A UKIP councillor at the heart of the ongoing rift on Tendring District Council has quit in the past 24 hours, as confirmed to Breitbart London by the council’s press office.
Councillor Len Sibbald – who was one of the nine breakaway councillors that left the official UKIP group on the council to form their own ‘Tendring UKIP’ group – has resigned from the party, shortly after he rejoined the official group this week.
E-mails from Cllr Sibbald reveal his regret at leaving the official UKIP group and joining Tendring UKIP. He wrote to one local activist: “I lost my way and drifted away from UKIP. I am still UKIP in heart and will always vote UKIP.”
Breitbart London has spoken to a number of local sources, including local councillors and party activists who are placing the blame at the feet of Tory defector Mick Skeels, as well as local MP Douglas Carswell.
One source said there were widespread suspicions that Conservative Party defectors, who had come over shortly after Mr Carswell, had been “colluding” with local Tories in order to bring the local UKIP branch down. He said, “I still think Carswell is with them. Definitely think Carswell is a wolf in sheep’s clothing – I don’t trust him at all.”
It would appear the situation isn’t as simple as it seems, either. Some UKIP councillors defected to the new Tendring UKIP group in order to take up cabinet positions – leading to one source claiming they had been “bought off”. But there are clearly other rifts in the local party, and Breitbart London understands that certain party members have taken to using codenames to avoid being identified in conversation.
Joe 90, Agent Z, Agent X, and Woolfey are believed to be some of the monikers used by local members when exchanging information about defectors.
One activist and the brother of a local councillor, Will Hones, told Breitbart London that he believes that instead of the suspension of the 5 councillors who refused to join the UKIP group – they should have been immediately expelled.
Hones detailed how defectors from the Conservative Party joined UKIP, only to refuse to attend local branch meetings, and give them “no help whatsoever” as to how to work in a council.
“All they did was talk all this bollocks about how good they were,” he said. Hones is believed to be the person responsible for anti-Tendring-UKIP flyers going up across the town.
Hones continued, “Douglas [Carswell] consulted local residents over a year ago… the Tories realised he was going to lose… he defected to UKIP to save himself for the next five years.”
Asked what he think would happen to Carswell in the coming months, Hones replied, “He’ll probably resign [from UKIP]”.
Activists have also complained about the way they are treated by Mr Carswell, with one leaked e-mail from the MP reading: “Please stop sending me these obnoxious messages. If I get any more, I will block your email address. Warm regards, Douglas.”
It is unclear if Mr Sibbald will now sit as an independent, or whether he has resigned as a councillor altogether. A source said: “Now there wil [sic] be a byelection so we will see if the conservatives beat Ukip, if they do carswell is getting what he wants.”