Before their big falling out, the Isle of Wight Conservatives were in active discussions with UKIP in an attempt to get their candidate to withdraw from running in Newport West.
Drafted a press release for UKIP
In the email exchange that OnTheWight has seen, the Conservatives went as far as volunteering a pre-prepared press release to UKIP, drafting quotes for the Chairman of the Island’s UKIP Party and the candidate, Neville Westlake – all put together in a mocked-up UKIP letterhead.
Headed “UKIP candidate stands aside to secure removal of councillor convicted of indecency in public toilets”, the suggested press release declared that “Labour and Liberal Democrats are not fielding candidates in Newport West and the UKIP move leaves pro-family Conservative, Chris Whitehouse, as the only contender to take on Cllr Whittaker.”
‘Over 3,000 children’ cited
It went on to point out that “Over 3,000 children daily attend five schools in and around Wellington Road, Newport West. They have been denied representation by an effective councillor for three years. That Whittaker is seeking to inflict himself on them yet again is outrageous.” That paragraph ended, “Whittaker and his proposer Tony Couldon should hang their heads in shame.”
UKIP said no, Nominee signatures come to light
UKIP claim that when they refused to drop their candidate, Alan Wells then unleashed the news that one of UKIP candidates, Richard Wilkins, had a falsified signature as one of his nominations.
A highly-placed insider at UKIP told OnTheWight, “We weren’t going to say anything about it, until they started all of this business with nominations.”