Published: 08:39, 09 April 2018
| Updated: 15:08, 09 April 2018
A group of former Ukip members in Kent have defected to set up a new party, we can reveal.
The Foundation Party has been co-founded by a Kent Ukip councillor in Ashford alongside other former prominent Ukip members in the county.
Ashford councillor Ryan Macpherson, who represents Beaver Ward, has left Ukip to join while its new leader is Gerald O’Brien, former Ukip Sevenoaks branch chairman, who was parliamentary candidate in Ashford in 2015 and 2017.
The party has also signed up Richard Palmer, who was the county chairman of Ukip and stood in the general election for Sittingbourne and Sheppey.
He has been appointed chairman of the party.
Cllr Macpherson said: “Values such as individual liberty and free speech that have made Britain great are under threat and this must be unapologetically addressed by a brave, new party. Every major political party in the UK is either woefully out of touch or woefully out of shape. Our country is heading in the wrong direction in many areas and currently there is not a party ready and willing to provide new leadership and a genuinely fresh approach.”
The party’s website states: “Much of politics has lost touch with the core values that underpin our country, whether it be democracy, self-determination, justice, the rule of law, our heritage, or even the freedom of speech and civilised debate.”
“These values make up the foundation of a healthy and prosperous society, and if our mainstream politicians won’t stand up and fight for them, we will.”
The news is a further blow to Ukip in Kent, where its former power base has been steadily eroded and seen a number of its members and former councillors leave.
it could also affect the prospects for the new party set up by the former UKIP leader Henry Bolton who has established the One Nation party after he was ousted from the role.