Tory Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hull West & Hessle, and Councillor for the Willerby & Kirkella Ward on East Riding Council, Mike Whitehead has defected to UKIP saying he is “disgusted” with the behaviour of the ruling Tory group in East Yorkshire, and the “wilful refusal” of the Conservative Party nationally to intervene and control them.
Commenting on his reasons for deciding to join UKIP, Mike said, “I believe as a member of UKIP, I will be able to speak up for the residents and represent their views on the Council. I also hope that with the election of other UKIP Councillors, I can help open this secretive Council up and make it more transparent and work better for the residents rather than to the benefit of the few.”
“I also want to ensure that the Council works more closely in a strategic capacity with other agencies including, Hull City Council and Humberside Police amongst others. It is important that we remove ‘petty fiefdoms’ and ensure this region is not left behind when greater resources are devolved by the next Government.”
Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader said, "I am delighted to be welcoming Mike to the party at this exciting time. His move to UKIP just underlines that today, the real party of opposition to Labour in the North is UKIP. It is another hammer blow to Tory pretensions in the north of England".
Mike Whitehead said, “I have been increasingly worried about the behaviour of the controlling group of Tories since 2011, when seven Conservative Councillors from Haltemprice & Howden resigned, citing bullying and intimidation. In my opinion, the behaviour of the ruling group has only gotten worse since then.”
“Now, that same group have managed to gain control of the local party structures by ensuring they are responsible for the organisation of the local election campaign. However, the Conservative Party at national level has declined to get involved in what it sees as a remote internal squabble out in the shires.”
“The total power of ‘single party control’ without effective opposition is never a good situation as we have seen from recent events elsewhere in Yorkshire. I could not in good conscience continue supporting the local Conservative party when they are obsessed with going down the same road.”
UKIP’s Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire MEP’s Mike Hookem and Jane Collins welcomed Mike to the party. Speaking outside Beverley Town Hall, Mike Hookem MEP said, “Mike has shown himself to be a man of principle in standing up for what he believes in and I am looking forward to working with him in the near future.
Jane Collins MEP added, “Both Mike and his colleague Mick Burchill, who defected earlier this week will be standing for UKIP in the local elections. I think they will both be a great addition to the UKIP team in this area and I am also looking forward to working with them closely.”