Former Conservative candidate, Mike Whitehead, has been welcomed with open arms by UKIP’s Nigel Farage, after being sacked by the Conservative party last week.
Whitehead was removed from the party as a result of claims that he “refused to support the local Conservative council candidate” a Conservative spokesperson told the BBC. However, his move has spurred tensions between the previous UKIP candidate and the Tories in the Hull West and Hessle constituency.
The Conservative spokesperson added: “This is typical UKIP – cynical, misleading and utterly calculating to try and score political points.”
This follows a comment by Farage who labelled the move as being a, ‘hammer blow to Tory pretensions in the north of England’. The loss of Whitehead could jeopardise the Tories chances of gaining votes in Hull West and Hessle, a constituency that is primarily Labour driven.
Former Labour Shadow Cabinet Minister, John Trickett, said that the loss of Whitehead ‘severely undermines’ David Cameron’s authority. This is perhaps even more prominent following the recent realisation that we are likely to be facing another hung parliament.
The negative press surrounding yet another Tory candidate could severely damage the party’s chances of securing the votes that they need to be back in office within the next term.
Having joined UKIP so close to election day, Whitehead will not be standing for the party in the general election. However, he will be standing in the local elections taking place on the same day.