UKIP MEP, Tim Aker, has been threatened with expulsion from the party following the formation of the Thurrock Independents.

Aker, who is also a councillor in Aveley for Thurrock, represents the East of England in European Parliament under the banner of UKIP.

However, Mr Aker also represents the newly formed Thurrock Independents in his role as a councillor for the Aveley and Uplands ward.

As Mr Aker is set to stand in the next local elections in May, UKIP has shown concern over his party allegiance.

A letter has been sent to Mr Aker explaining that unless the Thurrock Independents are closed down, he will face expulsion from UKIP.

A spokesman for UKIP said: "A letter has been sent to Tim asking him to close down the newly formed party as he is in breach of the party rules.

"If this does not happen, the issue will be raised at the next NEC meeting and he along with any other party member who are in the same situation will be expelled from the party."

UKIP are threatening him with expulsion from the party because he cannot run against another UKIP candidate in the local council elections while representing UKIP in a different capacity i.e. as an MEP.

However, no UKIP candidate is set to run for the Aveley and Uplands ward.

Mr Aker has argued that his role as a TI councillor does not conflict with his role as a UKIP MEP.

He said: "Thurrock Independents is a local political party prioritising the needs of Thurrock residents on Thurrock Council, while not engaging in national party politics.

"There is no conflict with my role as a UKIP MEP within the European Parliament. There are rules (4.4.1) within the UKIP Constitution to allow this to happen.

"I hope UKIP make the sensible decision, it seems silly to needlessly weaken its position in the European Parliament. I will always put the needs of the local residents that elected me before the demands of national political parties."