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  1. ITV Report

West Cumbria councillor defects from 'irrelevant' Ukip to Conservatives

Adrian Davis-Johnston and Mark Jenkinson Photo: Mark Jenkinson

A former Ukip councillor in West Cumbria has defected to the Conservatives, claiming Ukip has become "irrelevant".

Seaton councillor Mark Jenkinson stood as the party's candidate for Workington in the 2015 General Election, but quit before the EU Referendum.

He has now re-joined the Conservative party, having been "inspired" by Prime Minister Theresa May's conference speech.

He claims Ukip has "achieved their primary aim" - securing a vote to leave the European Union - and that the Conservatives are better placed to lead the UK out of Europe.

The news comes during a turbulent period for Ukip:

Steven Woolfe Credit: Ukip

Mark Jenkinson says he is confident his move to the Conservative party will get a good response in his Seaton and Camerton ward.

People voted for Mark Jenkinson, and the policies that I represent. None of those things have changed, but the Conservatives are able to implement those policies, where UKIP can’t.

Under the 2015 intake, Allerdale Conservatives are the effective opposition that the controlling Labour group need. My primary concern is for the people I represent, and to ensure that the money we take from them and spend on their behalf, is done so efficiently and transparently, and that best value is obtained for every pound.

– Cllr Mark Jenkinson