A Conservative general election candidate, Mike Whitehead, has announced to have defected to join Ukip, although the Tories have claimed that he was already sacked last week. Prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate for Hull West and Hessle, Whitehead, announced on Monday morning to have joined Ukip after suffering what he claimed was “bullying and intimidation” from the ruling Tory group on East Riding of Yorkshire council.
The Conservaties have stressed that Whitehead had already been removed as a parliamentary candidate since he threatened to stand as an independent in May’s local council elections. A spokesperson for the Conservative party alleged that “this man is not our candidate for Hull West and Hessle. He was sacked last week. He refused to support the local Conservative council candidate – and so we wrote to him last week to say that his position was untenable and he could not stand for us at the general election. We were already selecting a new candidate for this constituency.” It was highlighted that “this is typical Ukip – cynical, misleading and utterly calculating to try and score political points.”
Whereas Whitehead explained that “I told them that I would leave if they stopped me. I was going to stand in both elections. So what they did was got wind of this. I got an email on Wednesday evening telling me I was out.” He said that “I had discussions with Ukip on Wednesday to find their views on local democracy and how I could continue to follow the views of my residents. I was very impressed with what they said to me.”
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