Monday, 10 February 2014

Defection Watch: Another London Tory Joins UKIP

Cllr Edward Griffin, representing the Hainault ward of the London Borough of Redbridge, has defected from Conservative to UKIP, giving UKIP representation in the borough for the first time since 2010.

Hainault ward has an interesting political history.  In 2006, a BNP candidate, Julian Luppert, topped the poll becoming the only ever BNP councillor in the borough, while the other two seats were taken by Conservatives.  One of these was Edward Griffin, while the other Conservative elected was Brian Waite, who defected to Independent and then stood unsuccessfully for UKIP in the 2010 elections.

Redbridge is also interesting as it is currently in no overall control, with the Lib Dems holding the balance of power between the Conservatives and Labour.  After the 2010 elections, the Conservatives had 30 seats, Labour 26, and the Lib Dems 7.  Since then 5 Labour councillors have defected, 4 to the "Redbridge Independent Group" and one more as a standalone Independent.  The latest defection makes the new composition of the council as follows.

Lib Dems7
Redbridge Independent Group4

Labour will be targeting this borough as a whole as a potential gain in May, although Hainault ward may now be turning into a more specific UKIP target.

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