Former Conservative Deputy Mayor of London Richard Barnes has become the latest Tory to defect to UKIP.
Barnes was Deputy Mayor from 2008 before losing his seat for Ealing and Hillingdon in 2012. His defection to UKIP follows that of Conservative MPs Mark Reckless and Douglas Carswell. In a statement to the Evening Standard, Barnes said:
“There seems to be a detachment from ordinary people’s lives in the Westminster Village. The parties just don’t seem to relate and talk the language of normal people.”
London Mayor Boris Johnson has expressed his disappointment in UKIP defectors in a typically eccentric manner, suggesting they are the types to 'present themselves at A and E with barely credible injuries sustained in the course of what I can only call vacuum cleaner abuse'. Allrighty then.
And if you're wondering why Richard Barnes' name sounds familiar, last year some NSFW photos appeared online which were alleged to show him in a state of undress. The former deputy mayor denied the pictures were of him, employing the time-honoured 'my account was hacked' defence.
Photo by zefrog in the Londonist Flickr pool.