1. ITV Report

UKIP council leader defects to Tories saying party 'doesn't have a point any more' after EU Referendum

Cllr Alan Preest has defected to the Conservatives saying UKIP 'doesn't really have a point any more' after the EU Referendum. Credit: Gloucestershire County Council

A leading councillor for UKIP has quit the party saying it "doesn't really have a point any more" after the EU Referendum.

Alan Preest, the leader of the UKIP Group on Gloucestershire County Council, has defected to the Conservatives and will be applying to stand for the party at next year's county election.

Cllr Preest is re-joining the Conservatives who he left in 2008 to help UKIP's cause.

Cllr Preest left the Conservatives in 2008 to work with UKIP. Credit: Gloucestershire Conservatives

He said:

“I’ve gone as far as I can as a UKIP councillor. With the referendum out of the way, UKIP doesn’t really have a point any more."

"I got into politics for one reason only – to do the best for Lydney and people who live here."

"I can do that job much better as part of a Conservative team. I will be applying to stand as a Conservative at next year’s county election.”

– Cllr Alan Preest, UKIP, Gloucestershire

Cllr Preest was elected in 2013 to represent the Lydney division.

His decision means that the UKIP group at county level is reduced to two councillors, whilst the Conservative Group increases to twenty-five councillors.

Credit: Gloucestershire Conservatives

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council said:

"This is a great example of how our country is beginning to pull together after the referendum."

"Alan Preest is an excellent local councillor, who does a fantastic job representing the people of Lydney – he will be a welcome addition to the Conservative team."

– Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader, Gloucestershire County Council