Cambridgeshire UKIP councillor resigns and announces intention to join Conservatives

Councillor Mike Tew

Councillor Mike Tew - Credit: Archant

A UKIP councillor who was suspended by his party has resigned and announced his intention to join the Conservatives.

Councillor Michael Tew, Cambridgeshire county councillor for Warboys and Upwood, told UKIP colleagues on Wednesday that ‘after a lot of soul searching and thought’ he had made the decision to resign from the party and join the Tories.

The move came little more than a day after Councillor Paul Bullen, leader of the Cambridgeshire UKIP group, announced he had suspended Cllr Tew from the party pending an investigation.

Cllr Bullen had scheduled a meeting of the UKIP group where Cllr Tew would have been afforded the chance to challenge the decision but, in light of his resignation, the party has confirmed that the investigation has been dropped.

In a statement, Cllr Tew, who was elected to the county council in 2013, said: “After a considerable amount of soul searching and thought I have decided to resign from UKIP and step down from the chair of the adult committee and join the Conservative Party.

“Leaving the adult committee has been a tough decision, but I leave it in a balanced position with new innovative ideas coming on line.

“I will continue to support the people of the Warboys and Upwood division whom I represent at the county council, to the best of my ability.

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“I believe the Conservative group at the county council has the strategic vision to take the council forward during some very challenging times.

“I also feel it is time to unite the country and embrace the opportunity that Brexit brings to the benefit of all and back the prime minister in her vision for the country as we move forward.”

If Cllr Tew is accepted by the Conservative group, he would be the second UKIP councillor to make the switch in recent months, following Simon Bywater’s move in July.

Cllr Bywater, Cambridgeshire County councillor for the Sawtry and Ellington division, said he had faced a “moral dilemma” when mulling over the switch but said he felt better placed to influence decision making locally as a member of the Conservative group.