A Conservative North Yorkshire councillor claims he has been deselected by the party for voting for the Brexit Party in the European elections.
Andrew Jenkinson, who represents Scarborough’s Woodlands division on North Yorkshire County Council, found out his fate following a reselection interview on Saturday and now intends to sit as an independent.
Coun Jenkinson has represented Woodlands since 2017 but was informed in a text message that he would not be the Conservative candidate in 2021.
He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he believes that the reason was his public support for the Brexit Party in this year’s European elections.
He said: “I said, and I meant it, that I was very unhappy with the way that Brexit was being handled by Theresa May.
“I am a man of my word and I said that I would vote for the Brexit Party and I did so.
“I have informed [leader of North Yorkshire County Council] Carl Les that I will be crossing the floor to sit as an independent and I will be fighting the next election as an independent and continuing to serve the people of the Woodlands ward.”
Coun Jenkinson, who lost his seat on Scarborough Borough Council in May’s local elections, said he was “very supportive” of Boris Johnson’s attempts to secure Brexit and hit out at the Conservative Party saying he could not stay after being rejected.
He added: “I am Conservative through and through. I am more blue than many [Conservative councillors].
“I will continue to fight for the people of Woodlands and that is why I will be standing in 2021. I recently got parking restrictions in Hovingham Drive and Old Scalby Road that people there have been after for years.
“That is why I want to continue on, but it won’t be as a Conservative.”
Coun Jenkinson said he would not be appealing the decision of the local party.
The Scarborough and Whitby Conservative Association has been approached for a comment.