UKIP leader saga is a ‘storm in a teacup’

Chris Pain, leader of UKIP Lincolnshire, who has been kicked out of the party after a disciplinary hearing.
Chris Pain, leader of UKIP Lincolnshire, who has been kicked out of the party after a disciplinary hearing.
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A councillor has said its “business as usual” after the former Lincolnshire UKIP leader was kicked out of the party.

Richard Fairman, who represents Spalding East and Moulton on Lincolnshire County Council, was one of six councillors to breakaway from the main UKIP group after Chris Pain was deposed as leader.

But he says he is still in the dark as to the latest development, which has seen Coun Pain kicked out of the UKIP party.

Mr Pain claims the decision following a disciplinary hearing was because he was “creating a power base and would challenge for the leadership”.

But Coun Fairman said he believes Mr Pain is a “decent bloke” and the whole thing is just a “storm in a teacup.”

He said: “I hope it won’t affect things on the county council.

“We are being called a breakaway group but as I see it we are static and everything else is moving around us.

“In the meantime I am carrying on with my job, representing my constituents, and carrying on as normal.

“I am confident this will all blow over.”

Mr Fairman said he was heading to the UKIP party conference in London on Friday but said it was “more important to be doing my job here than to be seen at the conference”.

The Lincolnshire UKIP breakaway group is currently led by Chris Pain and also includes Coun Fairman, Coun Alan Jesson, who represents Spalding South, Bob McAuley, John Beaver and Tiggs Keywood-Wainwright.

Members have said they are “reeling” after the decision to kick Mr Pain out of the party.

Coun McAuley said: “I think they ought to rename Chris Pain Julius Casear because he’s got enough daggers in his back.”

Coun Pain, who represents Wainfleet and Burgh, near Skegness, said his dismissal was like “using a stick of dynamite to crack a walnut”.

Following the decision he said: “After nine years of hard work, and achieving some of the best results in the history of the party, they are throwing me out.

“I’ve always though the party was just and fair – but this raises some grave concerns about the leadership.”

The departure of the six breakaway councillors from the county council’s main UKIP group, meant a change of official opposition.

From 16 members the UKIP group fell to ten, leaving it open for Labour with 12 to step into the breach.

On Friday the Labour group announced its shadow executive.

And it’s a top role for new county councillor Phil Dilks, who was elected in May to represent Deeping St James.

He takes on the shadow portfolio for libraries, heritage, culture, registration and coroners service.

Coun Dilks has been an outspoken opponent of the council’s current proposals to turn over control of a number of Lincolnshire’s libraries, including Deepings’, to voluntary group in a bid to save itself in the region of £2million.