STUART ST-CLAIR-HASLAM, councillor for Little Thurrock, has defected to the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).
An announcement was made from the party’s spring conference in Scarborough this afternoon (Saturday).
Cllr St-Clair Haslam was a member of the Conservative Party until he defected to the “gang of three” Concerned Conservatives in Thurrock last year.
He is up for re-election in May 5th. Although he is the councillor for Little Thurrock, there is speculation that he may stand in Stanford West.
Speaking from the conference, UKIP local government spokesperson, Cambridgeshire councillor Peter Reeve said: “This is excellent news. Stuart will bring a unique voice to Thurrock Council.
We believe that councillors should be there to represent their residents and not there just for their party. We know that is a philosophy that he subscribes to.
Thurrock organiser, Tim Aker was in equally ebullient mood.
He said: “Both parties in Thurrock have ignored the wishes of the people of Thurrock. Stuart has come on board at exactly the right time.
“The challenge now is for other members to join Stuart as we head towards the local elections on May 5th where we hope to make significant in roads in the borough by presenting a credible alternative to the eternal bickering between Labour and Conservative.”
Cllr St-Clair-Haslam was unavailable for comment at this time.