Welcome aboard to Cllr Emma Dawson, a councillor for Cliftonville West on Thanet District Council, who has left UKIP and joined the Conservatives.

UKIP took control of the Council in May. They did this by promising to reopen Manston Airport. That was an easy promise to make for a natural party of opposition to gain votes. But there was a hitch. It was such a success that they ended up running the show. This left them with the tricky business of how to deliver on their promise. For them to have got into difficulty was predictable – and indeed it was predicted on this site not once but twice.

Anyway, Cllr Dawson tells the Thanet Gazette:

“I am fully aware how difficult it can be for a new administration such as UKIP to take over and try to succeed while working and developing their role within the council.

“It has been very painful to watch Ukip decline so rapidly in such short months.”

“The Manston pre-election pledge is a Ukip promise and I have not seen why there hasn’t been a decision to arrange a meeting that involves RiverOak and Thanet District Council, which extends to all members of the council and both sides’ legal representatives.

“Being open and transparent are values that the public demand and the Manston issue still places a huge question mark over the council.”

“I have joined the Conservative Party as I feel unity, discipline and structure have enabled them to develop into a strong local group.”

Cllr Bob Bayford, the Leader of the Opposition and Conservative Group leader, said:

“We extend a warm welcome and look forward to working with Cllr Dawson.”

UKIP’s victory in Thanet has turned from being a breakthrough for the Party to a warning for the rest of us.