Ukip councillor defects to join Tories

Alicia Denny after taking the Copnor ward in Portsmouth for Ukip in 2014
Alicia Denny after taking the Copnor ward in Portsmouth for Ukip in 2014
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  • Copnor councillor defects to Tories citing Brexit as the reason
  • Tories on city council now one seat short of majority
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A UKIP councillor in Portsmouth has quit and joined the Conservatives over Brexit.

Councillor Alicia Denny announced yesterday that she has joined the Tory administration on Portsmouth City Council, backing the party as the group that will enable her to ‘best represent the people of Portsmouth’.

I have decided that, following the European Union referendum, I will best be able to represent the people of Portsmouth, and particularly my Copnor residents, by joining the majority Conservative Party

Councillor Alicia Denny

She said: ‘I’m extremely proud to have been one of the first half-dozen Ukip members elected to the city council and I believe that, as a group and individually, in a short time we have made a positive contribution to the city’s life.

‘However, for myself, I have decided that, following the European Union referendum, I will best be able to represent the people of Portsmouth, and particularly my Copnor residents, by joining the majority Conservative Party.

The former group secretary’s defection increases the Tory’s administration from 19 to 20 seats, leaving them one seat short of a majority on the council.

She added: ‘I have confidence in Theresa May as a prime minister and in Councillor Donna Jones as leader of the council.’

Colin Galloway, Ukip group leader on the council, said there was no bad blood between the parties over the decision, which leaves the party with a total of three councillors.

He said: ‘It was not necessarily unexpected.

‘Yes, we are disappointed but there is no bad blood.

‘She will be a real asset for them.’

Cllr Jones said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Alicia to the Conservative Party.

‘She has worked closely with our administration over the past three years and this is a natural step for her following the referendum.

‘Being one of only three cities in the UK run by Conservatives means 
Alicia’s membership is a significant one, strengthening our position to deliver change.’