2:55pm Tuesday 7th January 2014
AN ex Tory councillor from Halesowen, who became the latest to quit the party last month, has joined UKIP and is hoping to stand in this year’s Dudley Council elections.
Adrian Turner, who lost his Lye and Wollescote seat to Labour in 2012, said he was disillusioned with the Conservative Party and the Dudley Council Tory Group.
Mr Turner, a driving instructor, said he did not have a “clue” whether the Dudley and Halesowen UKIP branch would accept him as a candidate or where he would stand.
He said: “I have not joined with the expectation of standing for them – it is up to them if they let me stand and where. If I’m not asked I will help those who are standing.”
Mr Turner, whose resignation followed that of his parents, Hayley Green and Cradley South councillors Ken and Hazel Turner, said he could not cope with the politics of the Conservatives since the formation of the Coalition Government with what he called the “drastic betrayal of people”.
He added: “I am delighted to be joining UKIP. I have spent years trying to fight for my principles from within the Conservative party but have decided that the party is no longer suitable for people with ideals who are keen to work for their communities.
“The Conservative Party in Dudley borough appears to be more about turning up at a council meeting, voting the way the party leadership demands then forgetting about it until the next meeting.
“With UKIP I have a great opportunity to stand up for what I believe and offer honest representation to the people of Dudley.”
Chairman of Dudley and Halesowen UKIP, Bill Etheridge welcomed Mr Turner to the party’s ranks, saying: “He is well known as somebody who speaks his mind and has strong opinions at the same time as being a good local councillor who really cares about his constituents.”
Mr Etheridge said the former Tory would be integrated into the party before a “democratic selection process” takes place to choose candidates.
Cllr Ken Turner said he his wife Hazel supported their son's decision but had no thoughts of shifting from the independent benches.
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