UKIP party bosses have today revealed they will stand by their decision to kick out former Lincolnshire leader Chris Pain.
Coun Pain had appealed against the decision to kick him out of UKIP but the party chosen not to accept that following a hearing on December 16, which the councillor did not attend.
The appeal panel, which UKIP says was independently chaired by a Crown Court Recorder, held that one of the original reasons for the removal of Coun Pain’s membership was sufficient grounds to uphold the expulsion.
The party claims Coun Pain passed ‘information to a litigant against the party whilst a member of its board of directors’.
Party chairman Steve Crowther said: “I am satisfied that this matter has been fully and properly aired, according to the Party’s rules, by a panel composed of qualified lawyers and chaired by an independent senior QC with long experience sitting as a Recorder of the Crown Court.
“Much has been said and written about this case which is untrue. The facts are that Coun Pain was accused of posting inappropriate material, which he himself described as ‘sick’, on his Facebook site.
“In investigating this, the National Executive Committee was made aware of inappropriate material which had been present on Coun Pain’s Facebook page previously, but reserved judgement on his claim that the material highlighted by the Sunday Mirror was the result of his computer or Facebook page being hacked or tampered with.
“Coun Pain was suspended from the NEC following that discussion, because the Committee felt that he had misled it on a number of issues. He was subsequently reinstated, but then resigned.
“In the meantime he had recorded a conversation with another party member and circulated that recording without the other member’s consent. This led, along with his passing of confidential information to a litigant against the party, to my suspending his membership; the decision to suspend him from the Party was upheld first by the Disciplinary Panel which also took a decision to expel him from the party. Those sanctions have now been upheld by the Appeal Panel.
“Coun Pain has claimed repeatedly that he was ‘cleared’ of posting racially offensive material on his Facebook page. In fact, the Party reserved judgement on the Sunday Mirror’s allegations pending the outcome of Lincolnshire Police’s investigations into the alleged postings and Cllr Pain’s allegations that his account had been tampered with.
“Despite repeated requests, Coun Pain failed to provide the party with any details of Lincolnshire Police’s investigations, which he claimed had been passed to the Metropolitan Police. On September 9, he nonetheless publicised a statement from Lincolnshire Police stating
that they were curtailing their investigation as it was impossible to prove the matter either way.
“We now hope that the disruption which has been caused to UKIP’s group on Lincolnshire County Council will be able to be put behind us, and we can return to holding the Conservative-controlled Council to account, without the constant distractions caused by Coun Pain and one or two of his colleagues.”
Coun Pain has indicated that he will issue a statement in response to the comments of Mr Crowther within the next 24 hours.
He remains a county councillor for the Wainfleet and Burgh ward but was replaced as UKIP’s Lincolnshire leader by Coun Colin Mair.