Andy McSmith's Diary: Social media is turning out to be a right Pain for Ukip

Ukip may be gaining recruits, but holding on to some of the gains they made only last month is proving to be a challenge. They had their greatest success in Lincolnshire, where they have emerged as the main opposition on the county council, under the leadership of Chris Pain, who has an ambition to be the next MP for Boston and Skegness. Today, he stepped down as chairman of the East Midlands regional party pending a police investigation into racist comments that appeared on his Facebook page. Mr Pain denies authorship. He says that his Facebook account was hacked. The Ukip national executive has agreed to "suspend judgment".

Two other Lincolnshire Ukip councillors have drawn controversy over remarks posted on social media, including Alan Jessom, who has not denied telling a Polish woman, via Facebook: "F*** off we don't need you sweetheart we get along just fine without you" – but Ukip's national executive has decided that this and other posts do not merit disciplinary action.

Ukip has lost a councillor in Worcestershire, Eric Kitson, who resigned after 14 days in office over racist entries on the social media. One of their Cambridgeshire councillors, Peter Lagoda, has been charged with benefit fraud. In Norfolk, Ukip's Peter Georgiou's position on the county council is looking shaky since it emerged that he was caught shoplifting a year ago.

In May, the party lost a donor, Demetri Marchessini, who gave them £20,000, after embarrassing the party with his views on unmarried mothers, who he thinks need a slap, or women in trousers, whom he regards as "hostile". On the European stage, Europe of Freedom and Democracy, the parliamentary group to which Ukip's MEPs are signed up, has lost one of its Italian members, Mario Borghezio, whom they expelled after he had denounced Italy's Cabinet as "the government of Bonga Bonga" because one of its ministers is not white.

Ukip's leadership is anxious to dispel the idea put about by David Cameron and Ken Clarke that they are a party of clowns, fruitcakes and closet racists.

The dragon is in the detail, Nick...

"Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is teaming up with entrepreneur and former Dragon's Den judge James Caan to make access to jobs fair and open for all," says the opening line of the latest Downing Street announcement, which came hard on the heels of Mr Caan's highly publicised rebuke to parents who use their influence to find jobs for their children.

When Nick Clegg was but a lad, his father fixed him up with an unpaid internship in a Finnish bank. And he obtained his first full-time job, with the European Commission, with the help of his parents' neighbours, who put in a word with Lord Carrington, the former Foreign Secretary, who passed the request on to the Commissioner, Leon Brittan.

It's a case of don't do as my dad did, do as I say.

Harris leaves Tories speechless

David Cameron and his allies are an unpleasant bunch whose project has ended in abject failure, according to Margaret Thatcher's former speechwriter, Robin Harris, writing in Standpoint magazine.

"For sustained personal unpleasantness the Conservative modernisers deserve some kind of award. In private and in print, their long campaign was carried on in a tone of consistently venomous contempt," he wrote.

"The modernisers have not detoxified the Tory brand. They have simply made it unrecognisable, even to Tories."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Rodgers showered praise on Balotelli last week, which led to speculation he could sign the AC Milan front man
Life and Style
life – it's not, says Rachel McKinnon
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Arts and Entertainment
Arctic Monkeys headline this year's Reading and Leeds festivals, but there's a whole host of other bands to check out too
music(who aren't Arctic Monkeys)
Lizards, such as Iguanas (pictured), have a unique pattern of tissue growth
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Network Integration/Test Engineer

£250 - £300 per day: Orgtel: Senior Network Integration/Test Engineer Berkshir...

Software Developer - Newcastle - £30,000 - £37,000 + benefits

£30000 - £37000 per annum + attractive benefits: Ashdown Group: .NET Developer...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Digital Project Manager/BA

£300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An experienced Digital/Ecommerc...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home