Seven UKIP councillors defect to Conservatives on Great Yarmouth Borough Council
The Conservatives have suddenly become the majority party on Great Yarmouth Borough Council after seven UKIP members joined them in one go.
The seven, who were elected under the UKIP banner, completed the mass defection this evening (Monday) at a Tory group meeting in the Town Hall.
Those making the move are:
■ Carl Annison (Bradwell South and Hopton)
■ Malcolm Bird (Central and Northgate)
■ Alan Grey (Bradwell North), who was the UKIP candidate for Great Yarmouth at the 2015 general election
■ Kay Grey (Gorleston), the former leader of the UKIP group
■ Paul Hammond (Yarmouth North)
■ Sue Hacon (Bradwell South and Hopton)
■ Katy Stenhouse (Nelson).
Kay Grey said: “As UKIP we achieved the impossible, the vote to leave the EU. Many voters feel this is UKIP’s job done. We believe the best way forward is to be with the only party that can see Brexit through.
“Locally we have some great opportunities coming our way, and we believe that a majority council not a hung council will be better for the borough.”
The addition of the seven councillors means the Conservatives now have 21 members on the council, making them the majority party in the town hall.
In a statement, the Conservatives said: “This will allow the Conservatives to continue their work both locally, pushing for more investment into the borough, and nationally, getting the best possible deal from Brexit.
“Locally the Conservatives have a strong record, with millions of pounds being spent on improving the road network and major work is moving forward to regenerate the seafront and town centre.”
Graham Plant, leader of the Conservative group and council, said: “I would like to welcome all seven of my new party colleagues. During my time as leader, I have always sought to work across parties, so I know how effective they are as advocates for their community, and know that they will make fantastic additions to the Conservative Party here in Great Yarmouth.
“These new councillors will be joining a strong and successful administration here in Great Yarmouth, which is investing in our communities and making a real difference to the people of our borough.”
Brandon Lewis MP, Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth, said: “As the Conservative Party in government works to deliver a Brexit that works for everyone, I am delighted that these former members of the UKIP group have decided that it is the Conservatives who are best able to represent their communities.”