Former Hartlepool MP candidate resigns from UKIP and steps down from politics

Phillip Broughton.
Phillip Broughton.

A former Hartlepool parliamentary candidate is resigning from UKIP and stepping down from politics.

Phillip Broughton has today said that UKIP is "in a complete mess" and one which he can't see recovering.

Mr Broughton stood as UKIP's candidate for the town in 2015 and 2017.

He also stood to be leader of UKIP in 2016 following the resignation of Nigel Farage, but missed out to Diane James, who was soon replaced by Paul Nuttall.

UKIP has seen a number of problems in recent months, with leader Henry Bolton removed on Saturday following an emergency meeting of party members.

In January, five Hartlepool UKIP councillors resigned from the party citing "national distraction" and formed a new Independent Group.

Councillors John Tennant, Shane Moore, Bob Buchan, Tim Fleming and George Springer left amid increasing negative headlines and in-fighting within the party at national level.

The resignations came on the same day that North East MEP Jonathan Arnott also resigned from UKIP saying its position was now at odds with his own views.

Mr Broughton hit the headlines in May 2014 when shrugged-off a “spiteful” video showing him in character as a bad-guy wrestler poking fun at “commoners”.

The video, posted on the Guido Fawkes political blog on YouTube, shows Mr Broughton in role as The One and Only Philip Alexander, a character for Great British Wrestling.

In a statement on his website Mr Broughton said: "After many months of consideration, I have come to the conclusion that I no longer want to be involved with UKIP or indeed with British politics anymore.

"UKIP since the referendum has been in a state of disarray.

"UKIP is now into yet another leadership contest its 4th leadership contest in 18th months.

"The party is in a complete and utter mess and I can’t see it recovering. The party has had three terrible leaders since Nigel Farage stood down.

"The party has had no leadership, direction, strategy or narrative for its existence since the referendum.

"I have tried on numerous occasions to set out what the party had to do to modernise and change.

"UKIP could have been an effective opposition by broadening the message beyond Europe and immigration and by changing the tone of the party.

"Banging on about burkas at the last general election was stupid and talking more about Islam will destroy the party.

"Sadly this central issue of the party’s political strategy has been ignored for far too long and I’m afraid UKIP has simply run out of political capital, credibility and time.

"I announce today that I am resigning from UKIP.

"I am also announcing today that I am resigning from British politics too.

"I’m afraid the sad truth is UKIP has self-destructed since the referendum it will not listen, change or modernise therefore it will die.

"And given the current state of the two old dead parties, May’s Blairite Tories and Corbyn’s hardcore socialists I like millions of other British voters are effectively politically homeless.

"In closing, I am very disappointed and disillusioned with the state that British politics is in.

"It could have been so much different but alas we are where we are.

"We don’t live in a true democracy, we live in an unfair controlled democracy where only two parties can win.

"Our political system doesn’t allow change.

"Our bias first past the post system makes sure only labour or the Tories can win.

"We live in a two party dictatorship and I for one have come to the conclusion that things in this country will never ever change.

"I no longer can justify wasting my time, effort or money on the lost causes that are UKIP and British politics."