Ex-Rotherham UKIP chairman quits over party’s “direction”

By Gareth Dennison | 21/06/2019

Ex-Rotherham UKIP chairman quits over party’s “direction”

A FORMER chairman of UKIP Rotherham has quit the party — and said he is putting allotments before ballots.

But Cllr Peter Short (pictured) pledged to represent his Sitwell ward residents as an independent until his term runs out in May 2020.

He said he might consider the Brexit Party later this year — if there are further delays to Britain leaving the EU.

Cllr Short said: “I really only became involved in UKIP because I passionately believe we should be out of Europe. I think that would bring a better future for my grandchildren.

“If the battle goes on, if the Tories have fudged Brexit, then I would look at them [the Brexit Party].

“But at the moment, I’m just planning to look after my ward residents until the end of the term and then disappear off into the sunset.

“At the moment, I’m more interested in getting an allotment than getting elected again.”

Cllr Short, who has deputised for group leader Cllr Allen Cowles at full council meetings, said he was uncomfortable with UKIP’s direction in recent months — particularly its relationship with ex-EDL leader Tommy Robinson.

Cllr Short was also perturbed after writing to then-leader Gerald Batten with his concerns and receiving no reply.

All 59 places on Rotherham Borough Council will be up for election next May, with members sitting a four-year term.

Cllr Cowles said: “Clearly, we are looking at a whole review of the situation on the back of what can only be described as disappointing election results. 

“But I think there are other parties in the same boat.

“It’s vitally important that Rotherham retains a viable opposition and really that it increases in strength.”

Cllr Cowles said Cllr Short had told him he had left principally because of health reasons.

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