Ukip headhunting letters backfire after volunteers fail to attach enough postage stamps

One Conservative councillor said he "burst out laughing" when he collected the letter from the Post Office

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Ukip has apologised after it sent out headhunting letters to opposition councillors, but failed to paid enough in postage.

The Eurosceptic party had tried to send letters inviting members of Canterbury Council in Kent to join its ranks. But instead, some councillors received a card saying their post was being held because the sender had not attached enough stamps.

Conservative councillor Darren Ellis was among those who paid £1.20 to collect his letter, to find it was from Ukip. He said he “burst out laughing” when he opened the envelope.

Enclosed was a letter headed “In Confidence”, which invited Mr Ellis to contact Ukip as it started putting together its team of candidates on the city council next May.


Mr Ellis said: “I got home from work and had a card from the Royal Mail saying that the sender hadn't paid enough postage, and I would have to pay £1.20.

"I thought it might be from a local resident so I paid the £1.20, opened it up and it was from Ukip's local chairman asking if I would join them for the next election.

“I just burst out laughing. I wouldn't consider joining Ukip in a million years. Their views are far to the right of any that I have.

"I understand that three or four other councillors received these Royal Mail cards as well," he added.

Ex-Conservative David Hirst, now Ukip's leader on the city council, said it was "standard practice" to send such letters, but admitted volunteers had failed to pay enough postage.

He said: "We did cock it up because the volunteers that sent the letters out were living in the past and didn't put a big enough stamp on them.

"For that we apologise but volunteers are volunteers." He said the local Ukip party had received "sufficient interest" from opposition councillors about joining the party.