by Iain Roberts on 27 January, 2015
Conservative hopes of capturing the Cheadle parliamentary seat from Mark Hunter suffered a blow yesterday when long-standing Conservative councillor for Bramhall South and Woodford Paul Bellis defected to UKIP. Bellis said he could no longer support Conservative policies nationally or locally.
Stockport has never elected a UKIP councillor, so Bellis becomes their first in the borough. His defection is the fourth to affect the main opposition parties in Stockport in recent months after three councillors quit the Labour party last Autumn to sit as independents.
Bellis’ defection reduces the Conservatives to just nine councillors out of 63 on Stockport, with the Lib Dems remaining the largest party on 28. He has said he will contest his Bramhall South and Woodford seat for UKIP in the May local elections.
Councillor Bellis said “I can no longer support Conservative policies, both nationally and locally, that do little to address the issues that are facing us as a nation and as a local area today, but are more geared to serve a small minority of people. The party is not the party I joined 21-years-ago.”
Having represented Bramhall South since 2000, Bellis had recently been deselected by the Conservatives.
The make-up of seats on Stockport Council following Cllr Bellis’ defection is:
Lib Dem: 28, Labour: 19, Tory: 9, Ind Ratepayer: 3, Ind: 2, Ind Lab: 1, UKIP: 112 Comments