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The Carswell Effect: Tory Councillor switches to UKIP prompted by star defector's decision


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Sevenoaks politics just became more interesting with the announcement that Conservative Councillor Chris Neal, who represents Cowden and Hever on Sevenoaks District Council has joined UKIP.

Mr Neal said, “On a whole range of issues, both at a local and national level I feel that the Conservatives no longer have the interests of ordinary people at heart. UKIP is, today, the party of hope and aspiration.”

 

In his letter of resignation to his former party he highlighted the way in which the Conservative Council had raised local taxes which have hit local small businesses. The way in which it has allowed development on the Green Belt and the way it interferes in people’s private life.

On the bigger national picture Mr Neal said that the Tories position on an EU referendum, by kicking the can down the road to 2017 is “an outrage and an insult to democracy”. He was also disappointed in the party’s failure to stick to its manifesto commitment to reform blamed on coalition with the Lib Dems.

“Was the capitulation on so many good policies worth it just to occupy No.10?

“I had thought of staying quiet until next May but after witnessing Douglas Carswell (in my opinion a man of great integrity, one of the most erudite, loyal, intelligent, clear thinking and effective Conservative back benchers) resign and join UKIP today I believe I should make my views known.

"I am happy to continue serving the citizens of Cowden, Four Elms, Hever and Mark Beech until next election at which point I will step down.”

Nigel Farage the UKIP leader and Kent MEP said, “I am delighted to welcome Chris to the party. I am sure he will, with Cllr Stephen Lindsay, work hard to represent his constituents and UKIP in Sevenoaks."

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