A FORMER Southampton UK Independence Party chairman faces a trial over the alleged sexual abuse of a schoolgirl and another woman.

Ryan Newell, 29, is accused of sexually activity with a child and sexual assault of a woman, the Daily Echo can reveal.

Hampshire police have charged him with five counts of sexually touching a girl aged between 13 and 15 and one of sexually touching a woman over 16.

He denies all the charges which relate to the period between March 2008 and April 2010 and now faces a trial next year at Southampton Crown Court.

Mr Newell, formerly of Honeysuckle Road, Southampton, worked as a manager at British Gas in St Mary’s Road.

He rose through the ranks of UKIP from a branch officer to chairman of the Southampton party.

He was a leading critic against plans for a gypsy and traveller transit site in Swaythling three years ago and of the Liberal Democrat administration running the city at the time. Mr Newell was later ousted from the local party. A UKIP spokesman said he was not a party member when the alleged offences came to light.

Mr Newell moved to Southampton nearly ten years ago when an amateur boxing career was cut short.

He has since moved back to Maidstone, Kent, where he grew up.

Alan Kebbell, current chairman of Southampton UKIP, said: “While I accept that members of all parties may be prone to the occasional lapse, the alleged offence is not one that would ever be condoned, or any mitigation accepted, by the party or me.

“The result was that his membership renewal from 2007 was never made and he is currently banned from reapplying.”