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Ukip loses two more councillors as it clings to power at Thanet council

Two more Ukip councillors in Thanet have left the party and are to sit as independents.

The decision by the two to leave is another blow to the party which continues to run Thanet council but as a minority administration.

Birchington ward councillors Suzanne Brimm and Alan Howes are to sit as independents and have ruled out switching to other parties - which may come as some relief to the Ukip leader of the council Chris Wells.

Both are now listed as independents on the authority’s website.

Suzanne Brimm
Suzanne Brimm

Cllr Howes said he would not go into detail about his reasons for becoming an independent but said he would return to the party if certain issues were resolved.

He also said he would be happy to consider voting for Chris Wells in any future leadership role.

“The internal politics of Ukip are not as they should be. I am not going to elaborate but I remain a fully paid-up member of Ukip and am Ukip through and through.”

Alan Howes
Alan Howes

“We are somewhat disenchanted with certain aspects but I am not going to make those public.”

Cllr Brimm, who quit after learning that she was to lose her job as a cabinet member, said she was disillusioned with the leadership.

“I do not feel that Chris Wells acts in the best interests of the party or the people that we represent,” she said.

However, she too declined to go into details about her differences with the leadership.

Council leader Chris Wells declined to comment.

Chris Wells
Chris Wells

The news comes after Ukip lost by-election in Margate to Labour last month and the defection of Cllr Beverley Martin to the Conservatives.

The party now has 25 seats, four more than the Conservatives. Labour has six seats while there is a two-strong independent group and two independents.

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