Is Kursaal’s UKIP councillor quitting already?



UPDATE: He says he’s staying…we’ll see.

When UKIP shocked everyone at the Southend election count last month, by going at one stroke from no representation to five seats on the council, there was a lot of whispering about the newest political grouping. The simple fact is that we (as in, Southend) know very little about the new purple councillors.

James Moyies is well known, of course, and has worked hard over a number of years to win West Shoebury. And from what I heard, Tino Callaghan worked hard in Prittlewell, even if his earlier campaign in the West Leigh by-election did little to inspire.

But the remaining three are pretty much unknowns, and there was of course a lot of wondering as to how long they might last. UKIP has a fairly high casualty rate (in the last EU Parliament, of 13 MEPs 5 were either sacked, had the whip suspended or resigned), and I doubt they have much imagined the responsibilities and work-load required of a local councillor.

Cllr Moyies has kept a grip on his group so far (his tweet celebrating his election as group leader felt a bit absurd, but imagine had they chosen someone other than him). With the only meeting of the new council having lasted less than half an hour, there hasn’t been much chance for anyone to go off the reservation.

But witness this from Kursaal’s surprise ‘Kipper Lawrence Davies:

lawrence davies ukip kursaal

Now, caveats apply: this was posted a month before an election in which he was a paper candidate, and has since been deleted. I am not friends with Cllr Davies, and this particular status was set to public visibility. It does, nonetheless, raise certain questions about the new councillor’s intentions and dedication, and I note the decisive tone in which he declares that he will be moving back to Cambridge this August.

Perhaps Cllr Davies has changed his mind. Perhaps he will stay, and represent those who elected him to the best of his ability. Or perhaps he will go back to Cambridge, and trigger a by-election costing the local taxpayer some £14,000.

Time will tell, but I will be watching closely the actions of the UKIP contingent in Southend.



    1. Dont you think trolling through someones personal facebook account to dig up the dirt is a little distasteful? Clearly you hate the ukippers, and you admit you are not friends but what has someones past facebook messages got to do with you or this guy being a good councillor?


      1. I didn’t actually dig out myself, but actually I think it’s fairly proper scrutiny. It is directly relevant to his being a good councillor if he is planning to decamp to Cambridge imminently.

        And there is no hatred in it. I am a local politics blogger (amongst other things) ad a Labour party member. I turn my attention on all of the local parties. Are you suggesting that I shouldn’t? Why? Because this one happens to be a UKIP member?


  1. Hello Matthew Dent,

    This is Cllr Davies himself, Actually I have no problem being scrutinised, if its fair. I was asked by friends if this was true and later by the Echo, to give my response, It is a rather a lot of fuss over one isolated facebook comment between friends.

    But you are quite right, every Councillor has a responsibility to his/her ward and even if i had planned to move, I would stay especially for the people who elected me.

    I am glad there is no hatred in it, and hope you give the same scrutiny to everyone, but I do suspect you are only trying to catch me out just because I am the new boy on the block and because UKIP are becoming more popular than labour in Kursaal.

    but do keep on blogging, and I wish you the best, whatever your political party.


    1. I’ll admit, I am curious about the new UKIP group on the council — aside from Cllr Moyies I know very little about you. But trying to catch you out? Not particularly. I simply saw the status and thought it a source of curiosity. I was surprised at your victory — something which I expect we share — but I am definitely not targeting you because of it.

      I look forward to more interactions between us to come, and perhaps I’ll even tempt you into blogging yourself?


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