• 05 OCT 2011
By Janice Atkinson-Small | Yorkshire Post
AS the Tories gather in Manchester, I wonder whether I am missing them? A friend called me yesterday who had heard that I had joined Ukip. He had been at a reception in Downing Street last week and the word was that I had defected.
A few glasses were raised, apparently. He said I was very brave and I always had the courage of my convictions and he knows many other former candidates who wish they could join me. But they want to stay on and fight the good fight within the Tory party. This is a common theme but I have been heartened by the reaction from my Conservative friends.
I don’t think I am brave, I just realised that my views on Europe were incompatible with the leaders of the Conservative party. Had I won my seat, I would have been broadly supportive in Parliament, but not on European legislation. I hear that friends of mine, who are moderate MPs in many ways, are bullied and called “swivelled eyed” by the whips when they think they will not get EU legislation through.
I supported David Cameron as leader of the party, against David Davis who shares my political views. I voted for Cameron because he was sold as being the Eurosceptic candidate.
Once selected, his narrative died. Once elected, he became a Europohile. I didn’t believe his rhetoric on “repatriating” powers from Europe. It will not happen, the Liberal Democrats will not let it happen and Cameron does not have the stomach for the fight.
Ukip is the only alternative for real Eurosceptics and real Conservatives. They do not just focus on Europe, they cannot as they are the fourth largest party in Britain. They have elected councillors and have their first elected female mayor. They believe in defending our borders – and that can only happen if we leave the EU.
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