Ukip's parliamentary hope in Southend has been disowned by his own group on the borough council.

Floyd Waterworth, the anti-EU party’s candidate for Rochford and Southend East, has been booted out of the council’s Ukip group on Southend Council after a fraught fewmonths.

Tensions have been high between Mr Waterworth and James Moyies, leader of the fivestrong Ukip group on the council, after Mr Waterworth was selected to fight a parliamentary seat in May.

It is understood Mr Waterworth, who represents Blenheim Park, has been kicked out because he allegedly warned a fellow councillor he would interfere with his chances of getting re-elected for Ukip, a charge Mr Waterworth denies. He said: “There’s no truth in that. That’s just skulduggery.”

An email to councillors from Mr Moyies, who represents West Shoebury, said: “I wanted to give you the heads up that the Ukip group has unanimously decided to remove Floyd Waterworth from the group. I will be proposing replacement appointments to the committees he attends.”

In November, the Echo reported Mr Waterworth was accused of using a confidential database of party members to canvass for selection and ferrying less mobile members to the vote, a claim he also denies.

Mr Moyies was later suspended from the Ukip party nationally, but allowed to carry on as group council leader, with the suspension later revoked.

Mr Waterworth said: “I’ve never heard of anything like this before, and there has been no contact. I can only assume it is something James Moyies has cooked up out of the blue.

“It is a sideshow and everyone would be better off if we all got together.”

Mr Waterworth claimed he has not been invited to a council group meeting for weeks, something denied by the local party.

The group is also unhappy Mr Waterworth is acting chairman of the Ukip south Essex branch, after Mr Moyies resigned in September. Mr Waterworth has ruled elections for the chairmanship should be left until after the May general elections to concentrate on campaigning, but the decision angered group members.

Councillor Lawrence Davies said a unanimous decision was taken to expel Mr Waterworth from the group until he agrees to a free election of a branch committee chairman.


Floyd Waterworth


Rivals revel as civil war continues

UKIP’S rivals were revelling in the public dispute.

Labour’s Ian Gilbert, who will be going up against Floyd Waterworth in the general election, compared the latest fallout to the demise of Kerry Smith in Basildon.

He said: “It has been clear for some time that Ukip councillors in Southend are more interested in their struggles for internal position, than they are in serving the town, with Mr Moyies and Mr Waterworth fighting between themselves.”

Fellow Parliamentary candidate for Southend West, Julian Ware-Lane, added: “If there is a brewery looking for someone to organise a drinking session I suggest they avoid calling Ukip in Southend.”

Tory Mark Flewitt, who represents St Lawrence, said: “These are extraordinarily bad times for Ukip.” But council leader Ron Woodley, Independent, said: “Some of their members are very knowledgeable and are passionate, and people should take that into account.”


My view - by Ian Burbidge

Friday, May 23.

Nigel Farage stepped into boozers in Basildon and Benfleet, declaring that Essex was the poster county for Ukip after his party cleaned up in the elections the night before.

But fast-forward seven months, and as Bob Dylan once sung, the times they are a-changing.

From going from a strong base where it was conceivable the party could win in the South Basildon and East Thurrock and Thurrock constituencies, and even have James Duddridge worried in Rochford and Southend East, the party has trained a gun on its foot and shot itself several times.

First there was the embarrassment in Basildon as Kerry Smith was selected, then booted out, and re-selected, only to fall on his sword after he was caught on tape saying racist and homophobic things just days later.

Since November, the party’s two highest-profile members in Southend have been involved in a public mud-slinging exercise.

Now, after Parliamentary candidate Floyd Waterworth has been kicked out of his group locally, he claims his polling results have gone up.

But will voters back someone that has been disowned by their own party locally?

Now today reports are that Tim Aker, again in prime position to take Thurrock for the party, has been sacked after he failed to get the party’s manifesto together in time.

May is still a long way off and in Basildon they have a strong candidate finally in place, but the party cannot afford any more implosions if it is to back up Nigel’s boast in May.