Tadley UKIP councillor Stephen West resigns from the party just over a year after he defected from the Conservatives (From Andover Advertiser)
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Tadley UKIP councillor Stephen West resigns from the party just over a year after he defected from the Conservatives
A TADLEY UKIP councillor who defected from the Conservative party a year ago has now resigned from UKIP.
Borough councillor Stephen West, ward member for Tadley Central, informed the party of his resignation by sending an email to Steve Harris, UKIP South East regional organiser, earlier this month.
His resignation comes just over a year since he defected from the Conservative party.
UKIP colleagues expressed surprise and disappointment at his decision.
North West Hampshire UKIP branch chairman John Bentham speculated that Cllr West wanted “more support” from the party.
“Everyone wants more support for what they are doing but I am not privy to his closer thoughts in that sense," he said.
“I think he is quite disaffected by politics.”
UKIP Basingstoke branch chairman Alan Stone added: “I am disappointed but I have known Stephen for a while now so I was not entirely surprised.
“There’s no animosity between us whatsoever but his politics have changed.”
It is believed Cllr West, who was unavailable for comment today, will continue to serve his remaining two years on the council as an Independent.
Phil Heath, UKIP’s campaign director for Basingstoke, said: “He’s made himself look a bit foolish as he’s only been here a year.
“He has had enormous support from the party. We are sorry to see him go.”
Cllr West publically announced his defection from the Conservatives to UKIP on September 20, 2012.
The next day he was on stage at UKIP's annual conference being welcomed to the party by UKIP leader Nigel Farage, where he was confirmed as their Hampshire candidate for the upcoming Police and Crime Commissioner elections.
He polled last with 21,185 votes, behind three candidates from the main political parties and two independents, including winner Simon Hayes.
He later stood for UKIP in May’s county council elections for the Tadley and Baughurst division where he came third with 25 per cent of vote.
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