A high-profile UKIP candidate due to stand in the next General Election has sensationally resigned – amid claims the party had been infiltrated by the OCCULT.
Jake Baynes, 40, stood down alongside branch chairman Graham Livings after it emerged members of an ‘angelic healing group’ were causing havoc.
Mr Baynes was due to stand for the party in the Wells constituency, Somerset, in May but resigned claiming there was civil war within the party and a vendetta against him.
Mr Livings, who pointed the finger at “an infiltration of occultists”, blasted the group as “oddballs” and said the public were “very wary of that sort of thing”.
But two leading members of UKIP in Somerset, who run a healing centre in Glastonbury, Somerset – which claims divine intervention from the Archangel Michael – dismissed the claims as “ridiculous”.
“Jake Baynes is a great loss to UKIP because he’s just the profile of person the party needs,” Mr Livings said.
“I was a founder member of UKIP down here but what happens when a party grows – you get infiltration into the membership.
“The Glastonbury occult crowd have moved in.
“They are oddballs putting on these weekend retreats where they guarantee the angels will be present, and the public can be very wary of that sort of thing.
“UKIP has a prescribed list which states that no one who has been a member of the BNP or the English Defence League should be a member, but when they sat down and wrote out the prescribed list, they wouldn’t have thought to put occultists down.
“I’m nervous about the occult and many people I know who’ve seen that these people are involved in Ukip have said, ‘well, I’m not voting Ukip with them in position’.
“These people say that they take angelic guidance and defer in all things to St Michael the Archangel – and at the same time we’re experiencing such vitriol and bile from them.
“I don’t have to put up with it, so I am resigning.”
Mr Baynes first hit the headlines five years ago when he and the local party refused to bow to pressure from UKIP’s national executive not to field a candidate in the 2010 General Election.
But, despite his defiance, Mr Baynes was selected again by the UKIP Wells branch this spring, but said that within a day, a campaign from within his own party had begun against him.
It appears to have culminated with both sides of the internal civil war within the Wells branch contacting national UKIP chairman Steve Crowther.
Mr Baynes said: “Something has gone on and I’m not quite sure what it is.
“As soon as I was selected, there was this complete change, and I think the committee of the branch didn’t vote for me.
“It’s got so bad that I really want to get out of it – I don’t want to get involved in politics again.”
Mr Baynes said he suspected factions against him had even sent an anonymous letter to the headteacher of the school where he works as a teacher.
He added that he did not believe “divine inspirations” had a “part to play in politics”.
“Wells is a bit fractured. There are elements within that are not quite right,” he said.
“Within days people were plotting against me, telling me I wasn’t a suitable candidate.
“I thought I was a suitable candidate, and I was selected by a vote. The letters and emails and accusations against me are unfounded.
“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.”
But Mr Baynes played down Mr Livings’ claims of an ‘organised infiltration’.
He added: “I’ve realised politics is a very ugly, dirty business, and I want nothing more to do with it.”
Glenn and Colleen Tucker, who run the Angelic Guidance and Healing Centre, in Glastonbury, Somerset, are two of the main campaigners, internally, against Mr Baynes.
Mr Tucker stood unsuccessfully as a UKIP candidate in the county council elections a couple of years ago, while Mrs Tucker is currently the UKIP Somerset treasurer.
He has accused Mr Baynes of not obeying UKIP rules.
“UKIP are not out to demonise everybody. There’s been a huge problem and we have reported it to the national party chairman,” he said.
“None of us are resigning from the party, but we can no longer work with them. It’s a personal vendetta from Mr Livings to attack anybody who has disagreed with him.
“He accused us of being part of the occult, which is ridiculous. We’re one of 110 members of the Angelic Reiki Association, and reiki healing is virtually mainstream.
“What we do here has nothing to do with our involvement in UKIP. We’re not without a good reputation, and we’re stalwarts of the community in Glastonbury.”