THREE Ukip councillors have been suspended from the party following a major rift in the Basildon group.

David Harrison, Peter Holliman and Alan Ball have all been suspended from Ukip until further notice, but have appealed the decision made by the national party.

A Ukip spokesman confirmed the trio will keep their membership until an investigation has concluded, but will not be able to take part in party activity.

The three councillors, who split from Basildon's main Ukip group earlier his year to form their own Wickford group, said in a statement: “As from 9am on Wednesday, November 11, we have been suspended from Ukip.

“We will continue to serve the people of Wickford as we have done since being elected to Basildon Council in 2014, and will continue to do so until our re-election in 2018.

“We have each submitted an appeal against the circumstances of the suspension from the Party."

Mr Harrison has previously broken ranks to vote against Basildon's Ukip leader Linda Allport-Hodge's proposals.

Mrs Allport-Hodge threatened to suspend him last month.

In October, Mr Harrison voted against a proposals by Mrs Allport-Hodge to reform the planning committee, meaning it was defeated by a single vote.

He also voted against Mrs Allport-Hodge’s proposals to introduce pledges on clean energy and air quality into the council’s corporate plan.

Mrs Allport-Hodge refused to comment on the suspension.