Now Ukip axes councillor over ‘jaw dropping’ TV interview: Party member has links to a ‘far-Right group’
- Rozanne Duncan was expelled for ‘associating with a far-Right group’
- Allegiance came to light after comments in unbroadcast TV interview
- Miss Duncan was dropped while serving on Thanet District Council, Kent
- Ukip confirmed she was removed for ‘bringing the party into disrepute’
Ukip have expelled a prominent local councillor who is understood to have links with a far-Right group, it emerged last night.
Rozanne Duncan was dropped with immediate effect for associating with an organisation which ‘clearly brings the party into disrepute’ while serving on Thanet District Council in Kent.
Her allegiance with the group came to light after comments she made in an unbroadcast television interview, which have been described as ‘jaw-dropping’.
The news is a personal blow for leader Nigel Farage as Thanet South is the constituency where he is standing at next year’s General Election and already faces a tough battle.
Miss Duncan, the secretary of the local party, was the spokesman who announced that Mr Farage that was running for the tightly contested seat in August, jubilantly telling journalists: ‘It’s the worst-kept secret in town.’
Last night the party confirmed that Miss Duncan, 68, was expelled on Saturday for breaking a rule in their constitution which prohibits ‘association with or membership of an organisation…incompatible with membership of the Party’. She has 28 days to appeal.
Ukip membership is not permitted for current or former members of five groups – the British National Party (BNP), English Defence League (EDL), Britain First – a BNP splinter group – the British Freedom Party or UK First.
The new row comes days after Kerry Smith, a Ukip candidate in Basildon South, resigned over a series of slurs describing a Chinese woman as ‘Chinky’ and gay people as ‘disgusting’.
Ukip was also forced to row back after Mark Reckless, the party’s MP in Rochester and Strood, suggested that Ukip would like migrants who have been settled in the UK for years to be repatriated.
A source told her local newspaper that the remarks in the interview – thought to be for a new BBC programme – were ‘jaw-dropping’.
Backtrack: Ukip was also forced to row back after MP Mark Reckless, pictured, suggested that Ukip would like migrants who have been settled in the UK for years to be repatriated
Party sources said they had ‘no hesitation’ in expelling her when the matter came to light. Miss Duncan, who describes her profession as ‘landlord’, replaced Councillor Sandy Ezekiel who was jailed for misconduct in a public office.
The Conservatives are said to have refused to select her so she ran for his seat under the Ukip banner. At the time of her election, she said that one of her concerns was that people had difficulty making GP appointments because of the number of immigrants in the area.
Martin Wise, a Tory councillor in the same ward of Cliftonville East, told the Mail: ‘I’m not surprised she has got herself into trouble as she has a long history of it. She was a member of the Tory group going back 20 years or more, and had to resign a few years ago under very dubious circumstances, in relation to a planning issue.
‘Sticking her foot in her mouth, as it sounds as though she’s done, is quite like her.’
Simon Moores, another Conservative councillor, said: ‘Everyone is waiting with bated breath to see what this is about, but if it is sufficiently offensive that she is ejected from Ukip it must be pretty bad.
‘If someone was going to commit a political indiscretion of major proportions, I’m not surprised it was Rozanne Duncan. She is not someone who would ever be selected for the modern Conservative party’.
Ukip would not comment on which organisation she had been associated with, saying it was ‘internal party matter’.
A Ukip spokesman said: ‘Ukip is expelling Rozanne Duncan for bringing the party into disrepute. She has 28 days to appeal.’ Last night Miss Duncan was unavailable for comment.