Turmoil for Ukip as members quit over criminal past of Portsmouth South chairman

UKIP has been thrown into turmoil with a series of members quitting over its county organiser’s criminal past.

The trouble flared over the election of Portsmouth South chairman Paul Lovegrove on January 12.

He has a criminal record with convictions for violent crimes – and he has served two prison sentences.

Fareham’s prospective parliamentary candidate Don Jerrard left his campaign earlier this week.

Portsmouth city councillor Paul Godier and former Fareham and Gosport chairman Bob Ingram have also quit the party.

But Ukip leader Nigel Farage said he is standing by Mr Lovegrove, whose last prison sentence was in 2005.

Mr Farage said: ‘We believe that people deserve a second chance in life.

‘Mr Lovegrove may have fallen off the rails earlier in his life but he is now totally reformed and we are standing by him 100 per cent. We knew about his past.

‘With any political party, having people from all walks of life is a bonus.

After all you can’t have every party full of Oxbridge graduates.’

Mr Lovegrove’s past was brought to the fore by repeated outbursts at meetings from Fareham prospective parliamentary candidate Mr Jerrard, who has since quit his campaign due to the situation.

He said that he believed more people will walk out from the branch when they discover the extent of Mr Lovegrove’s convictions. He said: ‘I won’t have anything to do with them. It is a shambles.’

Mr Jerrard said senior figures in Ukip had still not spoken to him.

He added: ‘They are in turmoil because they don’t know what to do.

‘They have not spoken to the people on the ground, the people that have made these complaints.

‘They are a total shambles, all of their own making.’

Mr Lovegrove has spoken openly about his criminal convictions, which he said he never hid from the party.

He said: ‘Honesty gets you a long way. People don’t like it. They find it scary.

‘I am everything they despise as I can talk from experience.

‘I have lived through all of these things. Who can represent us? It’s got to be one of us.

‘It is a shame they are trying to drag someone down who is a real son of this city.

‘Ukip have put their money where their mouth is by supporting me.’

Mr Jerrard is not alone in his complaint, with Charles Dickens ward councillor Mr Godier leaving Ukip earlier this month giving Mr Lovegrove’s behaviour as the main reason.

Mr Ingram, who until recently was the chairman of Fareham and Gosport branch of Ukip, quit over the way the complaints were handled.

But other Ukip members have been vocal in their support for Mr Lovegrove.

Steve Harris, Ukip’s parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth South, said: ‘Paul is a hard-working lad.

‘He has had problems in the past, but he has paid his dues and on he is going.’

Steve Hastings, Portsmouth’s deputy Ukip group leader, also said he supported Mr Lovegrove.

Meanwhile, Mr Farage said this was not going to affect the Portsmouth campaign.

He said: ‘I don’t think the likes or dislikes of one person will affect how tens of thousands of people will vote.

‘You get divisions in all political parties but it does not affect what we stand for and we stand for the normal working class person.

‘We are more united, focused and more able to get on with the job.’

‘I have learnt from my mistakes in the past’

HE is the man at the centre of a series of political rows which have seen key Ukip members quit the party.

But Paul Lovegrove, the chairman of Portsmouth South Ukip and Hampshire organiser, says his criminal past gives him the experience to be able to talk competently on subjects such as prison reform and the justice system.

Mr Lovegrove has served two prison sentences – one for wounding with intent in 1996 and one for actual bodily harm in 2000.

After leaving the Royal Navy, he got into trouble when a family feud ended up with him grabbing a bread knife from the kitchen and slashing a man’s face in a fight.

For this offence he was given a two-year sentence, of which he served a year. A few years later, after a string of criminal convictions for drug possession, he tried to turn his life around and went to college. During this time he got into a fight with a man and absconded to Spain to avoid a charge of actual bodily harm.

Mr Lovegrove, now 43, lived on the Costa Del Sol for five years, where he met his ex partner. They had two children and in 2005 they returned to England.

A few months later, following the breakdown of his relationship, he claims he was beaten up in Guildford.

An allegation of sexual assault at knifepoint against him followed. He was cleared of at trial.

But Mr Lovegrove was sent back to prison for a year for the previous actual bodily harm charge.

After coming out of prison in 2008, he decided to channel his energies into the community and he ran a music festival in aid of Oxfam on Castle Field in Southsea.

Through music he was introduced to politics and started to take an interest in helping shape the way the city is run.

