UKIP MEP David Campbell Bannerman, left, has revealed he is defecting from UKIP back to the Conservative party and has immediately drawn stark criticism from his former colleagues in the European Parliament.
East of England MEP had previously served as the UKIP party’s chairman and deputy leader, and rose quickly through the ranks after gaining his seat in Brussels in the 2009 European elections. Such was his rise within the party that he stood against Nigel Farage
for the party’s leadership in 2010. He was unsuccessfully
(of course) for the second time in his bid for the leadership but did notably criticise Nigel Farage's leadership style during the campaign and said he wanted to move the party in a more serious direction.
In a statement justifying his defection, Mr Campbell Bannerman said: “I have been pleased with the robust stance taken by David Cameron and Conservative MEPs over the EU budget negotiations and I believe that it is Conservative MEPs who are working hard to defend Britain's interests.”
William (The Earl of) Dartmouth, UKIP MEP for the South West, has reacted angrily to the news and released a statement on the site of the EFD group in which UKIP sit in the European Parliament:
"David Campbell-Bannerman in defecting to the Conservatives has broken the trust of those who voted for him as a UKIP MEP,” the statement reads. “That is why I call on David Campbell-Bannerman, who I have known as a man of honour, to resign as an MEP.”
“When David was chosen as a UKIP MEP candidate, he signed a pledge that he would ‘remain a member of UKIP for the full 5-year term or otherwise retire from the Parliament’. He has broken that promise.”
Mr Campbell Bannerman was originally a member of the Conservative party so it would appear as if he has now defected both ways. More importantly, it now means the UKIP party are down to just nine members in Brussels having now lost a third of the 13 members elected in 2009.
Labels: William Dartmouth