Labour defector Harriet Yeo is to replace Janice Atkinson as the Ukip candidate in Folkestone and Hythe, it's been revealed today.
It comes after Ukip election candidate Janice Atkinson was expelled from the party after a disciplinary hearing into claims about expenses.
A statement issued at 10pm last night said Mrs Atkinson, prospective candidate for Folkestone and Hythe and among Ukip's highest profile figures, had been expelled for bringing the party into disrepute.
Her chief of staff Christine Hewitt was also expelled.
Now Ukip party leader Nigel Farage has announced Ms Atkinson's replacement during a visit to Folkestone.
The Ashford councillor and former Labour group leader defected from the party earlier this year.
In 2012 she stood as Labour candidate for police and crime commissioner in Kent.
It was reported she was removed as Labour Group council leader a week earlier because of non-attendance at meetings.
But the decision has created a few sparks among supporters.
Members of the local association expressed concern about the selection process.
County councillor Hod Birkby said the association was not fully involved in the selection of the new candidate, a claim denied by Mr Farage.
The announcement brings to a climax a tumultuous few days for the local Ukip party.
A statement about Janice Atkinson's expulsion yesterday said:"Janice Atkinson MEP and Christine Hewitt, assistant to Janice Atkinson, have been found to have brought the party into disrepute.
"As a result they have been expelled from the UK Independence Party. They have 14 days to appeal.
"This means that Ms Atkinson no longer represents UKIP in the European Parliament and she will no longer be our prospective parliamentary candidate for Folkestone and Hythe."
Mrs Atkison said she was "deeply disappointed" by the decision.
She added: "I fully intend to appeal. I was elected to represent the constituents of the south-east of England and I will continue to work tirelessly on their behalf and for the best interests of our country."
Mrs Atkinson, 52, was suspended from the party after The Sun published allegations surrounding the costs of an event she had hosted at the party's Spring conference in Margate.
It filmed a staff member of Atkinson’s team asking for an invoice for £3,150 at the restaurant the next day.
It appeared to indicate Ms Hewitt had asked for an invoice for a much higher sum than the bill she had originally received.
In secretly filmed footage with the landlord of the Hoy pub, she is heard to say: "The idea is we overcharge them slightly, because that's the way we repatriate it."
The revelations triggered the suspension and a police inquiry into possible fraud.
The news means the local association will be forced to find a new candidate with just weeks before polling day.
The episode could also have repercussions for party leader Nigel Farage, who is standing in Kent in South Thanet.
However, Ukip will hope that by acting swiftly, it can draw a line under the scandal although the prospect of a police investigation could cast a shadow over the party's campaign in the run up to May 7.
Before the hearing, Mr Farage said the party had shown it was willing to act ruthlessly where candidates or members had transgressed.
"I have been utterly ruthless with people who have stepped over the line. We are very, very good at weeding this stuff out."
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