MAVERICK MP Bob Spink claims he has never been a member of UKIP, despite announcing he was joining the party in April last year.
At the time he described the party as the “natural home for principled Conservatives” after resigning from the Conservative Party following infighting with the Castle Point Conservative Association.
And he was listed as a UKIP MP when speaking in the House of Commons, where he was the party’s only MP, up until November 24.
After that he has appeared on the official record as an independent during debates.
Speaking in Parliament this week, he said: “I belong to no party. I am an independent.”
But UKIP spokesman Tim Worstall said Dr Spink was still on the books.
He said: “He has been issued a membership card, but he’s never actually paid for membership.
“He’s still on our books as a member.”
Dr Spink said he was clarifying his position after speaking and listening to his constituents.
He said: “I made it clear last year I am an Independent MP and wished to be known as such. I respect and support UKIP, particularly their policies on Europe.
“In fact, I considered myself a UKIP ‘member’, although I never formally joined UKIP and do not intend to do so. I work for my constituents, not for a political party and I think that is what local people want.”
When he joined UKIP Dr Spink said he was looking forward to support from UKIP activists to help him fight the next election campaign.
But yesterday he told the Echo he would not be accepting any financial support or activists’ help from the party for his campaign.
Vera Partridge, chairman of the Castle Point Conservative Association, said: “I’m quite surprised he is not a member as he made such a big deal of joining. But really it’s immaterial to us what party he wishes to align himself with.
“It’s a case of which party is it this week?”
However, chairman of the local UKIP branch Ron Hurrell, of Hadleigh Park Avenue, Thundersley, said he continued to support Dr Spink.
He said: “Bob is a fine constituency MP. We are happy to have his support on European issues and respect his wish to be independent.”