On Monday 30 October, a mass defection of UKIP politicians to the Conservative Party occurred. And some have said it shows that the parties are, essentially, “two cheeks of the same arse”.
UKIP crossing the floor
In Great Yarmouth, seven out of 12 UKIP councillors have just defected en masse to the Conservatives. The defection happened at a Conservative Party group meeting at the town hall. And the defections now mean that the Conservatives have overall control of Great Yarmouth Borough Council.
Speaking to BBC Look East, former Great Yarmouth UKIP group leader Kay Grey said [1.13] that the defection happened because UKIP:
achieved what we thought was the impossible, we achieved the Brexit vote… But I feel now… we’re not given any direction from head office… and I feel that I need to be with the party that’s going to follow the Brexit vote through.
Continue reading below...
The remaining UKIP councillors’ group leader said [1.55] he was “very disappointed” at the news. But the Conservative leader of Great Yarmouth Council Graham Plant appeared delighted. He told [2.20] BBC Look East, when asked if he thought UKIP was “finished as a party”:
Are you asking me personally? Yes.
“Disloyal. Depressing. Disgusting.”
But UKIP MEP Stuart Agnew hit back, saying [2.40] the defectors were:
Disloyal. Depressing. Disgusting.
And in a somewhat confusing interview with BBC Look East, UKIP’s Huntingdon councillor Peter Reeve said [3.15]:
I’m not angry, these are good people, they’re good councillors, they’ve worked hard… I think they’ll find their constituents might well be very angry about what they’ve done… They certainly didn’t vote for them to end up with a Conservative majority on that council…
They’ll feel let down and angry… But let’s remember, I believe… [the councillors] are good people and they’re probably doing this for the right reason, albeit their reason is not a good one in the end…
But whose arse is it?
Reeve’s assertion [4.12] was that the former UKIP councillors probably believed the Conservative Party needs “their voices” to push Brexit “in the right direction”.
So as one Twitter user said:
No surprise at all! Two cheeks of the same arse!
– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
Since you're here ...
We know you don't need a lecture. You wouldn't be here if you didn't care.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to challenge the rightwing press and hold power to account. Please help us survive and thrive.