He said: ‘I am a product of this country they claim to govern so well. I have lived everything, much the same as everybody else – not living just surviving. It has not been pleasant. I am involved with politics but I am in this for the right reasons.

‘I have learnt from my mistakes – they happened 10 and 20 years ago and if we have never made any mistakes to learn by then how can we lead?’

Fourteen months ago he joined Ukip, rising quickly to Portsmouth South chairman and elected Hampshire organiser on January 12. The party won six seats at last May’s local elections, something he attributes to the party taking on ordinary people.

He said: ‘I have had the pleasure and pain of life experiences which I hope to pass on through politics. I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth, like most people. The people in politics come from a different world. They don’t have any idea.’

Portsmouth News


Trouble In Store For Portsmouth UKIP?

Douglas Denny

Douglas Denny

UKIP, always the party to fall out amongst themselves have done it again, this time in Portsmouth.

The Xenophobic party have sacked their prospective parliamentary candidate for the Portsmouth South constituency Douglas Denny, deselecting him from standing for the Hampshire seat.

The divisive decision was made by the party’s national executive committee (NEC).

However, it seems the NEC forgot to inform the chairman of Portsmouth UKIP, Stuart Potter of their ruling, something that hasn’t gone down too well in Pompey.

Hope not Hate wonder if the decision was down to comments made earlier this year by Denny where he called homosexuals “abnormal” saying “‘I wish that they wouldn’t try to keep ramming it down my throat that they are normal in their sexual practices.” ?

Hope not Hate


Cllr Tony Hooke has resigned from UKIP following a scuffle with a protestor

Tony Hooke

Tony Hooke

A SENIOR Ukip politician has resigned from his party following a scuffle with a protester during the election campaign.

County councillor Tony Hooke – arrested in May in connection with an assault – says he quit Ukip to avoid discrediting it should he be charged in the run-up to next year’s General Election.

His arrest came after an incident between members of the party and protesters at a meeting at Portsmouth’s Guildhall on April 28 which had been attended by party leader Nigel Farage and launched Ukip’s breakthrough election campaign.

Cllr Hooke, who has been an outspoken politician since being elected in May last year, told the Daily Echo he was innocent of the crime.

He said: “I never wanted to resign from the party. I love the party to bits and all the people who work for it. It has been a very difficult decision but there is going to be a lot of flak flying my way.

“They are determined to have me nailed. The last thing I want is this happening in the run-up to the General Election.”

Cllr Hooke will now continue as an independent council for Andover.

But losing a councillor will come as a blow to his former party following their stellar success in the local and European elections in May.

This saw a new councillor elected to Fareham Borough Council after he won the Stubbington ward and the Liberal Democrats lost control of Portsmouth as Ukip gained six seats.

Following former county group chief Ray Finch’s election as a Euro MP, Waterside county councillor Philip Fawkes has taken over.

Cllr Fawkes said it was unfortunate Cllr Hooke quit, but he insisted the party had to move on: “It is not something I would have chosen to happen in my first week as leader. But I respect his views and wishes to become an independent.

“He has not been asked to resign or has he been disciplined, it all very amicable and there is no animosity.

“Clearly we don’t want anyone to bring the party into disrepute, but this is not the case with Councillor Hooke. He may well have been arrested but he has not been charged.”

County council leader Roy Perry said the assault allegation was a police matter, but he said he had instructed the county council solicitor to investigate whether Cllr Hooke was in breach of the councillors’ code of conduct over the whitewash allegations made about the chief constable.

He said: “It is an outrageous suggestion. The allegations about the county’s chief constable being involved in a conspiracy was a terrible thing.

“His behaviour has not been a credit to himself, his party or the county council.”

County council opposition Lib Dem leader Keith House said: “Ukip were always to fall apart at Hampshire but nobody thought it would happen so quickly.

“Only the Liberal Democrats offer a strong opposition to the Conservatives in Hampshire.”

Daily Echo


Arrest made over alleged attack at UKIP meeting

Tony Hooke

Tony Hooke

Police have arrested a UKIP councillor following an allegation that he attacked someone at the launch of UKIP’s election campaign in Portsmouth.

Councillor Tony Hooke, who represents Andover South on Hampshire County Council, was arrested yesterday on suspicion of an assault which allegedly took place at Portsmouth Guildhall on April 28.

The 52-year-old, from Yately, has been released on bail. Cllr Ray Finch, leader of Hampshire UKIP, said Cllr Hooke strenuously denies the allegations against him.

