Expelled ex-cabinet member defects to UKIP

Phil Yerby

Phil Yerby

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Outspoken district councillor Phil Yerby has joined UKIP after claiming he could no longer stay with the ‘self-interested’ Conservative Party over issues such as HS2.

Mr Yerby had already been expelled from the Aylesbury Vale District Council Conservative group for repeatedly going against group policy but the former cabinet member for corporate issues originally said he would remain a Tory on a national level.

However, he says he has now crossed the floor because people feel disillusioned with the attitude of his former party.

He said: “I have come to believe that politicians govern in their own self interest at both national and local level.

“This is truly sad, the sense of entitlement at every level of government is staggering.

“I do not have to go far to prove my point - the latest expenses scandal and the reaction of those who ‘rally round’ says it all.

“The sheer level of disenchantment people are feeling with the Conservative Party has reached fever pitch.

“The HS2 project will be an absolute blight on our landscape, and David Cameron is fanatical about pushing it through, despite the strength of public feeling against it.

“I have always been on record saying I would not remain a Conservative if this went ahead. It looks pretty certain now.

“Will the resignation of a low level councillor make any difference? Probably not, but if every councillor did it probably yes!”

Mr Yerby, who represents the Aston Clinton ward, wrote to Conservative Party chairman Grant Schapps on Friday to explain his decision citing HS2 as one of the main reasons for his break with the national party.

He said: “UKIP represents a refreshing change. There is no whipping system which means people are free to express opinions openly – this is a more democratic and open approach.

“I always came into politics to give something back and to represent the views of my constituents. I am staggered that so many politicians I know are simply prepared to tow the party line to please their political masters.

“This is to the detriment of our wonderful democracy.”

The news means that the make up of the council is now 36 Conservative members, 17 Lib Dem members, three UKIP members, two Labour members and one independent member.


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