Conservative member of 50 years defects to UKIP ahead of county council elections

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Stroud News and Journal: Photograph of the Author by , SNJ reporter for Stonehouse and Chalford. Twitter @ChrisWarneSNJ

A CONSERVATIVE member of more than 50 years has defected to UKIP and will now stand against his former party in May’s county council elections.

Harry Carr, 72, a former Tory district councillor, made up his mind to leave the party before Christmas and will now contest the newly created Stroud Central ward for Nigel Farage’s anti-EU party next month.

Mr Carr, who joined the Conservatives as a 16-year-old after leaving school, said he was ‘totally dissatisfied’ with the party’s policies and its leader David Cameron, who he said ‘changes his mind every two months’.

At a national level, Mr Carr said he was unhappy with his party’s stance on Europe and uncomfortable with welfare reforms which were ‘taking money off disabled people’.

He also criticised Gloucestershire County Council’s Conservative administration for signing a contract with Urbaser Balfour Beatty for the Javelin Park incinerator before planning permission had been awarded.

"All those years I was a Conservative but I’ve just become totally dissatisfied," he said.

"There are a lot of Conservatives turning to UKIP at the moment. Their politics are very honest, very straightforward and they do exactly what they say on the tin."

Debbie Young, the Conservative Party candidate for Stroud Central, said: "One of the reasons why Harry has jumped ship to UKIP is because he wasn’t selected for the seat which I’m standing in so it is a shame really.

"We all have disagreements with our party both locally and nationally but sometimes you just have to swallow it.

"Just like any Labour Party member I would never say I agreed with every single thing my party did. I was outspoken about the incinerator at the district council, for example, but the Conservatives are still my political party."

Mr Carr and Cllr Young will also be standing against the current Green Party councillor, Sarah Lunnon, Labour's Tosca Cabello-Watson, and Adrian Walker-Smith of the Liberal Democrats in the elections on May 2.

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