Former Conservative parliamentary candidate Mike Whitehead has claimed he was fired in a "pre-emptive strike" as the Tories knew he was about to join Ukip.
Whitehead, who announced his defection to Nigel Farage's party today, admitted he had already been removed as candidate for Hull West and Hessle but questioned the Tories' reasons for doing so.
He claimed the party already knew he was outside the Conservative group on the local East Riding Council when he was selected as the parliamentary candidate.
He told BBC Radio Five Live: "It's a bit odd, but I believe the reason they did that is because they knew I was standing up against the Tory group that was off side with the Conservative Party itself."
Of the email notifying him of his sacking last week, he said: "I got an email on Wednesday evening to say that if I did not stand aside from my intentions to stand in the local elections, they would remove my candidacy in West Hull and Hessle."
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