Thanet UKIP appears to be engaged in an internal civil war.

Almost half of the UKIP councillors at Thanet District Council have formally withdrawn from the party forming a UKIP Independent group. According to the BBC, the new group of councillors plan to produce a motion demanding the Thanet UKIP leader step down.

12 UKIP councillors have split away leaving only 13 councillors still in support of Chris Wells.

Wells refuses to quit

Henry Bolton

Chris Wells, the current leader has defied the rebels and his own national party by refusing to quit the top job.

According to the BBC, UKIP national leader Henry Bolton said: “[Chris Wells] should stand down. If he doesn’t, the party may have to take further action.”

Bolton, it seems, has lost control of his party’s only council leader:

The UKIP leader, who has himself defied calls to step down, said Mr Wells had “contradicted the platform on which he stood for election” and “failed the people of Thanet”.

“Some weeks ago I warned Mr Wells to reverse his position. He must now stand down,” he said.

The twelve

The Isle of Thanet News has named the 12 councillors:

The 12 are Bertie Braidwood; John Buckley; John Dennis; Robin Edwards; Edward Jaye-Jones; Lynda Piper; Stuart Piper; Linda Potts; Roy Potts; George Rusiecki; Trevor Shonk and Gary Taylor.

Stuart Piper who seems to be leading the group has apparently said, “Councillor Wells appears to have made ignoring the local electorate an art form.”

From statements made in Kent Online, it looks as if the breakaway group plans to cooperate with other parties to form a new administration.

We could very soon see an end to UKIP control of Thanet District Council as the rebels look to form a coalition. Presumably with the Conservatives. However, that could be on shaky grounds as the rebel group want to challenge the government’s house building figures. Something loyal Conservatives may not be happy to do.

The implosion of Thanet District Council continues.