THE UKIP candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock has been de-selected.
Kerry Smith is the leader of the UKIP group in Basildon District Council as well a county councillor for Essex and was seen as the architect and engine room for a number of their successes in the area.
He was the UKIP candidate in the 2010 General Election and had been selected some time ago to fight against the Conservative MP, Stephen Metcalfe.
A spokesperson for UKIP said: "We can confirm that Kerry Smith is no longer the UKIP candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock."
When asked for the reason why Mr Smith had suddenly been deselected, the spokesperson said: "It is an internal matter."
YT spoke to Mr Smith on Friday morning. He appeared to be completely unaware of any de-selection process.
He said: "I am in the dark. However, we are all on notice that should a bigger candidate come into the picture, then we may have to stand aside."
Further reaction to follow.