A feud in the ranks of UKIP in Somerset has erupted into the open – with the resignation of a candidate amid claims of infiltration by occultists. Jake Baynes, the UKIP candidate for Wells, says he can’t work anymore with people who claim to be guided by angels.
At the centre of the row is Colleen Tucker, UKIP’s Somerset county treasurer, who says: “About six years ago, Archangel Michael made himself known to me and I’ve been working with him and the Angelic Realms since then.”
Saint Michael triumphed over Satan in the war in Heaven. Here on Earth, he seems to have played a part in some bitter political infighting. The chair of the Wells branch of UKIP, Graham Livings, has also resigned. He said: “Jake won the selection to be candidate fair and square and from the beginning there was a campaign against him by a handful of people. The most vociferous were the Glastonbury occult. I have had people say to me that in view of it being true about the Glastonbury occult, they will not be voting UKIP.”
Mr Baynes said: “They say they get their divine inspirations from the Archangel Michael, and to be honest, I don’t think that has a part to play in politics. I’ve just had enough of all the infighting.”
The row is the latest in a long series of embarrassments for UKIP. One of the party’s winning candidates in the Somerset County elections of 2013 left UKIP less than a year after the election, citing “irreconcilable differences” with the chair of the UKIP county committee.
UKIP’s Somerset website is illustrated with a picture of the Tor at Glastonbury – a place Mrs Tucker says is “the realm of the mythic, where we walk between the worlds.” On the website of her healing centre, she asks clients to “include your email address as we may have feedback for you from the angelic realms.”