In The Press » Oct 19th 2011 - Former mayor defects from Tories to join UKIP
Former mayor defects from Tories to join UKIP
'..Northamptonshire MEP Derek Clark welcomes new recruit ...'
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UK Independence Party
From the Office of Derek Clark, MEP, East Midlands
Rowan House, 23 Billing Road, Northampton NN1 5AT
Tel: 01604 620064 Fax: 01604 636002
Oct 19, 2011
A well-known former Conservative mayor has joined UKIP after becoming disillusioned with Tory cuts and the party's stance on Europe.
The popular former Mayor of Northampton Colin Lill has made the jump to UKIP to the delight of local activists, including Northamptonshire and East Midlands MEP Derek Clark, who said he was pleased to welcome him to the party.
He said: "I have become increasingly disillusioned with the Conservative Party locally - despite what David Cameron says - we are seeing cuts to front-line services. Meanwhile members' allowances are astronomical and totally un-realistic.
"It's a pity councils don't do the honourable thing and cut allowances to councillors and not services to the public.
"The party's stance on Europe also angers me. We have lost so much control to Europe and I want to see a total withdrawal from the EU and the money we spend on being a member spent on our people in our country.
"Hearing the news that Mr Cameron has imposed a three line whip on Conservative MPs today (Wednesday) ordering them to vote against a referendum on Europe justifies my decision to leave the party."
He added: "We must look at the numbers of people coming into our country and get control over our borders again - there are not enough jobs and too many people. It's clear to see."
Mr Clark said: "I am absolutely delighted Colin has come across to UKIP.
"We have known each other for sometime and crossed swords across the hustings in a gentlemanly way. He is just sort of person UKIP needs and his views on the EU are totally in line with UKIP's."
Chairman of the Northamptonshire branch of UKIP Jim MacArthur said: "It appears people are becoming more and more concerned about the 'Europe issue' and we welcome Colin on board."
Mr Lill, 62, who lives in East Hunsbury, was a member of the Conservative Party from 1978 before moving to UKIP.
He had an active political career, first in Hemel Hempstead before moving to Northamptonshire.
He was first elected to the borough council in 1999 before being de-selected by the party in May, served as Mayor in 2006/07, and is a popular figure in and around Northampton.
He decided to make the move to UKIP and within days saw former Tory treasurer Lord Hesketh defect from the Tories to UKIP too.
The UK Independence Party exists because none of the old traditional political parties are prepared to accept that the real government of Britain is now being transferred to Brussels.
Our purpose is to restore the authority for governing Britain to our elected parliament in Westminster. We believe that decisions made on behalf of people are made closest to the people, be they local, national or international decisions, which informs our wide-ranging manifesto covering issues right across the political spectrum.