A UKIP councillor, suspended from his party, has today been replaced as its Lincolnshire group leader.
Coun Colin Mair, Tattershall Castle’s ward-holder, has taken the Lincolnshire County Council role on an interim basis following Coun Chris Pain’s suspension.
A UKIP statement yesterday said: “Chris Pain has been suspended under the emergency powers of the chairman of UKIP.
“A disciplinary committee will be sitting within the next 10 days.
“It would be wrong and unfair to say anything more about the case before the committee has heard the evidence against Mr Pain and his defence.”
Burgh and Wainfleet’s ward-holder, Coun Pain had previously rejected the suspension claims, insisting the dispute was with UKIP’s national chairman Steve Crowther, rather than the party itself.
Speaking to the Standard this morning, Coun Pain continued with that argument.
“The issue is an issue between me and the party chairman Steve Crowther,” he said.
“I’ve put an official complaint in about him,”
Coun Pain has been at the centre of ‘racist rant’ allegations, first raised in May, concerning posts he was claimed to have made on Facebook.
The former East Midlands group chairman denied any suggestions of racism and insisted his account had been hacked.
Lincolnshire Police dropped its investigation into the accusation earlier this week, claiming it was ‘very difficult’ to prove.
The disciplinary hearing, scheduled for nine days’ time, does not relate to the racism allegations, Coun Pain said.
Coun Mair accepted the interim role, until a formal election can be held, having received the written support of a ‘clear majority’ of the council’s UKIP group.
He said the measure had been taken to ‘keep things going’ during the ‘temporary gap’ left by Coun Pain’s suspension.
“Hopefully when things are resolved, we can find a permanent solution,” said Coun Mair.