AN EX Lib Dem councillor sparked political uproar after a double defection saw him join the Conservatives for ‘three hours’ before leaving for UKIP.
Castle ward councillor Trevor England admitted paying his membership fee to join the Conservatives, before realising his ‘mistake’ and linking up with UKIP.
He attended a West Worthing Conservative Association interview, in which it is alleged he was keen to stand in one of the party’s safer seats – Heene.
But Mr England, 46, strenuously denied the claim, insisting he sought the interview only to find out more about the party.
He said: “Along the way I found myself in that interview situation but I realised I had made a very big mistake.
“For about three hours, I was a member. I had to join up just to get the interview.
“I never received a membership number and never said Heene was a safe seat.”
While Mr England officially resigned from the Lib Dems last week, his meeting with the Conservatives took place last month.
This meant that, for a short time, he was a member of both.
West Worthing Conservative Association chairman Paul High said: “It was decided that he wouldn’t be considered for a seat in 2014, as he needed to prove himself first and we already had a list of quality candidates.
“We were then truly amazed that Mr England has now joined UKIP, which means he has been a member of three political parties in the very short time of a few weeks.”
For the full story, see the Worthing Herald, out Thursday, December 19.