Published: 11:00, 10 April 2015
| Updated: 11:22, 10 April 2015
A borough councillor has defected to Ukip after leaving the Conservatives.
June Garrad has represented Sheppey Central ward on Swale council since 2011.
She said she had become “very disillusioned” with local politics and, after letting her former party know verbally she did not intend to stand again last year, she joined Ukip last week.
Cllr Garrad, of The Broadway, Minster, said: “It was only after talking to the local Ukip branch and hearing their approach to local politics that I realised things didn’t have to continue in the way they were.
“Local councillors putting their residents before party, without a party line controlling the way we vote, and seeking to win discussions through good arguments rather than simply forcing votes through by use of a party whip.
“It is an exciting and democratic approach to local politics that is totally missing at the moment, and has encouraged me to stand again under the Ukip banner.
She added: “Nationally the Conservative Party has not supported the people and small businesses in the way I had expected them to, and they have failed to give the people the vote on EU membership that the people demand.
“Ukip is the only party that can be guaranteed to hold the established parties to account on the EU and to be honest with the British people.”
Her partner, Richard Darby, is also standing in May’s elections as the Ukip candidate for Queenborough and Halfway.
Swale council leader Andrew Bowles (Con) said the party whip system was well established and councillors can debate issues with their colleagues before voting for them in full council.
He added: “It doesn’t make any sense her saying that when she sits on planning where councillors can vote how they like.”
Cllr Garrad follows Swale councillor Adrian Crowther who left the Conservative party for Ukip in 2013.