General Election candidate for Burnham-On-Sea stands down
UKIP candidate for the next General Election suddenly resigned
on Wednesday along with his local party chairman amid bizarre
claims that the party had been "infiltrated by the Glastonbury
Baynes was due to stand in next Mays election for UKIP in
the Wells constituency, which covers the Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge
area, but he resigned and claimed there was civil war within the
party in Somerset and a vendetta against him, and he "wanted
nothing more to do with politics".
UKIP branch chairman Graham Livings has also quit his post this
week, claiming that the Somerset party had been "infiltrated"
by "devotees of the occult" based around the alternative
community in Glastonbury.
two leading members of UKIP in Somerset, who run a healing centre
which claims divine intervention from the Archangel Michael, dismissed
the 'occult' claims as "ridiculous".
Baynes first hit the headlines five years ago when he and the
local party refused to bow to pressure from UKIP's national executive
not to put up a candidate in the 2010 General Election. UKIPs
national leaders feared the long-standing Euro-sceptic Conservative
MP David Heathcoat-Amory would be defeated by UKIP splitting the
Tory vote. That did indeed happen, and Lib Dem candidate Tessa
Munt was elected by a slim majority.
Baynes was selected again by the UKIP Wells branch in the spring
of this year, as we reported
here, but he said that within a day, a campaign from within
his own party had begun against him. It appears to have culminated
with both sides of the internal civil war within the Wells branch
contacting national UKIP Chairman Steve Crowther.
UKIP branch chairman Mr Livings said on Thursday that he was also
quitting his role. He explained: "Jake Baynes is a great
loss to UKIP because hes just the profile of person the
party needs. I was a founder member of UKIP down here but what
happens when a party grows, you get infiltration into the membership."
Baynes, 40, said he suspected factions against him had even sent
an anonymous letter to the headteacher of the school where he
works as a teacher.
said: "Wells is a bit fractured. There are elements within
that are not quite right. Within days people were plotting against
me, telling me I wasnt a suitable candidate. I thought I
was a suitable candidate, and I was selected by a vote. The letters
and emails and accusations against me are unfounded. They say
they get their divine inspirations from the Archangel Michael,
and to be honest, I dont think that has a part to play in
politics," he added.