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Stourport councillor explains switch from Tories to UKIP
A STOURPORT town councillor says he feels it is "time for a change" following his surprise switch from the Tories to the UK Independence Party (UKIP).
John Holden told The Shuttle he had defected to UKIP because the mainstream parties had “become stale”. The move comes just weeks after Mr Holden stood for the Conservatives at the county elections on May 3.
Wyre Forest UKIP's Parliamentary spokesman Michael Wrench confirmed former Stourport mayor Mr Holden would now be the party’s candidate for the town’s Worcestershire County Council by-election on Thursday, June 27.
Mr Holden, 67, said: “To be honest the mainstream parties have become stale and I believe it is time for a change. I have fallen out with nobody and do not leave with any sour feelings but I feel it is time for a change for me and it is an exciting new start.
“UKIP have come in with a breath of fresh air and a new approach to local politics and it gives me an opportunity to help them kick start that. UKIP is very much a national party, becoming involved in local politics is different to that and I believe I can give them great assistance moving forward into the future.”
Mr Holden was a member of the Conservative Party for 10 years and has also served on Worcestershire County Council and Wyre Forest District Council in that time.
He said he hoped people would vote for the individual, calling former UKIP county councillor Eric Kitson’s anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic facebook comments “stupid”. Mr Kitson resigned just 13 days after being elected in Stourport, triggering the by-election.
“I have no association to those comments,” added Mr Holden. “It was very unfortunate for UKIP that the person was the way he was, we can never tell until somebody does something totally stupid like that.
“I think the individual is important in local politics and the people of Stourport will recognise a person that has worked hard for many years on their behalf.”
Wyre Forest Conservative group leader, councillor John Campion, said: “It is a matter for the individual to decide where they feel most comfortable and we wish John well.”
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