UKIP’s candidate for Pendle Central in next month’s county council elections has withdrawn in a row over allegedly ‘offensive’ tweets and e-mails.

Ken Bell pulled out of the May 2 poll after an angry phone call with the anti-European Union party’s North West organiser, Ken McGlade.

The former Labour Party member, who joined UKIP in October, was photographed with its leader Nigel Farage when he addressed a meeting in Oswaldtwistle earlier this month.

Mr Bell, 56, of Glenfield Road, Nelson, claims he was contacted by Dr McGlade after he posted tweets celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher.

Mr Bell said that during that conversation he was told he had been suspended from the party and that UKIP would not pay his deposit or elections expenses and would provide no support for him if he continued to run.

He said: “I am disabled, on benefits and walk with difficulty so I had no choice but to withdraw. The short version is that Dr McGlade had a turn over my Thatcher tweet, stepped outside his authority, and is now trying to save face by claiming that I was over the line in an on-line conversation with a female member of the Socialist Workers’ Party in Manchester.

“He had no authority to suspend me. I am still a UKIP member and intend to remain so.

“My conversation with the woman was sarcastic, not obscene or offensive.

“The sad thing is that the people of Pendle Central have no UKIP candidate to vote for.”

Dr McGlade said: “I did not make any of the threats Mr Bell claims. I suspended him with the authority of the national chairman of UKIP. He is still a member.

“This is not about the Thatcher tweets. It is about his communications with a lady in Levenshulme, Manchester who complained to us.

“She said they were obscene and offensive towards females. I looked and agreed. I was appalled. They were not acceptable to UKIP as a party.

“I asked him to withdraw as a candidate in May’s county council elections and he agreed.”