Cambridgeshire county councillor defects to UKIP claiming Tory decisions made 'by those of a louder voice and position of power'
PUBLISHED: 14:39 29 February 2016 | UPDATED: 14:39 29 February 2016
A county councillor who defected to UKIP said he was no longer prepared to accept being told by what to do by "those of a louder voice and position of power" within the Conservative group.
UKIP boosted their numbers on Cambridgeshire County Council to 13 today following the defection of Councillor Adrian Dent.
The Bassingbourn councillor said: “I have thought long and hard about this decision -and it has not been taken lightly.
“There are many reasons for my decision but I feel that the Conservative Party is no longer the democratic party that I originally joined.”
He claimed that The Conservative group within Cambridgeshire County Council has made “numerous decisions where I feel my and my electorate’s voices have not been heard. A number of decisions that I have been told to accept have been made by those of a louder voice and position of power within the group and, in my opinion, this is not what I or my electorate want.”
It was only later in his resignation letter that Cllr Dent referred to differences on Europe, saying “I am in favour of exiting the EU and cannot stand to see the political infighting in the Conservative party with tit for tat recriminations between those pro or against continued membership of the EU campaign.
“I am joining the UK Independence Party as, I believe, it more closely aligns itself to many of the fundamental policies that I firmly believe in; additionally it does not operate a whip in Cambridgeshire County Council which enables me to properly represent the needs of my constituents.”
He added: “I became a councillor to put things right, but what happens within the Conservative Group is that decisions are made by a few controlling persons, and as said previously this does not and has not aligned itself to my beliefs and wants.
“I have become over the last 14 months disenchanted with many of the proposals and methods employed and wish to move to a party where I believe we can at least speak out on the issues that concern us and our electorate.
“I have already taken steps to move my membership to the local UK Independence group on Cambridgeshire County Council and felt that all those who voted for me deserve an explanation for my decision.”
UKIP group leader Paul Bullen said: “Councillor Dent is a man of principle with high moral standards. He will be a great asset to the UKIP group.
“Furthermore, his decision to leave a party that he has been a member of for most of his life shows how much the Conservative Party has changed.”