Cllr Tony Hooke resigned this week as Leader of Hampshire County Council’s UKIP group, sparking further rumours of a rift amongst Hampshire’s UKIP members.
Cllr Hooke told Andover & Villages, “I am dedicated in assisting Diane James in her quest to be elected as North West Hampshire’s MP in this year’s elections. I am her campaign manager and it was impossible to juggle running a business, complete my duties as a councillor, be a campaign manager as well as be leader of Hants County Council’s UKIP group, and so I resigned my position.”
When asked if he was forcibly removed, Cllr Hooke said, “Absolutely not. I was unable to put the time into the role as leader and so I stepped down. I wish Cllr Langdon every success in his new role as leader.”
Cllr Andy Moore, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council’s UKIP group said, “Tony felt that he couldn’t dedicate the time he needed to Diane James’ campaign and so he came to us and explained that he felt it would be better if he stepped down as leader. We as a group totally respect that, and so we elected a new leader, Cllr Langdon. I will remain as Deputy Leader.”
Andover & Villages asked Cllr Moore if Cllr Hooke was forcibly removed from the position of leader, to which he said, “No, of course not.”
It was reported on Andover & Villages last week that Cllr Tony Hooke had taken down all social media and websites for North West Hampshire UKIP, due to online bullying and harassment. His own Facebook page was reinstated some hours after publication of the article, whilst the website and facebook pages, for Diane James, are still unpublished. In response to this, Cllr Hooke said, “The website and facebook pages are under maintenance.”