Waveney District Council chairman Peter Collecott defects to UKIP ahead of elections

A long-serving independent councillor and council chairman in Suffolk has decided to break his non-party political stance and join UKIP.

Peter Collecott has represented the Oulton ward on Waveney District Council the last 12 years and has always stood without any connection to a political party.

But when his name goes on the ballot for the district council elections on May 7, it will be as a UKIP candidate, because: “I feel on a national basis, I have more in common with UKIP than other political parties.”

He added: “I think I’ve come to the end of the road as an independent.

“It gets more difficult to become elected as an independent.

“I looked around to find where I would find a good home and I found my views much more in line with UKIP than any other political party.

“I think I can influence politics more by being a member of a group.”

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However he admitted that he is “not a party political animal” and that he had made clear to UKIP that “I will always put the issues before the politics.”

Mr Collecott travelled up to a UKIP event in Lincolnshire on Wednesday where he shared a beer with party leader Nigel Farage.

He said Mr Farage was “very welcoming”.

Simon Tobin, UKIP’s parliamentary candidate for Waveney, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Peter has decided to do this.

“He is a very high calibre councillor who has served Waveney fantastically well over 12 years.”

He added that it is hoped UKIP will be able to win a number of council seats in the May election.