Clacton: Two Conservative councillors defect to UKIP after Douglas Carswell triggers by-election

Councillor Dawn Skeels and Councillor Michael Skeels have made the change and switched to UKIP, foll

Councillor Dawn Skeels and Councillor Michael Skeels have made the change and switched to UKIP, following Douglas Carswell's lead in the constituency. - Credit: Archant

Two Conservative councillors in Clacton have defected to UKIP.

Tendring District councillors Dawn and Michael Skeels have made the switch less than two weeks after rebel Clacton MP Douglas Carswell stunned Westminster by joining Nigel Farage’s party.

The move triggered a by-election, to be held on October 9 – the day of David Cameron’s 48th birthday.

Mrs Skeels said: “We have decided to make the change with Douglas. We both feel like the Conservative Party is increasingly the private property of people like Matthew Parris, rather than local people.

“Douglas has always been a brilliant MP and we are proud to join him in UKIP.”

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Mr Skeels said: “We feel strongly that this is the right thing to do. We hope that more Conservative councillors follow us and Douglas to UKIP, the only party that looks out for local people.”

Mr Carswell said: “We are making this change together. It’s wonderful to have Dawn and Mick’s support.”

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Simon Martin-Redman, chairman of the Clacton Conservative Association, said: “Only Conservatives can deliver for the people of Clacton and Frinton: reducing immigration, delivering an EU Referendum and by sticking to our long-term economic plan to get more jobs and growth in Clacton.

“A vote for UKIP merely makes the chance of Ed Miliband (Labour leader) entering Downing Street and taking Britain backwards more likely.

“It is only by having hard working Conservative councillors in Tendring that major investment in: sea defences, regenerating Jaywick and major new leisure facilities – boosting business and jobs in the area – are being delivered.”

The news comes ahead of a Tendring District Council full meeting in Clacton tonight.

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