A third Bradley Stoke Town Councillor has switched allegiance from the Conservatives to the UK Independence Party (UKIP).
Cllr Kim Harris, who lives in Kemperleye Way and represents the Meadowbank parish ward, has resigned with immediate effect and joins fellow UKIP Town Councillors Ben Walker and Ed Rose.
The latter pair were welcomed into UKIP by party leader Nigel Farage at a public meeting held at the Aztec Hotel in May.
Cllr Walker’s defection followed what appeared to be some nasty in-fighting within the Bristol and South Gloucestershire Conservative Party, in which the then Bradley Stoke Mayor was the subject of a “smear campaign” aimed at stopping him becoming the Chair of South Gloucestershire Council, a position he had been expected to assume after serving as Vice-Chair since May 2011.
Following his resignation, Cllr Walker lashed out at his former party, tweeting:
“I have resigned from the Conservative Party. I can no longer support an elitist, self-serving gravy train, riddled with bully boy tactics.”
A UKIP press release announcing the latest defection describes Cllr Harris as “a well known community activist, business owner and local to Bradley Stoke of 19 years” and says she has made the move due to “unhappiness with the Conservatives Party’s hidden form and lack of direction in the right areas.”
Explaining her move, Cllr Harris said:
“This Government has failed on immigration and benefit reform. They continue to punish small business owners and have become a party who only represent the rich.”
The latest development leaves the Town Council with eleven Conservative and three UKIP members. One seat is currently vacant following the recent resignation of Barry Mitchell (Conservative) for “personal and professional reasons”. A by-election could potentially be held to fill the vacancy, but only if ten people call for one before 26th July; otherwise it will be filled by ‘co-option’.
Photo: Ex-Tories Ben Walker and Ed Rose are welcomed into UKIP.
Last 5 posts in Bradley Stoke Town Council
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- 2013 Community Festival gets under way today - June 7th, 2013
- Two years on: Have your say on street light switch-off - May 20th, 2013
- Conservative's Andy Ward wins Primrose Bridge by-election - May 3rd, 2013
- Town council publishes Annual Report for 2012/13 - April 22nd, 2013