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Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007, 11:26 GMT
Party over for UKIP in Plymouth
Plymouth's branch of the UK Independence Party is close to collapse amid internal wranglings.

The chairman and committee of the local group, which has about 120 members, is preparing to stand down on Monday.

Chairman Tom Williams said they had had no applications to run the branch and it was "more than likely" to close.

Mr Williams said members of the party, which wants Britain out of the EU, said members were disillusioned by the party's "lack of direction".

'Complete disillusionment'

He said: "We are very sad at taking this drastic step.

"But I know that there is, for some members, complete disillusionment with the way the party is going.

"It is spending too much time getting MEPs elected into Europe and not enough on getting MPs elected in this country."

He also felt that the party's 10 MEPs were "not very productive".

He said: "At the last European elections we had 12 MEPs. Two have gone by the wayside, but the ones that are left don't really seem to be interested in the UK."

He has started another group called New Battle for Britain which he says will campaign on local issues.

From its founding in 1993, UKIP has been torn by internal divisions.

New leader Nigel Farage wants to broaden UKIP from a single-issue party to occupy ground vacated David Cameron's Conservatives on issues such as immigration, taxation and education.

A UKIP spokesman said: "It's always regrettable when individuals choose to leave the party.

"Some individuals feel that we cannot broaden our interests, but our aspiration is to become a major player with other political parties and you cannot expect people to vote for us if all we are saying is Britain must leave the EU."




SEE ALSO
UKIP leader 'offered Tory seat'
05 Dec 06 |  UK Politics
UKIP needs to broaden appeal
12 Sep 06 |  UK Politics
Profile: UK Independence Party
28 Jul 06 |  UK Politics

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