Bradford councillor Michael McCabe will try to retain his seat for UKIP in May
Another day, another Tory/UKIP defection. This time it’s Bradford councillor Michael McCabe who has made the jump to UKIP, after a decade of representing the Tories.
McCabe will make an official announcement tonight as UKIP unveils its election campaign at Bradford’s Midland Hotel. But he spoke to local newspaper the Telegraph and Argus today, saying that his decision had ‘been a long time coming’:
“I am looking forward to it. I have been a councillor for ten years and believe that I can carry on under a different banner if the public of Thornton and Allerton [his ward] decide they want me.”
UKIP has made much of the fact that it has recruited Labour activists in Bradford to join the party. The Conservatives have few councillors remaining on the city wards, and UKIP’s Bradford chairman Jason Smith, said that he expected to see more party switches in the near future:
“We expect in the next two years to have more councillors than the Conservatives and that we will be the main opposition party, rather than the Conservatives.
“This sends a message to Conservative voters not to bother any more with the Tories.
“In the last few months we have had some big activists from Labour join us and we are talking to people from all the major parties.
“We are in conversation with councillors from the Labour and Conservative parties.”
According to Smith, Cllr McCabe had been attracted to UKIP policies on democracy, immigration and EU membership. UKIP currently holds one seat on Bradford Council, that of Councillor Brian Morris in Keighley West.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.