A UKIP councillor has resigned, claiming the party has been "hijacked".

Ron Hurrell, Castle Point councillor for St Peter's ward, resigned with a dramatic speech at the end of the last council meeting before the general election.

Mr Hurrell said "carpet baggers and charlatans" had taken over Ukip in south Essex.

In the council meeting tonight, he claimed members of the committee had been "maligned, harassed and threatened" and the branch had been "destroyed".

He also spoke out against Castle Point Ukip's alliance with Canvey Island Independent Party.

An emotional Mr Hurrell said: "I find the philosophy of those people leading Ukip locally so incompatible with my own that regretfully and with a degree of anger I have resigned my membership of the party."

For a full report - and response from Ukip - see Friday's Echo.