UKIP make ‘crass’ member chairman of Croydon North branch

Selhurst polling station

The scene at a polling station in Selhurst this morning for the unnecessarily prompt by-election. Don’t expect to get trampled in the rush

UKIP in Croydon, who caused widespread disgust when three of its members lodged the call for the Selhurst ward by-election before the funeral of former councillor Gerry Ryan, have rewarded one of those who created the outrage by making him chairman of their local party branch.

The Selhurst by-election is being staged today, at a cost to local Council Tax-payers of up to £20,000.

Had UKIP members Emmanuel Ehirim, Peter Morgan and Janet Stollery not demanded the early staging of the by-election, it is likely that the council ward ballot papers could have been distributed together with General Election paperwork, reducing the cost to very little.

Peter Staveley, the UKIP parliamentary candidate for Croydon Central, described the actions of his own party members as “crass” and accused them of lacking respect.

Two of the UKIP troika who called for the costly by-election are leading figures in the Croydon Community Consortium, or CCC, which claims to be apolitical and stages various talking shops around the borough, all paid for by a £5,000 grant from Croydon Council. Peter Staveley is the vice-chairman of CCC.

Emmanuel Ehirim: the new chairman of UKIP Croydon North, replacing Winston McKenzie

Emmanuel Ehirim: the new chairman of UKIP Croydon North, replacing Winston McKenzie

Last week, Staveley organised an extraordinary meeting to re-instate the suspended Croydon North UKIP branch. There, one of the disrespectful and “crass” trio, Ehirim, was installed as the branch’s new chairman.

Ehirim takes over from Winston McKenzie, who was forced to stand down while an investigation is conducted into the use of a large cash donation to party funds. McKenzie remains as UKIP’s parliamentary candidate for Croydon North, although there is some doubt among the membership about whether he will be able to raise the £1,000-plus required to pay for his election deposit and towards the cost of a campaign leaflet.

In today’s by-election, Labour’s David Wood expected to be installed as the Selhurst’s new councillor, replacing the widely respected and admired Ryan. The turnout today is expected to be very low.

Ryan and the two other ward councillors in Selhurst all polled around 2,000 votes at last May’s council elections, when the top Tory and UKIP candidates each attracted the support of around 500.

UKIP’s candidate in the by-election today is Shirley resident Annette Reid. The Conservatives have selected Tirena Gunter, the Greens Tracey Hague and LibDems Geoff Morley.

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in 2015 General Election, Croydon North, David Wood, Gerry Ryan, Peter Staveley, Selhurst, Winston McKenzie and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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