ConservativeHome is reporting that four, that’s right FOUR more local officials (councillors) have defected from the Tories to UKIP:
The Hounslow, Heston and Whitton Chronicle reports that three Conservative councillors in that borough have defected to UKIP. It names Cllrs Rebecca Stewart, Beverley Williams and Colin Botterill. Looking at the Council website a fourth is listed Cllr Gillian Hutchison.
The local government website cites four UKIP councillors.
The reasons cited seem to be mostly local and perhaps personal.
The Chronicle report talks about the motivation for the departures being “infighting” and “lack of support.” The issues seem to be as much to do with the Feltham and Heston Conservative Association as with the Conservative Group on the council. There is a suggestion that Cllr Botterill is to some extent concerned with national issues while his new colleagues were not really. Indeed Cllr Stewart says her problems were “not with the Party itself.”
But UKIP seems to be a place disaffected Tories can go. Now we need some MPs to defect!
UPDATE: A Labour Councillor in Northampton just defected to UKIP on June 3:
A LABOUR councillor at Northampton Borough Council has defected to the UK Independence Party.
Beverley-Anne Mennell will make an announcement at the full council meeting tonight about her decision to switch to the Euro-sceptic party.