Stamford’s only UKIP county councillor has defected to the Conservative Party after stating “the politicial tectonic plates have shifted”.
Coun Robert Foulkes was elected to the Stamford North ward in a December 2014 by-election – winning with a majority of 132 votes.
Announcing his decision to resign from UKIP, Coun Foulkes said he was “immensely proud” of what the party had achieved, but he added “the Conservative party is the best way forward both for the UK and for Stamford”.
His decision has been welcomed by Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill and Grantham and Stamford MP Nick Boles.
Councillor Foulkes said: “After a great deal of thought I have decided to resign from UKIP and join the Conservatives.
“I’m immensely proud of what UKIP have achieved but following the historic vote to leave the EU the political tectonic plates have shifted and the world is now in a new era.
“Theresa May and her government deserve as much support as we can give to ensure they achieve what we voted for – withdrawal from the EU and the return of our sovereign powers.
“UKIP for me was a means to an end, that end being a better Britain. Of course to do that we needed a Britain to make better in the first place, hence the absolute requirement to leave the EU.
“It is my belief that under Theresa May’s leadership the Conservative Party is the best way of achieving a better Britain for everyone, no matter their race, creed or colour.
“At the local level I have found Conservative councillor David Brailsford (Stamford West) to be fully committed to getting the best for Stamford, and we have worked extremely well together for the residents of the town.
“Politics has never come in to it. He has always been totally supportive of my efforts and without his unflagging support I don’t think I would have been anywhere near as effective as a local councillor. I very much hope to continue that partnership in the future.
“So I’m sad to be leaving UKIP which has done so much for our country, but their race has been run, and looking to the future it’s my belief that the Conservative party is the best way forward both for the UK and Stamford.”
Coun Hill said Coun Foulkes would make a strong contribution to the Conservative group and Mr Boles said he was delighted his new colleague had found a “long-term home” in the party.