UKIP bosses have stood by their selection process in Boston and Skegness after the party came under scrutiny in the national press.
Today’s Times front page carries a story on a ‘cache of leaked documents’ which claim the party ‘fixed’ the selection of candidates.
Paul Wooding quit the race to become the Boston and Skegness UKIP candidate before a hustings event at Batemans Brewery because he claimed the contest was biased in favour of the eventual winner, 22-year-old Robin Hunter-Clarke, and says the story backs up his arguments.
A UKIP spokesman said this is untrue, stating: “The Boston and Skegness selection was fair and free, voted in by the members of the branch with no let or hindrance.
“Robin, who is both a local town and county councillor has already shown that he has the ability top get elected, and the branch chose him against stiff competition.
“All the can do is congratulate him and his efforts and assure the people of Boston and Skegness that we will do all we can to return Robin to Westminster as their next MP.”
Mr Wooding told The Standard that he is aware of a number of national newspapers working on stories about the UKIP selection process, and believes there will be more to come on Sunday.
He said: “This really isn’t the end - this is the start of it
“It’s not that I don’t like UKIP, the principles of UKIP I liked, but I sat on the front row of the conference at Doncaster and heard Nigel Farage talking about the Westminster elite. He’s actually doing all that himself.”
He warned: “They probably think that after a couple of weeks this is going to die down but it’s not.
“I’ve got one massive revelation myself.”
He says he will reveal his information nearer to polling day.
Mr Wooding aims to stand in Boston and Skegness next May as an independent under the banner ‘integrity’.
The Times article sees the party stand accused of ignoring long stading party members for those in favour of the party hierachy and leader Nigel Farage.
A party spokesman told The Times: “What we see are a series of claims by disappointed candidates. The system was fair and rigorous and the quality of candidates continues to improve. As UKIP grows there are those who feel that by dint of long service they are entitled to jobs and roles. The opposite is true as today there is far greater competition. This can only be a good thing for the party and the country as a whole.”