Fareham councillor '˜still has hope' of retaining council seat

A COUNCILLOR who lost a vote to stand to retain his seat says he has not given up hope of winning it back.

Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 12:09 pm
Cllr Chris Wood left Ukip for the Conservatives

Councillor Chris Wood, who defected from Ukip to the Conservatives last month, was hoping to represent the Tories at next May’s Hampshire County Council elections for Fareham Crofton.

But the vote, which was at a meeting of the Hill Head and Stubbington branch of the party on Saturday, saw Cllr Wood’s opponent Pal Hayre chosen by members of the branch.

The decision will not be official until ratified by the Gosport Conservative Association.

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Cllr Wood, who also represents Stubbington on Fareham Borough Council, said: ‘Since the vote, I have been told by many residents, councillors, council leaders and MPs that I have their backing and they cannot understand the result of the vote and 
they have given me their support.

‘I’ve not given up hope yet and I will continue to do my best in representing the residents of Hill Head and Stubbington.’

When asked if Cllr Wood regretted his decision to 
defect to the Tories, he replied: ‘No.

‘I joined the correct party which best represents my views but there is a very small number going against what residents want.’

Cllr Wood previously won the seat back in May 2013 with 2,691 votes as a member of Ukip and led the group on both the county and borough councils.

Councillor Andy Moore, the new leader of the Ukip group on the county council said he did have sympathy for Cllr Wood in light of the situation.

He said: ‘I feel sorry for Chris.

‘He is a career politician. I respect the Conservatives but he has been used and abused by them here.

‘I did warn him that the grass is not always greener on the other side.’