A councillor has announced he will switch allegiances to the United Kingdom Independence Party at this year’s local elections.
Coun Ian Robinson, who has been a part of the Independent group for the past four years, said he will now stand for re-election under UKIP colours.
And the Great Harwood councillor is predicting that UKIP will field candidates in all seats and achieve ‘huge success’ in the borough elections on May 22 – echoing the buoyant comments of party leader Nigel Farage at last month’s business conference at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel.
Coun Robinson said: “I think we will get at least four seats and there will be a big turn in the tide. In 2015 we could be the opposition on the council.”
He added: “I wasn’t going to stand again but the deeper I get into politics the worse the country is. UKIP don’t want to come out of Europe, they still want to trade with them, they just don’t want all the rules and regulations like Switzerland have.
“I am still an independent councillor and will stand down from that role in the elections to stand for UKIP. I will fulfil my role and obligations I was elected for until that time.”
Nick Collingridge, leader of the independent group which also includes Coun Dave Parkins, said the group would continue until May at least.
He said: “We have taken legal advice on this and it doesn’t matter who your political persuasion is we can still stay as a group and we will do that until the election. We are independent of each other. We will function until the election and then after that we will have to see.”
He added: “Ian has chosen to stand for UKIP and that’s his choice. Good luck to him.”