The political rumour mill has been going into overdrive since the UKIP-based social media pages in the local area were all taken down, along with the North West Hampshire UKIP website, which states: ‘This site is currently undergoing maintenance. Please check back later.’
Tony Hooke confirmed today, “Everything is fine with the North West Hampshire UKIP Branch. Diane James is still standing as the UKIP Parliamentary Candidate for North West Hampshire, and it’s all steam ahead for the election this year.”
Andover and Villages asked Cllr Hooke if the disappearance of the local online presence of UKIP, as reported in a local Andover blog, had anything to do with the disgraced UKIP Councillor Paul Lovegrove, whose criminal record became a point of resignation from other UKIP members. Cllr Hooke said, “It is absolutely nothing to do with it. Although Portsmouth is in Hampshire, and it is of course relevant to me as Chair of Hampshire UKIP, it has no basis on what this local branch does.
“I took the decision to remove the North West Hants social media page and website this week, because of the excessive amount of trolling and abuse we were receiving. Branch staff and I were spending most of the time deleting comments from abusive trolls.
“North West Hampshire UKIP will from now on be fighting on policies: things such as the A-Boards, parking in town and parking at the station. This is what is important to UKIP and not the social media abuse and fighting.”