EXCLUSIVE: Cllrs Fred Osborne, Ted Eden and Sandra Binion quit Romford Tory party, join UKIP
10:26 15 July 2013
Three Havering councillors will quit the Conservative party and join Ukip with immediate effect, the Recorder has learnt.
Cllr Fred Osborne (Brooklands) confirmed this morning he will hand in his resignation later today, and named Cllr Ted Eden (Pettits) and Cllr Sandra Binion (Havering Park) as two other councillors who will cross the floor.
Their exodus will swell Ukip’s numbers in Havering from one councillor to four. Cllr Lawrence Webb came to power in a by-election landslide in March, making him London’s first UKIP councillor.
Havering Council will now contain 29 Conservatives, 12 Residents’ Association, five Labour, four Independent Residents’ Group and four Ukip councillors. The move doesn’t affect the Conservatives’ control of the council.
Cllr Osborne said: “I cannot be committed to the Conservatives and give my constituents the service they deserve.
“Also, our leadership is very poor at the moment.”
He added he felt Ukip’s policies were in line with his own beliefs, adding: “I’m not 100 per cent against immigration, but it needs to be controlled.”
He said he had been considering the move to Ukip “for a while”.
All three councillors were named in the deselection row that has been pulling the party apart in recent months. Cllrs Eden and Osborne were not formally deselected but chose not to run for the party, while Cllr Binion was denied candidature by the Romford Conservative Party’s approvals committee.
Cllr Eden said: “I’ve been a member of the Conservative party for 50 years [but] I believe the party nationally has lost its way.”
He added; “The local Conservative leadership has an unenviable reputation from long term conservative members for arrogance, insensitivity and incompetence.
“I feel what Ukip stand for is more what I stand for.”
Cllr Binion, who has been a member of the Conservative party since 2004, told the Recorder she agreed with Ukip’s opposition to immigration and the European Union’s influence on Britain.
“There are lots more [councillors] to follow,” she added.
The four Ukip councillors are expected to be seated together at this Wednesday’s full council meeting at Havering Town Hall.
Group leader Cllr Webb (Gooshays) said: “I’m extremely pleased. This makes it possible for me to achieve things – as a single councillor it’s extremely hard to do much, because I don’t sit on any committees.”
He added he was in discussions with other councillors about the possibility of defecting from the Tories.
All three councillors won seats in the 2006 elections.
Tory leader Cllr Michael White could not be contacted for comment.