All 17 Ukip councillors in Thurrock have resigned and joined Thurrock Independents.

This means that the Thurrock Indepenents are now the official opposition on Thurrock Council.

In a statement the Group Leader of Thurrock Independents, councillor Graham Snell, said: “Thurrock Independents have the only councillors in Thurrock whose prime concern will be Thurrock residents.

"They are not compromised by a slavish attachment to a national party. The party will only be standing in local elections.

"Our entire group joined Thurrock Independents as we have had enough of the aggressive and bitter reality of party politics. Our councillors have won widespread admiration for their hard work even from residents across the political spectrum.

"We hope that these admirers will now be able to support Thurrock Independents. Our logo represents the ethos of our party; hard graft, working together towards common goals, sacrifice and the importance of the protection of our environment.

“Our mission is to maximise the quality of life of all Thurrock residents not gain power for power’s sake. We will fight for better council, health, and emergency services. We will demand a new benchmark in customer service from public bodies to ensure all residents are treated with respect. We will fight to protect Thurrock’s environment.

"We will pursue policies to maximise and prioritise the access that local people have to housing and jobs. The Thurrock Independents entirely reject traditional ‘Punch and Judy’ politics. We will respect our opponents at all times and will after the 2018 local elections be willing to cooperate with other Councillors who also adhere to this standard.

“Thurrock Independents opens its doors to all Thurrock residents. Whether you have voted Labour, Tory, Lib Dem, Green, UKIP or don’t normally vote, matters not. If you are committed to improving Thurrock for all then you can find a home in the Thurrock Independents."

If you wish to join the party email or call 07397 638 923.

The party will be standing candidates in every ward during the 2018 local elections.