UPDATE: Fareham councillor leaves UKIP to join Conservatives
A Fareham councillor has left UKIP to rejoin the Conservative group on the borough council.
Chris Wood, from Stubbington, is a Hampshire County Councillor for Crofton Division and has rejoined the party he was first elected with.
He said: ‘The Stubbington Bypass was the key reason I first stood for election and the Conservatives are the party which is delivering that for the good of my residents.
‘I don’t do opposition for opposition’s sake and have found fellow Conservative Councillors to be conscientious, hardworking and thoroughly decent people.’
In a statement released on Twitter he added: ‘Many will recognise that UKIP has become toxified over the last 18 months through comments about HIV and Aids among other issues such as Nigel [Farage’s] un-resignation.
‘In recent weeks an out of touch and un-reformable NEC, Diane James’ 18 day stint as leader and alleged violence in the European Parliament have been the final straw.’
His switch means there are now 25 Conservative councillors on Fareham Borough Council.
The council’s executive leader Sean Woodward said: ‘I am happy to welcome Chris back into the Conservative Party.
‘I have no doubt that he will now make a positive contribution to local politics in Fareham and continue to support the many initiatives that the Conservatives are implementing to improve the quality of life for residents in Stubbington and throughout the borough.’
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage also welcomed the news.
She said: ‘I’m delighted that Chris will be joining our Conservative team.
‘I very much look forward to working with him.’
Picture: Chris Wood and Sean Woodward