Character slur leads to resignation of Great Yarmouth Ukip chairman

Chris Walch has left Ukip. Picture: James Bass

Chris Walch has left Ukip. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

A confrontation between two Ukip members from Norfolk outside a Great Yarmouth shop has led to one of them resigning as chairman of the town’s party branch.

Chris Walch has resigned as chairman of Ukip Great Yarmouth following an argument involving the party home affairs spokesman David Moreland.

Mr Moreland called the Great Yarmouth branch a “disgrace” after the borough’s only UKIP councillor accused Mr Moreland of saying his partner looked like a stripper.

Mr Walch said: “I have officially notified my area organiser and officially put in my resignation of chairman of Ukip Great Yarmouth solely because of what happened outside the shop because of character slurs.”

His BBC Radio Norfolk interview was happening outside his photographic shop in Broad Row called Unique when Mr Moreland stepped in.

Mr Walch then said he did not wanted to be associated with Mr Moreland, claiming he had insulted his partner by implying she was a stripper when they met each other at a Ukip meeting in Gorleston’s Pavilion Theatre.

Mr Moreland said the Great Yarmouth Ukip branch was a “disgrace”.

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Seven of 12 Great Yarmouth Borough Council UKIP councillors defected to the Conservative Party last October, and after the May 4 elections Mr Walch was the only remaining UKIP councillor on the borough council.

Asked afterwards if he had made the alleged stripper comment on a previous occasion, Mr Moreland: said: “That’s ridiculous.”

The former policeman said he had not met Mr Walch before, and happened upon the interview as he had “some old Army photographs that have been damaged”.

“He started ranting and raving like a lunatic saying I thought his wife looked like a stripper,” said Mr Moreland. “I said ‘shut up’. I was defending myself, basically.”

“As far as I’m concerned I did nothing wrong.”

Mr Moreland said there had been “a lot of infighting” within the town’s UKIP branch.

“A lot of the guys were brilliant, but some of them left and joined the Conservative Party and it never picked up again, but across the country Ukip are doing extremely well,” he said.

Mr Walch said he had encountered Mr Moreland on two other occasions, one of the being election hustings and refutes how Mr Moreland described his behaviour outside the shop.