Fareham councillor leaves UKIP to become an independent

CHANGING Councillor Nick Gregory
CHANGING Councillor Nick Gregory
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A COUNCILLOR has changed political groups for the fourth time since being elected three years ago.

Fareham West ward councillor Nick Gregory yesterday announced his resignation from UKIP. He will now join Cllr Jack Englefield as Fareham borough’s only other independent councillor.

Cllr Gregory was voted onto the council at a 2010 by-election as the Lib Dem candidate, but he soon since switched to the Tories which saw him re-elected in 2012.

He then became an independent, before switching to UKIP earlier this year and is now back to being independent.

His decision follows Cllr Dave Whittingham’s resignation from UKIP earlier this month.

Cllr Gregory said: ‘I have resigned following the party conference and the shambles of UKIP’s local government policies. UKIP have no real local government policy and that’s simply not credible.’

Cllr Gregory said he was disgusted with derogatory comments made by UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom.

He stressed he wanted to represent residents of his ward and he added: ‘I am a resident and a neighbour and a borough councillor. Politics is the last cap that I put on.’

Tory leader of the council, Cllr Sean Woodward, said: ‘I fully support cllr Gregory’s reasons for resigning from UKIP. They have no policy on local government, all they want is for David Cameron to hold a referendum on Europe.

‘I can see why he wouldn’t want to be a member of that party.’

Opposition leader Cllr Paul Whittle, a Lib Dem, said: ‘My primary concern is for the residents because they do not know what their councillor stands for. He’s changed colours more times than a set of traffic lights.

‘It must leave the residents wondering what principles he represents.’

Chairman of Fareham and Gosport UKIP Bob Ingram said: ‘UKIP is relieved to see both of these councillors go.

‘They had no interest in UKIP and did not believe in our policies.

‘We do have local government policies but they didn’t agree. They can’t have read anything at all.

‘All cllr Gregory did was complain.’