The Ukip councillor who first revealed Nigel Farage’s intention to run for a local parliamentary seat has been dramatically expelled from the party amid allegations that she made “jaw dropping” comments in a yet to be broadcast television interview.
Rozanne Duncan, a councillor for Thanet, Kent, has been expelled for “bringing the party into disrepute”, the party said. She has 28 days to appeal the ruling. While the exact remarks have not been disclosed, The Independent understands that Ms Duncan aired her views to a BBC documentary, whose producers then clarified them with the party’s head office. A source told Kent Online that the comments were “jaw-dropping” and left the party with no other choice than to expel her.
Ms Duncan sat on Thanet District Council in Kent, near South Thanet where Mr Farage plans to stand next year. She was one of the first people to make her leader’s intentions known in August when she described Mr Farage’s intent to stand as “the worst-kept secret in town”.
Previously a Conservative, Ms Duncan was elected in her constituency after a by-election in May 2013. One Conservative source told The Independent that her expulsion from Ukip came as “little surprise”. “She had a chequered history during her time with us and was never too far from saying something she shouldn’t,” he said.
The development is the latest headache for Mr Farage whose party has been embroiled in a string of inescapable controversies this month. Last week he came out to defend Kerry Smith, one of his parliamentary candidates who stood down shortly after the emergence of taped remarks in which he used derogatory terms about homosexuals and Chinese people. Meanwhile the party's general secretary Roger Bird is waiting to hear of his fate after being suspended from the party following allegations that he behaved inappropriately towards new activist Natasha Bolter who has also quit.
Ukip's confusing policies
Ukip's confusing policies
1/6 Deport migrants
Ukip MP Mark Reckless suggested he would deport existing EU migrants, a policy Nigel Farage rejected out of hand.
2/6 US-style NHS
Farage was caught on film in 2012 saying healthcare headed towards insurance-based system, though he has since said he would keep it free at the point of use.
3/6 Handbag tax
Ukip Economy spokesman Patrick O'Flynn said he would introduce a tax on high-price items like shoes, Nigel Farage disowned this idea.
4/6 Same-sex couple adoption
Ukip candidate Winston McKenzie likened adoption by same-sex couples to "child abuse", but the party rejects that view.
5/6 Gay marriage?
In early 2014 Ukip released a statement saying it would review its gay marriage policy, but later said that was an error.
6/6 Sex education u-turn
Nigel Farage told Leaders Live that he backed sex education for under-11s but later admitted that is not Ukip policy.
Ms Duncan did not respond to calls to her home last night. A Ukip spokesman said: "Ukip is expelling Cllr Rozanne Duncan under rule 15 of its constitution for bringing the party into disrepute. She has 28 days to appeal." He would not be drawn further on the nature of what was said.