Tuesday, 12 January 2016

UKIP Party Whip Deceit. Councillors & Public Misled

Former Thanet  Green Party councillor and 2015 Parliamentary Candidate for  South Thanet, Ian Driver,  has accused   UKIP and  councillor Chris Wells the  Leader of  the only UKIP controlled  council in the country (Thanet District Council)  of  being  “deceitful and  dishonest about  whether the party operates a political  whipping system.” In its 2015 Manifesto UKIP states that its councillors “have the freedom to vote how they choose. We believe the community is their boss and they will not be whipped  to bloc vote like councillors in other political parties”(1).

According to a confidential UKIP e-mail leaked to Driver it appears that in 2015 UKIP’s National Executive  quietly dropped its Manifesto promise not to operate a political  whipping system for its councillors (2).  Dated 4th November 2015 the e-mail from UKIP National Executive Member, Piers Wauchope, to  Councillor  Wells  says  “UKIP council group rules have been changed by the NEC …. The Group secretary now takes on in every way the role of a whip….the duty of a group member (is) to follow group decisions”. Wauchope then makes the astonishing suggestion that by delegating to its council political group secretaries the role of party whip that it is acceptable for UKIP councillors to continue to publically claim that the party still retains “its distinctive no whip policy”. He goes on to say that  “as we are not giving anyone the title of whip, those who think it important may still claim we have no  whips”(3).
At a meeting of Thanet District Council on 3rd December 2015  Councillor Wells was challenged about UKIPs no-whip policy by Tory leader Bob Bayford. Wells appears to have followed Wauchope’s earlier e-mail advice by replying that “that UKIP did not operate a whip”. When pushed further by Bayford about  documents suggesting that UKIP did in fact have “members performing a similar role”  to that of a party whip, Wells replied “that he had not seen this correspondence and was unaware what councillor Bayford was referring to (4)”.Said Driver “I’m  astounded by Wells’ response to the question about the UKIP party whip. Either he had not read Wauchope’s  e-mail  which had been sent to him one month before the Council meeting of 3rd December, or he had read the e-mail, followed Wauchope’s deceitful suggestions and  misled  Thanet’s  55 elected  councillors  about it, in which case he should do honourable thing and resign as Leader and Councillor”. Driver added “UKIP took control of Thanet Council in May 2015 by winning 33 seats on the back of a massive surge of popular support for the party. UKIPs victory was helped by their boast that its  councillors were not whipped and forced to toe the party line, allowing  them to put the interests of  their constituents before party politics. It now appears that this policy was dropped by UKIP without telling those who had voted for its councillors. Worse still members of UKIPs ruling national Executive Committee were advising UKIP  councillors to mislead voters about this fundamental policy change and cover up the fact that its councillors were now subject to a whip. This nationally orchestrated campaign of public deception has resulted in the Leader of the only UKIP controlled local authority in the country  apparently  misleading  to councillors and the public ay a council meeting   about its whipping arrangements. What’s happened in Thanet demonstrates that from highest level down UKIP is deceitful and dishonest and cannot be  trusted to tell the truth”.

Driver said that he will be submitting a formal complaint to Thanet Council’s Standards Committee and demanding a full investigation into Councillor Wells actions.

Since coming to power in May 2015 Thanet’s ruling UKIP party has lost 7 of its councillors. One defected to join the Tory Party. 5 have broken away from UKIP  to form  the Democratic Independent Group and 1 has emigrated  to  Thailand creating a by-election which if lost by UKIP means that the party will no longer control the Council.  
UPDATE  10/01/16 4pm. I have just spoken to Councillor Chris Wells Leader of Thanet Council who provided me with the following statement
"The UKIP group at TDC have not as yet even discussed the NEC position and remain at least until that discussion without a whip under whatever name".

This may be true, but the fact remains the UKIP NEC have decided  to abandon the party's  no whip position. But amazingly  UKIP councillors are being advised that's its OK to mislead voters about this and pretend that they still don't have a whip. The words hypocrisy and deceit still ring loud in my ears.

For more information contact Ian Driver 07866588766 e-mail

  1. UKIP Manifesto 2015 page 59
  2. There is no announcement on UKIPs website about its NEC’s decision to introduce a whipping systems for its elected councillors
  3. See leaked UKIP e-mail from Piers Wauchope to Councillor Chris Wells, 4 November 2015  which is attached to this e-mail
  4. See minutes of Thanet Council meeting 3 December 2015



  1. SO WHAT,what you going to do about any of what you find out? 'A'

  2. Well said Ian a grubby little arrangement in Wells pretending there is no whip. What sheep have we elected in ukip simply doing as they are told. No wonder they're collapsing with defections

  3. Well said Ian a grubby little arrangement in Wells pretending there is no whip. What sheep have we elected in ukip simply doing as they are told. No wonder they're collapsing with defections

  4. A group manager instead of a whip - trust a lawyer like Wauchope to fudge the truth. What a dull little man and thank goodness he was drummed out of Thanet politics before destroying it further. Did he claim to be local too?

  5. There's talk from Mr Wells about you on SuMA site.Why don't you respond to Wells on SuMA site,come on your supporters are waiting.