UKIP candidate Martyn Heale will not be asked to stand down despite once belonging to National Front
A UKIP candidate standing for the county council election
who once belonged to the National Front will not face any sanctions
or be asked to withdraw.
Martyn Heale is the party's candidate in Ramsgate and was an
active member of the National Front more than three decades
UKIP rules bar anyone who has been a member of a far right
organisation from being an election candidate, but party chiefs say
that Mr Heale's membership of the National Front was considered
He was also a member of the Conservative party in Ramsgate for
15 years, during which time he stood in various local council
Mr Heale said in a statement he regretted joining the National
"I have said on many occasions that I regret that youthful, and
as it turned out, unwise decision to join.
"I categorically state that my NF membership was a bad decision
and one that I sincerely regret."
He added that he denounced racism in any form and had not hidden
his membership of NF from UKIP when he applied to join in 2003.
A spokesman for UKIP said Mr Heale had been a party member for
several years before the ban was brought in.
"He joined the party long before the rule came in and it would
be contrary to natural justice to backdate it and apply it to
Voters go to the polls on Thursday for what is expected to be
the most keenly contested county council election for years.
Results for all 84 divisions up for grabs across Kent will be
declared on Friday. For all details of candidates and background to
the election, see our special report
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