Key UKIP Peterborough figure suspended for ‘speaking out against racism’

Jay Beecher during the EU referendum

Jay Beecher during the EU referendum

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A key figure in UKIP’s Peterborough branch says he has been suspended for “speaking out against elements of racism, cronyism, corruption and hypocrisy in our party.”

Jay Beecher is the deputy chairman of UKIP Peterborough and co-ordinated the Vote Leave campaign in the city during the recent EU referendum.

He was also the campaign manager for Ramsey councillor Lisa Duffy who stood to replace Nigel Farage in the recent UKIP leadership election.

Ms Duffy, who works in Peterborough as chief of staff to MEP Patrick O’Flynn, came second behind MEP Diane James.

Mr Beecher added on Twitter he “couldn’t be prouder” to have been suspended.

A few days earlier he had tweeted: “After a lot of thought, I’ve decided to stand up to the cronyism, the hypocrisy and elements of unchallenged racism within our party.”

Mr Beecher told the Peterborough Telegraph: “I’ve been suspended for standing up to and speaking out against elements of racism, cronyism, corruption and hypocrisy which I became privy to during the leadership race. All these things are destroying UKIP.

“I’m very disappointed with the route I’m having to take, but I’m proud to be making a stand. We shouldn’t ever shy away from challenging someone’s immoral or racist behaviour simply because we might share the same political beliefs or swear allegiance to the same party.

“Since my suspension I’ve had members from all over the UK - chairmen, grassroots, and even members of the NEC and the Welsh assembly - contact me to offer their support.

“Our party looks to be turning in a rather questionable direction. Our grassroots, our elected officials and the people they represent are being sorely let down. It’s time we made a stand.”

A UKIP spokesman said: “Mr Beecher has been suspended after repeatedly making deliberate and demonstratively false allegations against other members of the party, and doing so to various media outlets.

“He is a talented young man and it is a shame that he uses his time to attack people in his party rather than to build up support as we move forward to the Cambridgeshire County Council elections next year.”