Diverse candidates to battle for local election seats – but only two currently elected UKIP councillors will stand for party again

Election count

A  ‘concrete piling,’ qualified female electrician, sports journalist, nurses, radio DJs and a 24-year-old entrepreneur are among the candidates who will be fighting to be elected to Thanet council this May.

The elections on May 2 will poll for the 56 seats on the local authority which is currently led by a Conservative minority administration. The count for the polls will take place at the Winter Gardens the following day.

Last time Thanet went to the local election polls was in 2015 when a landslide victory, 33 of the 56 seats, resulted in the isle voting in the country’s first UKIP council.

This time around the party has just two of the currently elected members standing for re-election with one other candidate polling for the party.

Following its 2015 victory the group suffered defections and resignations, including an en-masse withdrawal of 12 UKIP members last year who formed the Thanet Independent Councillors group in protest at the administration’s stance on the future of the Manston airport site.

The rebel 12 became Thanet Independent Councillors, ditching the UKIP label altogether, leaving just 13 UKIPs at TDC.

At the end of February last year council and Thanet UKIP Party boss Chris Wells resigned from his role as authority leader in the wake of the Manston row. Conservatives took the helm of a minority lead council with Kingsgate councillor Bob Bayford taking the leader’s position.

UKIP’s currently serving councillors who will stand again for the party are Terry Connor, who currently represents Sir Moses Montefiore ward, and a late nomination from Derek Crow-Brown who represents Thanet villages. All others, including party leader Chris Wells, will be stepping down. Another candidate has been named as Paul Weller.

 Iris Johnston steps down from council this May

Labour’s Iris Johnston, who served on the authority for a whopping 24 years, Beacon ward’s Jenny Matterface and Michelle Fenner, who was councillor for Sir Moses Montefiore ward, are also stepping down.

Independent Bill Hayton is also stepping down, as is villages Independent Bob Groves who joined forces with UKIP to create a coalition last year.

County councillor Paul Messenger

Former Conservative county councillor Paul Messenger was forced to withdraw his attempt to be nominated for district council after the party suspended him over Islamophobic posts on facebook.

The party is carrying out an investigation following complaints about the post and has removed Cllr Messenger from the party at county level.

However it has now emerged that he will be standing as an Independent for Sir Moses Montefiore ward.

Independent Pleasurama ‘concrete piling protester’ Gary Perkins is among fresh candidates taking to the polls this year. Controversial Birchington councillor Suzanne Brimm will also stand again.

The full list of candidates will be published on The Isle of Thanet News after nominations close tomorrow (April 4).


  1. It would be a refreshing change if people actually scrutinised what the wannabee-councillors are like before wasting a vote on them.

  2. Eggnog would do if you could find out anything, searched for our candidate after receiving a card but only found facebook which I could not access as I have no account for it and no email either,we never get to know much about nominees.

  3. I’m standing as an independent for Salmestone Ward, and with well over 2,000 homes it’s physically impossible to visit every one of them. I’m quite happy to share my email: [email protected] and if anyone in the ward wishes to meet me they can email me and I’ll happily meet them. If you don’t have email I’m afraid it’s a bit hit-and-miss if I’ll knock on your door.

  4. I’m betting Driver will be trying to sneak back into a council somewhere.

    Wonder what party would be stupid enough to actually back him..

  5. You couldn’t make it up could you! The current lot in charge of TDC seem to be on a different planet! Voting to help finance to the tune of £millions, a new “Parkway” Rail Station between Ramsgate, and Minster! No one will use it, and it will cut the trip to London by about a minute and a half, Duurh! Then there is Manston, this lot want to sacrifice the health and destroy the local economy of people in Ramsgate, to re-open Manston as an airport! This means upwards of 2 to 3 cargo aircraft an hour day and night, flying over Ramsgate Harbour at just 300 meters, the High Street at 250-200 meters, and just 150-100 meters over St Lawrence/Nethercourt, before touch down, again Duuurh! All this to gain political power, and to Hell with the people of Ramsgate, who will suffer all this, and the devaluation of their property too! Duurh, Duurh, and Duurh! Vote this bunch of incompetents out!

    • I completely agree with you Dennis, which is why I am standing as a candidate for RTC in Ramsgate. My priority will be Ramsgate and the greater good of the community.

  6. Hear hear Dennis. Nobody who supports the absurd DCO or equally as absurd local draft plan gets anywhere near my vote. Save Ramsgate.

  7. Thank you Dennis for some down to earth comments. I agree with everything you say. Let’s hope the newly elected councillors will see some sense and put the welfare of Ramsgate’s residents ahead of their own political agenda. Fat chance

  8. I am hoping that this will be the case as there are a number of new candidates standing who appear to be interested in the wellbeing of this area and the residents.

  9. I am standing for the Conservative Party in the Villages.
    I totally agree that it is useful to know something about the candidates.
    For better or for worse, for richer for poorer, in good health or bad health I have been married to the same lady for a very long time, have two grown up children, three grandchilden. Professionally I am a Chartered Certified Accountant with many years in private practice as well as having served in an overseas Government for three years and for a well known large oil company for ten years also abroad. So, in brief, a very wide range of financial experience and in addition have had quite a lot to do with planning issues over the last 18 years..
    Guy R Wilson FCCA Tel 01843 826184

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