A Former Conservative councillor is to represent the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in Gloucester at the next General Election.
Coun Gary Phipps defected to the anti-Europe party in the summer, after becoming disillusioned with the Conservative Party's attitude towards membership of the European Union. Tory leader Michael Howard has stated that his party wants to stay in the EU, a policy Coun Phipps felt unable to support.
He said: "Michael Howard has made it clear that the Conservative Party is committed to membership of the EU, however damaging that is to this country.
"That is unacceptable to me because I believe that the people of this country should only be ruled by those whom they can hire and fire, namely members of the Westminster Parliament.
"UKIP, on the other hand, believes in only friendship and free trade with Europe.
"It is the only party which does not want to surrender the government of this country to unelected EU officials like Peter Mandelson.
"So it is the only moderate party in British politics today which can have any real policies over most issues.
"UKIP branch chairman Mike Smith said: "Gary would make an excellent MP for the city."
He has proved himself to be a hard-working county councillor with a reputation for getting things done.
"He obviously cares deeply for his community and serves it well.
"UKIP came third in the European elections in the city and with the disillusionment and distrust of the Government and the reluctance of the electorate to turn to the main opposition party, we expect to do even better whenever Tony Blair goes to the country.
"Coun Phipps added: "I feel privileged to be in a party which appreciates its members as individuals and for what they can contribute.
"UKIP is the only truly pro-British, non-racist party in politics.
"I am proud to be British and to live in a multiracial Britain, something I hope all British citizens, of whatever origin or faith, will join me in promoting.
"I am honoured to have been chosen to make my contribution to the city of Gloucester."
Source: The Gloucester Citizen, December 8th 2004