Thursday, 15 October 2015

UKIP still in control of Thanet District Council despite resignation

A UKIP Thanet councillor has left the UKIP group and joined the independents, losing UKIP its overall majority on the council.

Thanet District Council was the first major local authority to come under UKIP control and it is disappointing to see Cllr Jeff Elenor leave the UKIP group over a perceived lack of action with regard to reopening Manston airport when there are concerns from the council, the Department for Transport and consultants that the proposed buyer of Manston airport can't actually afford to run it.

Although UKIP is now 1 councillor short of an absolute majority there are still 28 UKIP councillors on Thanet District Council out of 58 and UKIP continue to lead the council. With a party like the Conservatives or Labour a majority matters because they whip their members but there is no whip in UKIP and therefore no guarantee that all UKIP councillors would vote the same way as their colleagues do.

The four UKIP councillors that have joined the Democratic Independents group over the last few months were clearly not travelling in the same direction as the rest of the UKIP group and were unlikely to vote with the party anyway making their defection largely irrelevant to the way the council is run.