A UKIP councillor has resigned from the party after it was discovered he was listed as a former member of the British National Party.

Laurie Gray, who represents Walton’s Homelands ward on Tendring Council, has denied knowingly signing up as a member of the far-Right party.

His name and phone number appeared in a list of BNP members from 2008, which was published by WikiLeaks, a website that publishes “secret” information.

Mr Gray has stood down from Ukip, but will continue as a councillor.

He said: “As far as I know, I wasn’t a member of the BNP.

“I remember a few years ago filling out a questionnaire. I got an email, but I didn’t go to anymeetings or anything.

“I’m 62 and the first time I voted was last year for Douglas Carswell (Ukip’s first elected MP). ’’ Mr Gray added: “I deny knowing I was a member of the BNP. The first I knewabout it was a phone call saying I was on a list.

“It must have been one of those mindless mistakes you make when messing about on the computer.

“I resigned from Ukip ten minutes after seeing the report.

“I did that because I respect Ukip too much to bring it into disrepute.”

Mr Gray was elected as a councillor in May, ousting the-then council leader Mick Page by 583 votes to 535.

He was one of 22 Ukip councillors elected after a huge swing to the Eurosceptic party at May’s election, although five of those councillors are now part of the new Coastal Independents’ group.

Mark Stephenson, leader of the Ukip group, said: “I was shocked to find out last week of Laurie’s history with the BNP.

“Ukip has a zero tolerance of people who have joined this organisation.

“Laurie has given his resignation from the party and in doing so from the Ukip group on the council.

“I have been assured by Laurie he will continue to work in the very best way he can for residents of Homelands as an independent.”