A row has broken out over the reasons why a UKIP candidate has decided to step down from next month’s county council elections.
Ken Bell, of Glenfield Road, Nelson, was due to be standing for Pendle Central.
But Mr Bell said that he had to withdraw his nomination due to the lack of support he would receive if he were to continue to run. Earlier in the month he was suspended by UKIP’s North-West organiser Dr Fred McGlade.
While Mr Bell believed it was due to an offensive tweet he wrote about Margaret Thatcher’s death, Dr. McGlade argued that it was because “disgusting” tweets were sent to a community activist from Levenshulme.
He said: “As a party, we had a national billboard campaign. Members of the public in Levenshulme tweeted their objections to it.
“Ken Bell responded and some of the remarks that he made were obscene. He left women feeling frightened and intimidated.”
And Sue McPherson, who said she was one of five Levenshulme women to receive messages and tweets from Mr Bell added: “The abuse was so distressing, he seems to believe he has been suspended because of a tweet about Margaret Thatcher. I don’t know the truth, but putting out that tweet was outrageous and misogynistic.”
Mr Bell has said he will continue to be a UKIP member, but may be moving to Birmingham in the next six months due to poor health.
He added: “I went into UKIP thinking it was a party about the EU. I didn’t realise it was a Margaret Thatcher fan club. I tweeted my sympathies to the devil on the day that Margaret Thatcher died, and all hell broke loose.
“It is now being claimed I was suspended because of an argument I had with a woman from Manchester. The story is changing every day and it is getting ridiculous.”