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Isle of Sheppey UKIP defector Adrian Crowther says Conservatives already trying to woo him back

By Paul Francis

Kent County Councillor Adrian Crowther defected to UKIP from the Conservatives

Kent County Councillor Adrian Crowther

A former Conservative county councillor who defected to UKIP says efforts have already been made to persuade him to rejoin his old party.

Adrian Crowther, who now represents Sheppey as a UKIP councillor, said it had been made clear by former County Hall colleagues he would be welcomed back to the Conservative fold if he was unhappy.

He said he had no intention of doing so, but acknowledged there could be a time when it might be something he would consider.

Cllr Crowther has been handed a key job in the UKIP shadow cabinet at KCC, taking responsibilty for education and public health reform after the county council elections earlier this month.

He told KentOnline he had been approached by Conservatives at County Hall with a message that if he was unhappy about being a member of UKIP, "the door was open for me to return".

County Hall has been awash with rumours of defections taking place within weeks - none of which have been corroborated.

But Cllr Crowther's revelations indicate both parties look set to wage an attritional campaign to win over defectors or get others to rejoin.

Mr Crowther said: "They've told me 'don't forget the door is always open.' The indication is there that if I am not happy and I want to come back, that is a possibility."

Asked if he would consider the option, he said: "Not at this time."

But he added once UKIP had secured its major objective of an "in-out" referendum on the EU, he would want to see what other policies it had.

Mr Crowther joined UKIP after he was deselected by the Conservative party. He contested his division as a UKIP candidate and won by a majority of nearly 700 over Conservative Ken Pugh.

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