Call from within his own party for Norfolk County Council UKIP leader to quit
- Credit: Matthew Usher
The leader of the UK Independence Party at Norfolk County Council has been urged to resign by a fellow party member, because of his suggestion UKIP should consider not standing against Conservative Brexiteers in the next general election.
Toby Coke, the party's leader at County Hall and one of UKIP's national executive committee members, was branded as 'out of touch' by Glenn Tingle, chairman of UKIP Norwich.
Mr Coke had said: 'I think we should start talking to people about not fighting people who are genuine Brexiteers and concentrating on the north, where the Tories are totally toxic and many former Labour people will not vote Tory full stop, but they will vote for us, if we get the right leader.
'It would be stupid to say we must charge ahead and waste resources and time fighting seats that might let in those who want to rejoin Europe, which I think it would not be ours or anyone's interests.'
But Mr Tingle, UKIP's parliamentary candidate for Norwich North in 2009, 2010 and last year, responded angrily to the suggestion by Mr Coke, who represents Gayton and Nar Valley on Norfolk County Council.
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Mr Tingle said: 'Toby Coke must resign. He's totally out of touch with his party and as the Norfolk County Council Leader of the UKIP group, his display of Tory collaboration is a disgrace and embarrassment to its members.
'This isn't how a so-called leader should behave. I cannot imagine any Conservatives standing down to make way for a UKIP candidate.'
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Mr Tingle said there was danger such deals with Conservative Brexiteers could see UKIP branded as 'a bunch of charlatans'.
He said: 'I'm afraid that those who do believe in UKIP will be disenfranchised with this type of deal as it would just make us look like a pressure group instead of the UK's third political party.
'We have a whole plethora of modern forward thinking policies covering every subject and Mr Coke's statement just makes us look like the 'one trick pony' so many people have called us in the past.
'This could not be further from the truth - we are here to stay and offer a unique option for all voters to think about.'
Mr Coke said Mr Tingle was entitled to his views, but he would not be publicly responding to them.
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