UKIP’s leader on Lincolnshire County Council has stepped down as chairman of the party’s East Midlands Regional Committee.
But Chris Pain will continue in his role as a county councillor, representing Wainfleet and Burgh-le-Marsh, while police look at alleged racist comments appearing on his Facebook page – and a counter allegation that he was hacked.
UKIP national chairman Steve Crowther says the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will “suspend judgement” until police finish their inquiries.
Coun Pain and Spalding South Ward councillor Alan Jesson say offensive posts on their Facebook pages are not theirs. They were not available for comment this week when the Spalding Guardian telephoned.
Lincolnshire Police confirmed yesterday that they are still information gathering and a spokesman said it will be a “protracted inquiry”.
Following the NEC meeting, Mr Crowther said: “The NEC has decided to suspend judgement pending the outcome of Lincolnshire Police’s investigations into the allegations, and into the alleged hacking of Coun Pain’s Facebook account.
“Mr Pain is to step down as chairman of the party’s East Midlands Regional Committee in the meantime.
“He will continue to represent the electors who voted him onto Lincolnshire County Council.
“UKIP deplores racism, but is also aware the party is under concerted attack from political organisations such as Hope Not Hate who are attempting to thwart our progress. We will deal with any proven instance of genuine racism appropriately, but will resist politically-motivated campaigns designed to inhibit our growing popular support.
“We are aware of the increasing amount of internet hacking and counterfeiting, and will continue to work with the police and service providers to establish the veracity of any such allegations which may be made, and their sources.”