Earlier this month UKIP lost ALL its seats on Kent County Council. And  to the surprise of some it’s chosen the Rev Stuart Piper rather than Thanet Council leader Chris Wells as its candidate in the forthcoming general election in South Thanet. The Watch asked  Ramsgate mayor Trevor Shonk, one of the Kippers who lost their seats in KCC, what’s going on.



Despite the controversy surrounding him, Craig Mackinlay is still standing for election in South Thanet.

Recently the Crown Prosecution Service announced it wasn’t going to press charges against any Conservative politicians who were accused of not properly reporting their spending in the 2015 general election due to insufficient evidence to prove any dishonesty.

But in Craig’s case ONLY, the CPS have delayed their decision and now have until Election Day to decide whether to proceed or not. This means he could be arrested any day before then.

In this clip Thanet Watch pays a visit to a Tory canvassing session in Ramsgate town centre and asks one of Craig’s helpers what he thinks about this extraordinary situation.



Last year South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay accused Christine Tongue and two other of his constituents of being “anti Semitic” .

This was after they took part in a peaceful protest against a local company ,  Instro Precision, which is involved in arms manufacture.

Instro is owned by the notorious Israeli-owned Elbit Systems which makes drones that have been used to monitor and kill the Palestinian residents of Gaza.

The protest was part of a Kent-wide demo by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade which targeted weapons companies across the country, including British Aerospace and Babcock International.

Weeks after the protest, Mackinlay wrote to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn asking him to ban Christine and the other protestors from a rally in Ramsgate, alleging they were “examples of anti-semitism”. He gave them no chance to respond or defend themselves and then tweeted this letter to his followers.

In this video Christine asks the controversy-dogged Mackinlay, now standing for re-election in South Thanet, to apologise for his behaviour.

(Note: The Crown Prosection Service is still considering pressing charges against Craig Mackinlay because of alleged irregularities in the reporting of his election expenses in the 2015 general election. )



Controversy-dogged Tory candidate for South Thanet, Craig Mackinlay, is questioned by a voter.

The Crown Prosecution Service is still considering whether to press charges against Mackinlay for his election spending in the 2015 general election.

The CPS has announced that they have decided not to charge other Tory politicians under investigation by the police for irregularities in their election spending because of lack of evidence.

The CPS could still decided to prosecute Mackinlay any time up to the election day, June 8.



pip story Diane 2

DIANE HULLAH: Her sister says applying for benefits drove her to take her own life

The sister of the disabled woman who was killed by a train in Margate claims anxiety over filling in a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) form drove her to kill herself – and she wants to make it an election issue.

Helen from Broadstairs wants change in what she calls the “barbaric” PIP system and is calling on all the people running to be her MP in Thanet to pledge themselves to take action.

Helen’s sister, Diane Hullah, suffered with mental health problems, including severe anxiety.  This resulted in episodes of complete paralysis, which meant she was unable to work and needed benefits to live off.

But, says Helen, it was Diane’s anxiety over filling in the 50-page PIP form and her fear of failing to get the payment which pushed her to her death.

Helen said: “She knew it was going to be really hard for her, because it’s a long form with a lot of detail.  And she knew if she didn’t get it right, if she said the wrong thing or didn’t phrase it profitably, that it would get automatically turned down. It didn’t just stress her a little bit, it really sent her downhill…”

Helen added: “She was self-harming, she poured a kettle of boiling water over her arms, she was burning herself, she would heat metal rods and burn her arms.”

Helen says the stress led her sister to make two attempts to kill herself before finally succeeding.

Diane wrote in her diary:  “I’ve been trying to do my PIP renewal with a lot of help from Helen [her sister] and I found it incredibly difficult. I even tried to throw myself under a train on 11th of this month [March] following four consecutive days of shutdown. Luckily I was saved literally seconds before the train arrived by a stationmaster. Perhaps somebody is looking after me after all because I was going to jump.”

Diane also took an overdose, Helen says, before finally killing herself by throwing herself under a train in Margate on Friday 21 April.

She said: “I want to ask all candidates for this forthcoming election to look at this area and really see what’s going and I want them to state very clearly what they would do about it if they were elected, in terms of mental health generally but in particular this barbaric system that is applying for PIP and the complete blank wall you come up against.

Diane’s case is not a one-off. A previous death believed to have been a direct result of PIP happened earlier this year in Tunbridge Wells, when a disabled woman was discovered by a care worker surrounded by letters telling her that she would not be entitled to the payment.

The woman, Susan Margaret Roberts, had placed a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) note by her side. Her daughter said: “If it wasn’t for PIP, my mum would still be here.”

Campaigners claim that PIP is based on a model created by the US medical insurance industry designed to deny disability claims and so maximise profits.

They also point to a number of other deaths of disabled people who have apparently killed themselves after having problems being assessed for benefits.

A film about how PIP kills people is now being made by Thanet Watch. An extract can be viewed in a previous post on this site.