Thurrock Independents

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Thurrock Independents
AbbreviationTIP
Leader Gary Byrne [1]
Chairman Oliver Smith [2]
Founded26 January 2018 [3]
(official launch)
Split from UK Independence Party
Headquarters171 Blackshots Lane
Grays, Thurrock
RM16 2LJ
NewspaperThurrock Independent [4]
Ideology
Political position Catch-all [5]
Colors  Yellow
SloganPeople First [6]
Thurrock Council
3 / 49
Website
www.thurrockindy.org

The Thurrock Independents, also known as the Thurrock Independents Party (TIP), [7] [8] are a localist [9] and populist [6] British political party based in Thurrock, Essex, England. It was formed in January 2018 when seventeen Thurrock councillors, including then-East of England MEP Tim Aker, broke-away from the UK Independence Party (UKIP) after claiming to have grown disillusioned with party politics. [10] [11] At its height in 2018, the party was Thurrock Council's official opposition group and had two members in the European Parliament. It has declined after multiple defections and election defeats and now has three Thurrock councillors. [12]

Description

In 2018, the former party leadership defected to the Conservative party; and were followed soon after by two incumbent councillors who joined the Conservative Group in November 2018. Following losses in the 2018 local election, this left the party with just ten councillors. [13] In December 2019, party leader Luke Spillman and his deputy Jack Duffin announced plans to leave the party and step down as councillors in Spring 2021. [14] However, in January 2021 both defected to the Conservatives, keeping their seats on the council. [15] [16] [17] The leader of the party is now Gary Byrne. [1]

As of 2022, the party is left with three councillors out of 49 in Thurrock Council, [18] including its leader Gary Byrne. [19]

Although Tim Aker joined his council colleagues in the new group, he subsequently stated that he would continue to represent UKIP in the European Parliament for the purposes of Brexit: "UKIP has a job to do in the European Parliament in seeing we get the Brexit we voted for. I will stay as a UKIP MEP. But to better represent my constituents in Aveley, I had no choice but to follow my colleagues and represent the Thurrock Independents." This situation led to some uncertainty about the status of some of the group's members as a number of them work for Aker. [20] Aker subsequently left UKIP and sat for Thurrock Independents in the European Parliament. However, Aker joined the Brexit Party in February 2019. He resigned his seat on the council having moved away from Thurrock; [21] the group lost the subsequent by-election.

During the 2019 United Kingdom local elections, Allen Mayes took the Tilbury Riverside ward of Thurrock from Labour. [22]

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References

  1. 1 2 "Thurrock Independents". The Electoral Commission. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  2. "Independent candidate speaks out prior to general election". Thurrock Nub News. 5 December 2019.
  3. Duffin, Jack (26 January 2018). "Thurrock Independents Launches". Thurrock Independents. Archived from the original on 25 March 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  4. Thurrock Independents [@ThurrockIndy] (4 August 2018). "Council blacklist the Thurrock Independent newspaper. Someone needs to remind them that this is Thurrock not North Korea" (Tweet). Retrieved 11 May 2022 via Twitter.
  5. 1 2 "About". Thurrock Independents. Archived from the original on 17 June 2021. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  6. 1 2 "Reflections on the Thurrock Elections 2018". Your Thurrock. 6 May 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  7. Pickles, Jonathan (29 January 2018). "Council rule out by-election following formation of Thurrock Independents party". Thurrock Gazette. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  8. "Mr. Perrin's blog; A Word in Your Ear.....The duplicity of defecting councillors". Your Thurrock. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  9. "Thurrock Independents make final push before local elections". Your Thurrock. 1 May 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  10. "Thurrock's 17 UKIP councillors all resign from party". BBC News. 26 January 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  11. Busby, Eleanor (8 January 2019). "Parents are withdrawing children from RE lessons over objections to Islam". The Independent. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  12. Lawrence, David (2022). "Hyperlocal Politics: New Channels"
  13. "Thurrock's 17 UKIP councillors all resign from party". BBC News. BBC. 26 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  14. "Thurrock Independent leaders set to step down". Your Thurrock. 20 December 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  15. Speight, Neil (10 January 2021). "Don't to be too quick to judge councillors' defection negatively says former councillor in the wake of onslaught of criticism". Thurrock Nub News. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  16. "Councillor Luke Spillman". Thurrock Council. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  17. "Councillor Jack Duffin". Thurrock Council. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  18. "Vote 2022 Local election results". Thurrock Council. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  19. "Councillor Gary Byrne". Thurrock Council. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  20. "Tim Aker to remain a UKIP MEP and a member of the new Thurrock Independents". Your Thurrock. 26 January 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  21. "Previews: 21 Mar 2019". 20 March 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  22. "Thurrock Elections 2019: Great night for the Independents at Thurrock Council elections". 2 May 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2019.