THE FORMER Chair of the Thurrock Conservatives has quit the party to join UKIP.
In what may well be seen as a devastating blow to the Tories, Kay Hipsey claims that she was hounded out of the party after the decision by her husband former Thurrock Council Leader Terry Hipsey to join the Labour Party.
Mrs Hipsey said: “I was in the chamber, the night Terry defected. At that time I was harangued by Tory councillors and since then I have been harangued and the subject of comments that have been to the detriment of my health.”
Mrs Hipsey has also accused the party of being prepared to negotiate with the BNP in order to “cling onto power”
Mrs Hipsey said: “I could not negotiate with the BNP. My relatives fought against fascism and how any of my former colleagues could negotiate with them is repugnant.
Mrs Hipsey intends to stand for council next year, possibly in the Homesteads ward of Thurrock.
The defection comes as the Tories face the news that a number of high profile Tories are set to stand as Independents at the next election.
YourThurrock understands that former Tory Mayor Colin Churchman, with the backing of Tory members will stand against Cllr Wendy Herd in the Aveley and Uplands ward while former Portfolio Holder for Transport Leo Milan-Vega may also be standing in the Stifford ward.