UKIP councillor Beverly Martin quits to join Tory Party – axing UKIP’s majority at Thanet council

Cllr Bev Martin

Ramsgate’s Councillor Beverly Martin has resigned from UKIP to cross the floor to the Conservative Party – and been slammed by party leader Chris Wells as “contributing little.”

In her resignation letter the Central Harbour ward councillor says her decision is based on the failure to reopen Manston airport, concerns over the industrialisation of Ramsgate port and the loss of the P22 gunship to Sandwich.

Cllr Martin left the party in 2015 to join the DIG alliance, with disgraced Cllr Konnor Collins and Cllr Helen Smith, over Manston airport concerns but rejoined UKIP soon after.

Now she says that working with MP Craig Mackinlay and county councillor Paul Messenger has persuaded her to cross to the Blues.


In her letter she says: “I have, since the autumn, had the benefit of working with Craig Mackinlay, MP for South Thanet  and, in the last few months also with Cllr Paul Messenger of KCC, Conservative Councillor for Ramsgate. It was Craig who invited me to form a group with him to consider the future of Port Ramsgate and the beaches within the Regeneration Alliance, which I have very much appreciated.

“I realise that in working regularly with Craig, Paul and others in the community, we now have a strong representation for Ramsgate where issues of development for our town can be taken forward with commitment and imagination, both at district and county level.

“Therefore, following discussions with Bob Bayford, Leader of the Conservatives on TDC, I feel that I can better serve the residents of Thanet, particularly those I represent in Ramsgate, from within the Conservative  group.”

Hung council

The move means UKIP has now lost its majority on the council which will be made up of There are currently 55 Councillors in total. 27 UKIP Councillors; 21 Conservative Councillors; 5 Labour Councillors; 2 Independent Group Councillors.

UKIP leader Chris Wells said: “I heard earlier today through the press that Cllr Martin has resigned from UKIP. I later received a round robin email from the lady herself giving three reasons for her departure.

“Cllr Martin was elected as a UKIP councillor in 2015; and then departed to an independent group led by a man whose (allegedly) fake medals were later exposed.

‘Contributed little’

“She then returned to UKIP, but has contributed little at district level during her “second term”, and she is quite correct in stating that she has hung around with Craig Mackinlay’s crowd.

“She now departs from us to join the Conservative Party, who were recently given the biggest fine for electoral offences in Electoral Commission history; whose MP is about to stand trial for electoral offences; and whose newly elected County Councillors have just voted themselves a 15% pay rise, something they forgot to mention before the election.

“So be it. UKIP continue to mop up the messes left in Thanet by both others past errors. We have to make the hard decisions others ran away from.

“If Cllr Martin finds hard decision too difficult, then she is doing entirely the right thing.And going to the right place.”


  1. Every time Chris Wells looses a councillor, he blames them for leaving the ukip tribe. He cant bribe them all i expect, thats his problem. Then he starts blaming them for leaving, leaving what i see as the tribal unruly group. He cant lead them, they all go off whichever chaotic way they chose. Looks like he hasnt only lost control of the council hes lost control of his group. No discipline amongst them. It’s any wonder that councillors want to leave. Its a total mess in that council and no good to anyone. I hope they lose more councillors. They dont know what they are doing in that council, people need to watch them in a council meeting, most do not have good dress code, slumped in their chairs, ive seen some nod off, some chewing gum or looking at their mobile phones constantly or looking bewildered at what their leader is ranting about. They are a total waste of tax payers money, they really are. I think people now realise that they are paying for their mistake, thats voting for the ukip rabble.

  2. Councillor Martin claims to be working on behalf of her constituents, but she has one agenda and one agenda only – to reopen Manston airport. Like Sir Roger Gale she is in fact a representative for RiverOak. You’d imagine that councillors who wanted to represent the concerns of their constituents would have been present at the Yacht Club on Thursday evening, when many individuals and representatives of local community organisations gathered to express their concerns about RSP’s plans to reopen the airport. I guess those people aren’t entitled to representation.

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