The Portsmouth News


Local UKIP chairman defends candidate who labelled gay people ‘abnormal’

Douglas Denny

Douglas Denny

A local branch chairman for Ukip has defended a councillor candidate who called gay people “abnormal” and said he wished “they stop trying to ram it down my throat”, all while discussing whether the word “sodomite” should be used.

Ukip candidate Douglas Denny, 66, who is set to run for councillor in Portsmouth City Council’s elections next month, was initially caught out by The Sunday Mirror making anti-gay comments on a private Ukip forum last year.

He wrote: “What irritates me is they (sic) way they and their leftie, neo-Commie followers seem to want to force the rest of us to consider them as normal.

“I just wish they would keep their homosexual nature and practices to themselves and stop trying to ram it down my throat telling me they are ‘normal’ when they are not.”

Local Ukip Portsmouth Chairman Stuart Potter has now thrown his backing behind Mr Denny, claiming his comments have been manipulated by the media.

He told The Independent: “I’m backing him because he’s not a homophobe. The words that the press have used have been twisted.

“They have taken content from the forums and made what they want out of them. They’re doing it to slur the name of Ukip and Doug Denny as well.”

Earlier this week Mr Denny also attempted to defend his comments, arguing that he had labeled gay people “abnormal” because they were a minority of the population.

He told Portsmouth’s The News that he was not anti-homosexual and that his comments were taken out of context.

He said: “There was a story in The Sunday Mirror castigating Ukip for being racist and homophobic and all this stuff.

“There was a discussion on a forum open only to Ukip members about homosexuality and in particular the use of the word sodomite.

“I believe homosexuals have a perfect right to live their lives and wander around like everyone else and do not deserve any discrimination because of their sexuality.”

He then apparently felt the need to reiterate one of his earlier comments: “I wish that they wouldn’t try to keep ramming it down my throat that they are normal in their sexual practices.”

Portsmouth Lib Dem councillor Margaret Foster told The News she was “astounded” by the comments.

“I’m absolutely dumbstruck that they would let anybody stand in the elections with that attitude,” she said.

The Independent


Ukip Politician Douglas Denny Defends ‘Sodomy’ Rant

Douglas Denny

Douglas Denny

A would-be Ukip politician defended calling homosexuals “abnormal” and called on gays to stop “ramming it down my throat.

Douglas Denny, 66, was called out for “unacceptable” comments he made on a web forum for members of Nigel Farage’s anti-EU party.

Ukip members were discussing sodomy when Denny posted his own view on the matter.

The prospective Portsmouth City Council politician insisted his objection was rooted only in the semantics of the word ‘normal’ – and not that he personally objected to homosexuality.

Denny claimed that being a minority sexuality meant homosexuals were by definition abnormal, telling The News: “There was a story in the Sunday Mirror castigating Ukip for being racist and homophobic and all this stuff.

“There was a discussion on a forum open only to Ukip members about homosexuality and in particular the use of the word ‘sodomite.’

“‘I wish that they wouldn’t try to keep ramming it down my throat that they are normal in their sexual practices.

“I believe homosexuals have a perfect right to live their lives and wander around like everyone else and do not deserve any discrimination because of their sexuality.”

Denny is hoping to unseat a Tory incumbent at council elections next month.

A rival politician said it was “astounding” he would stand following his remarks about gays. Cllr Margaret Foster said: “I’m absolutely dumbstruck that they would let anybody stand in the elections with that attitude.”

Ukip has faced controversy over its members’ views on homosexuality before. Recently, a councillor claimed gay marriage was to blame for flooding which hit parts of the country.

IB Times


UKIP’s Homophobic Portsmouth Candidate

Douglas Denny

Douglas Denny

As gay couples around the country celebrate the advent of gay marriage, UKIP appear to be continuing on the same poisonous path as always.

Douglas Denny is to be the UKIP candidate in the ward of Drayton and Farlington for Portsmouth City Council in May.

Denny, who is the vice chairman of Portsmouth UKIP used the official UKIP members forum to attack gay sex as “disgusting”. He wrote: “What irritates me is they (sic) way they and their leftie, neo-Commie followers seem to want to force the rest of us to consider them as normal. I just wish they would keep their homosexual nature and practices to themselves and stop trying to ram it down my throat telling me they are ‘normal’ when they are not.”

Hope not Hate