UKIP candidate is evicted from hotel after angry outburst during political meeting

Stephen Brand, a  UKIP candidate, was asked to leave the Park Hotel in Tynemouth following his outburst at North Tyneside Question Time

Nigel Farage on Stage at the Sage, Gateshead.

Police had to be called to a public meeting when a UKIP candidate standing in tomorrow’s local elections was thrown out.

A torrent of swearing and shouting led to Stephen Brand being asked to leave the Park Hotel in Tynemouth following his outburst at North Tyneside Question Time run by the People’s Assembly on Monday night.

He is standing in North Tyneside’s Chirton ward for the UK Independence Party against independent candidate Amanda Normand, Labour’s Margaret Reynolds and the Conservative candidate Heather Sarin.

Two officers from Northumbria Police were called to the sea-front hotel at around 7.50pm to calm scenes in the hotel’s ballroom after Mr Brand interrupted a speaker during a discussion on education.

Stephen Brand, the UKIP candidate for Chirton in North Tyneside who disrupted a public meeting held at the Park Hotel in Tynemouth on Monday May 19
Stephen Brand, the UKIP candidate for Chirton in North Tyneside who disrupted a public meeting held at the Park Hotel in Tynemouth on Monday May 19
 

Despite being told by audience members to be quiet and sit down and wait his turn to speak, he continued to shout and became aggressive when event organisers approached him to usher him out of the room.

At one point he shouted that if anyone laid a hand on him “it would be assault”.

A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: “We were called to the Park Hotel in Tynemouth following reports of a man shouting during a meeting.

“Officers attended and at the request of the manager, officers asked him to leave, which he did.”

He received no police caution or warning for his behaviour and willingly left the scene.

The scene at the Park Hotel in Tynemouth on Monday night when a UKIP candidate Stephen Brand is evicted after an angry outburst
The scene at the Park Hotel in Tynemouth on Monday night when a UKIP candidate Stephen Brand is evicted after an angry outburst
 

However his outburst just days before the election was not welcomed by fellow UKIP candidate Gary Legg, who is standing in the Monkseaton South ward.

The former member of the RAF had been invited as part of a panel of six representatives from political parties for the question-and-answer session and he is now working with the party to clarify how events unfolded on Monday night.

Joan Hewitt, who co-organised the event on behalf of the People’s Assembly, said: “Normally I wouldn’t condone the highlighting of an unpleasant incident but I think this shows that this particular UKIP candidate was not agreeing with the nature of the event, which was participatory.”

Joan also said: "All of the audience minus one of all political persuasions were participating in the spirit of democratic discussion.

"Even after the abusive incident, this was an otherwise successful meeting attended by a 100 people of all political persuasions, and skilfully chaired by Tony Dowling of the North East People's Assembly."

Also speaking on the panel was North Tyneside’s current Labour deputy mayor Bruce Pickard, Alan Furness, who is standing as a Conservative candidate in Valley, Martin Collins for the Green Party in Wallsend, Tim Wall standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in Benton and David Taws, the independent candidate for Collingwood.

A spokesman for UKIP said the party was conducting an inquiry into the incident, however Mr Brand will still stand on Thursday.

He said: “There is a suggestion of provocation. We would apologise however.

“It will be referred to the national executive committee who will look at everything and the committee may determine what the appropriate action is that should be taken.

“It’s very difficult before an election to do anything else. Ballot papers have gone out and they have got his name on it.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer