Four UKIP Lancing parish councillors have quit the party over its direction nationally.
Parish council chairman Gloria Eveleigh and councillors Geoff Patmore, Gina Scotting and Jean Turner announced their decisions to leave at a meeting last Wednesday.
Speaking to the Herald after the meeting, Mrs Eveleigh cited UKIP leader Gerard Batten’s appointing of Tommy Robinson as an adviser as one of the reasons.
Mrs Eveleigh said her decision would not have any impact on her role with the parish council, as political affiliations were ‘irrelevant’.
She said: “Parish councils are supposed to be in no way political. In smaller villages where everyone knows each other, a political party would not be on voting forms during elections.
“Lancing, of course, is far too large a village for that, which is why the parties are added to the voting forms. So your political affiliations should be irrelevant. At Lancing Parish Council our decisions will continue to be cross-party.
“We all decided that being Independent was the best way to show the Lancing residents that Lancing Parish Council is focused on the community – not politics.”
Mash Barn councillor Mrs Scotting said she joined UKIP initially because she thought the party was best placed to lead the United Kingdom out of the ‘vipers’ nest’ of Europe. However, she said the changes in the party had left her disillusioned.
Addressing her political future, she said: “I have no interest in joining any other party. At the moment it would be like joining a circus, because they all seem to be acting like complete clowns and not in a funny way.
“If the referendum isn’t adhered to, I won’t ever vote again. It’s the only thing they’ve got to get right at the moment and what a farce they are making of it.”
Widewater ward councillor Geoff Patmore expressed similar disillusionment with the major political parties in the UK.
He said he was dissatisfied with the direction UKIP was taking and felt he could not align himself politically elsewhere, adding all political parties needed to ‘get their act together’.
While he praised Labour for ‘fighting valiantly’ at a local level, he said as a Brexiteer he was awaiting the outcome of events around Brexit.
“As a local Lancing politician I have fought, and will continue to fight, alongside Labour as far as possible to protect Lancing and improve the quality of life for our community,” he said.
“My resolve to strive locally to protect and enhance our precious community and village of Lancing and Widewater ward will not diminish as an Independent councillor.“