"Affiliated with or loyal to no political party or organisation". That's the dictionary definition of the word Independent, in relation to its meaning when associated with politicians. So when somebody calls themself an Independent it is a given that they are stand alone. Right? Because that is what the word means.
If you are local or follow Southend politics you will be aware that Shoeburyness ward has two 'Independent members' and Southend has nine in total. In Shoeburyness ward Cllr Assenheim and Cllr Chalk have always trumpeted their supposed Independence very loudly in the press and their election literature.
Recently I had a brief but interesting conversation with one of the Shoeburyness members who questioned me as to why I keep referring to them as a party. My response was why have you formed a group, have group meetings, had an electoral pact with UKIP at the last local elections and have a leader who gets over £7,000 a year from taxpayer to fulfil this role but you still call yourself an Independent? Surely you are a party in all but name?
Ah, they said, we have only formed a group for strategic purposes. Strategic purposes? What was the meaning of the word Independent again? "Affiliated with or loyal to no political party or organisation". Glad we got that cleared up then.