore not be standing as a district councillor for them or any other political party in the next elections.
"The role of a district councillor is a demanding one and will be more so now that the number in Shepway has been reduced.
"I have discussed my family, business and council commitments in depth with my wife Tina and we both agree that it would be difficult to do justice to all those things.
"I am resolute in being committed to representing Lydd Town Council as an independent and would very much like to continue to serve my community as a councillor and would be honoured to be re-elected as Mayor for 2015-16.''
Romney Marsh county councillor David Baker had earlier this month announced the two men as among six Marsh Ukip candidates for the party.
He expressed disappointment but understanding for Cllr Jones' departure because he had also been angry about the remarks on the TV programme.
But he expressed surprise and dismay at Cllr Dawes also walking out.
It is though that both candidates will shortly be replaced by Ukip in time for the election.
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