‘Kilroy-Silk quits UKIP, branding it as a joke,’ headlined The Independent (21 January). But the deserted party put on a brave face: ‘UKIP toasts Kilroy-Silk exit with champagne’ (The Daily Telegraph, 22 January).
Kilroy-Silk said UKIP had betrayed millions of voters by failing to capitalise on last June’s election successes and ‘went AWOL’ in Europe (The Guardian, 21 January).
UKIP claimed Kilroy-Silk’s departure was motivated by frustrated leadership aspirations, being primarily interested in ‘the Robert Kilroy-Silk Party’ (Telegraph, 21 January).
Whether the move proves to be the beginning of the end for UKIP, as some have predicted, the mainstream parties will be the likely beneficiaries of the fall-out. ‘If Kilroy-Silk is bringing cheer to anyone right now, having divided UKIP, it ought to be the beleaguered Michael Howard (Guardian, 20 January).
Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk