Conservative Party officials have been criticised following the ejection of a former local chairman over his wife’s candidacy for another political group.
‘Lifelong’ Conservative member and former councillor John Waine was dismissed from the Tories after signing his wife’s nomination papers in her bid to stand for local council in Nuneaton and Bedworth – under a UKIP party banner.
This, according to local Tories, contravened a part of the party’s constitution which forbids members from having associations with other parties – but Waine, along with others, disagreed. Instead the move looks like more Tory panic over UKIP’s inroads into their party faithful.
Protesting the decision, Waine insisted his signing the form was not a political act, telling the Coventry Telegraph: “I was showing personal support to my wife, which I think is a reasonable attitude. It had nothing to do with the party she had chosen to represent and I had no other involvement with her election campaign”.
“It would be a poor show if I had refused to sign my wife’s nomination, which is only a formality and does not mean that I, in any way, support the party she has chosen to represent”.
Having been nominated by her husband, Alwyn Waine stood against the Conservative group leader in the local elections, in which she came second. Councillor Wilson, who has led the Tory group since May, would not comment, saying only: “This is an internal party matter”.
The prospect of Waine’s expulsion first arose in July, after his party membership renewal was rejected on the basis of his having signed the UKIP form. He insisted the local Chairman didn’t have the power to expel members on his own, so his membership was renewed and the formal expulsion process began.
Two more local councillors, this time in Clacton, defected to UKIP yesterday.