Upon the news of 7 UKIP Councillors defecting to the Conservative Party, it certainly comes as no surprise to members of our Party whom have been drawing attention to the lack of opposition to the Conservative Council by UKIP for months. Nineteen days previous to the decision to formally have UKIP Councillors join the ruling Conservative Party, it was Tribune that asked the question “Will UKIP Councillors be defecting to the Tories in Great Yarmouth?” – you can read our article on that here.
This is because we have been concerned for some time that discussions have been taking place behind closed doors between UKIP and the Conservative Party, during which time former UKIP Leader Kay Grey has been drawing a salary from the taxpayer as an opposition group leader.
To have organised 7 Councillors to join in one go will have taken time, effort and a great deal of secrecy for the story not to break sooner. What we would like to know is how long these discussions have been taking place and during this time did Councillor Kay Grey draw her salary as an opposition leader? If so, will she be paying this back? This also goes for any other UKIP defectors whom have drawn any extra salary whilst supposedly as a member of the opposition.
We at Tribune are always happy to work with any Party when it comes to the interests of local residents and hope that the Labour Party and perhaps more independent minded Conservative and UKIP Councillors will join us in seeking the truth to these questions. We also think it right and fair that the defected Councillors should announce their intentions now as to whether they will stand for the Conservatives in future elections.
The residents of Great Yarmouth deserve Councillors that work in their interests to improve the town, rather than jumping ship on the weak excuse of ‘Brexit’, especially when local councils do not influence this process.
Tribune Party Leader