Following days of speculation, Twickenham Riverside Councillor Scott Naylor has confirmed a move to UKIP.
Coun Naylor resigned from the Conservatives on Tuesday, July 2, sending a resignation letter to leader of Richmond Council, Lord True.
On Thursday evening at a UKIP dinner Coun Naylor and UKIP leader Nigel Farage agreed to work together in Richmond and Twickenham.
He said: “This allows me to encourage community residents to join me as prospective councillors across all wards and avoid the dumbed down political meaningless point scoring of the tired old parties that bore us all and serve us less.
“Residents are despairing that the Euro is in almost total meltdown, it is affecting them in both business, holidays, cost of living an over-valued currency.
“Freedom, both on a local and national/international level, is what I believe free, highly-articulate free-thinking non tribal people on both sides in Richmond and Twickenham constituencies now want.”
Many have speculated whether Coun Naylor's deselection from the Tory part was due to his involvement in Twickenham Residents' Action Group (Trag), which has fought for years against plans to build a high-rise development to fund Twickenham station’s redevelopment.
In his resignation letter to Lord True he said he fully supports Trag’s submission to the Supreme Court to challenge a Court of Appeal decision regarding Twickenham station.
Today he said: “I resigned from the Conservatives on Tuesday due to the melt down of the association and total disconnect between local issues and any interests on local issues.
“Because I have dared represent the 4,000-plus Twickenham residents objecting to the miserable poorly designed high rise Solum scheme on Twickenham station now being challenged in the Supreme Court when there has been almost universal support for the Plan B developed by local architect Richard Mellor and his practice Landmark Architecture for which we are hugely indebted.”
Following a Court of Appeal decision not to overturn Richmond Council’s approval of the redevelopment plans, it was confirmed the station works would not be complete in time for the 2015 Rugby World Cup (RWC), when thousands will use the station when travelling to Twickenham stadium.
In the letter to Lord True, Coun Naylor said: “It would seem to be a good sensible opportunity to use the time between now and the RWC for all the interested parties to plan for an outstandingly designed fitting low-rise station that the local community would actually get behind; such as a version of Trag’s almost universally loved and workable Plan B.”