Kipperwatch! Southend UKIP civil war spills onto the ballot paper


believe in southend

When I spoke privately with James Moyies a month or so back, he hinted that there might be some Independent UKIP candidates on the ballot paper this year.

James, in my experience, is a man of his word, and I wouldn’t say that I doubted that he meant it. But I was, I confess, surprised to see on the list of nominated candidates yesterday a number of Independent candidates I could clearly identify as being Kippers.

This, to me, marks the final disintegration of Southend UKIP. Up until now it’s been in the background, a war fought online and in the papers, and in the backrooms of the local party. Now it’s very real.

There are eight candidates in the Southend local elections this who are standing under the description “UK Independence Party (UKIP)”. There are also at least three who I can identify as being UKIP supporters, who are standing as Independents.

The three “Independent UKIP” candidates are:

  • Paul Ryder – Prittlewell.
  • Carl Whitwell – St Laurence.
  • Alex Moyies – West Shoebury.

Now, all of these are very definitely Kippers. Paul Ryder has been the prospective candidate for Prittlewell ward for a long time, and put out leaflets to that extent around Christmas. Now he appears on the ballot as an Independent candidate. He is, my little birds tell me, Cllr Tino Callaghan’s nephew, and I know that Tino is very unhappy with the current leadership of the local party (Heck, he’s still suspended from the party – Ed).

Carl Whitwell, regular readers may remember, was one of the two UKIP candidates last year in Westborough ward. Now he’s an independent in St Laurence. I don’t really know much about him, but I doubt that he’s decided he’s no longer UKIP.

Alex Moyies is, as you might expect, James’ son. I think I’ve met him, though I can’t actually recall him. I don’t think it’ll be any surprise to anyone that he’d be on his dad’s side in the civil war. His deciding to go Indie could herald more movements post-election.

Now, three things about this overarching situation occur to me. Firstly, these are all young candidates. It doesn’t bode well for UKIP’s angry, white, old and male image that their youngest activists are standing as Independent candidates rather than under the party banner. Has Waterworth actually forced them out? Or do they just feel unable to be part of the party under his direction?

The second thing is that all of these wards are wards which UKIP won last year. Which makes sense, really. How do you encourage young activists to stand? Give them something they stand at least a chance of winning. Whether they will, I don’t know, especially given that they won’t appear as UKIP on the ballot paper.

Thirdly, if the tweets of James Moyies are to be believed, these three are not just Independent UKIP candidates, but full-fledged candidates of the Independent Party Group.

This, for me, suggests that the Moyies faction of Southend UKIP is merging with Martin Terry and Ron Woodley’s band of merry men (Or grumpy sods -Ed). Waterworth is in real danger of ending up sat on his own, after May 7th.

At any rate, there is no denying any more that UKIP in Southend is split. They’ve managed to turn a promising start into a disaster, in the space of just a year. If that isn’t the startling incompetence that should put anyone off voting for them, then I don’t know what it is.

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15 comments

  1. I would not discount Roger and Verina Weaver who are standing for official UKIP. Like marmite you either love or hate it but no one can deny Roger is a formidable player and Verina imo is an even better politician.

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    1. We’ll see, John. I’m sure they were, in their day, but they’ve toured the houses a little in terms of parties recently. It may be unfair, but the perception is of them looking for whatever party brand can give them a comeback.

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  2. Matt, you need to add Margaret Hayden (West Shoebury) to the list as she is James Moyies mother in law. Does make you think if residents want to be represented by three members of the same family. In fairness, ‘accepted by the group’ could mean the members of the suspended or expelled Ukip Group.

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    1. So, looks like the creation of a Moyies dynasty. Thank you so much for providing this snippet of interesting information.

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      1. Margaret Haydon has been a committee member of the Shoeburyness Residents Association for many years and is very well known locally . I don’t think the family connection will hold her back.

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  3. Meantime… far from the madding crowd, Southend and Rochford UKIP branch is quietly, efficiently and effectively revving up its election campaign.

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    1. Is there a leaflet for the General Election campaign in Rochford and Southend East? Would be good to see it. Are they the same as the BNP inspired local election leaflets?

      Unfortunately people like yourself and the other candidates who have jojned UKIP since January have no experience of what a proper UKIP campaign looks like in Southend.

      It’s also a shame that you are standing candidates who have declared that if elected they would not be able to fulfil their duties as a Councillor.

      New UKIP is very different from “old UKIP” …for a start we are much younger, work hard and are less right wing.

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      1. James

        Personally speaking

        1. I am currently delivering leaflets for my ward, Rochford.
        2. These are UKIP leaflets and have nothing whatsoever to do with the BNP, whom I abhor.
        3. If elected I will fulfil full duties as Councillor for my ward.
        4. I represent UKIP. I don’t recognise or understand ‘old’ UKIP or ‘new’ UKIP. Just UKIP.
        5. I don’t think age should be a barrier to becoming a Councillor or politician.

        Bob

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