Elected as a Lib Dem before becoming an independent, Wisbech councillor Dave Patrick on why he's joined UKIP
PUBLISHED: 21:18 05 January 2015 | UPDATED: 21:18 05 January 2015
Wisbech town and district councillor Dave Patrick - elected on a Lib Dem ticket before becoming an independent - jumped ship again last night by declaring he was to join UKIP.
The Kirkgate ward councillor said: “After much deliberation, I believe UKIP will give me a broader support network whilst still enabling me to maintain my own independent values.
Cllr Patrick added: “UKIP’s constitution allows me to maintain my own personal views of what I think benefits residents best rather than a party line.”
Two years ago he had a public row over an open letter written by UKIP county councillor and branch chairman Alan Lay which he described as “abhorrent and antagonistic”.
Cllr Lay said Cllr Patrick, a taxi driver, had scored “a spectacular own goal by complaining about unlicensed and illegal taxi cab runs in Wisbech by Eastern Europeans” since he it was Lib Dem and Tory policies had that brought many problems – including unlicensed cabs- to the town.
But last night it was all smiles as Cllr Lay welcomed his new recruit to the UKIP ranks.
“He has shown how committed he is to serving his residents and we believe he will be an invaluable hard-working member and dedicated councillor,” said Cllr Lay.
Cllr Patrick added: “I have been shocked to see on Fenland District Council how the Conservatives are made to tow the party line rather than follow their conscience and the best interests of the residents who have elected them.”
There won’t be a by election in his ward because elections for all 39 seats on Fenland Council – and all town council seats- take place in May.
Cllr Patrick first joined both councils in 2010 in a by election caused by the death of long serving councillor Les Simms. He polled more than 50 per cent of the votes, twice the number polled by then county councillor Steve Tierney fighting for a district council seat. Cllr Tierney finally joined Fenland last year after winning the Medworth by election following the expulsion of former mayor Jonathan Farmer after his conviction for a firearms offence.
Ironically Cllr Patrick’s former Lib Dem colleague on the town council, Robert McLaren, announced last month he had joined the Conservatives.