HEAGE: Tory councillor defects to UKIP

Juliette Stevens.
Juliette Stevens.

A Conservative county councillor has defected to UKIP.

Councillor Juliette Stevens, who was elected to Derbyshire County Council in 2009, said the Conservative Party was losing “touch with their electorate”.

Ms Stevens, from Heage, who has previously been leader of Ripley Town Council and sat on Amber Valley Borough Council, said: “I’d encourage anybody who has been turned off voting by three tired old parties to look at what UKIP can offer, a chance to bring real democracy back to local politics in Derbyshire.

“I have long felt that the Conservative Party, both locally and nationally, are losing touch with their electorate.

“While acknowledging that, as a party, the Conservatives are a far better option than Labour or the Liberal Democrats, I am convinced the people of Derbyshire deserve more.

“I hope my move will give them a fourth option to consider.”

County council elections will take place again in May and Ms Stevens said she had waited as long as she felt she could before making the move.

“My intention is to help UKIP – who are fresh, energetic and optimistic – to help fight for seats across Derbyshire,” she added.