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The defector: Better hope you're right, Richard, otherwise you're facing a rather jarring lifestyle change!

The defector: Better hope you’re right, Richard, otherwise you’re facing a rather jarring lifestyle change!

The former Conservative Deputy Mayor of London – a chap called Richard Barnes – has defected to UKIP, according to the Evening Standard.

Barnes, who was London’s Deputy Mayor from 2008-12, follows MPs Mark Reckless and Douglas Carswell into the Purple Wilderness, in a move that seems timed to further disrupt the Conservative Party Conference.

Like the others, Barnes seems a perfect fit for UKIP as he says he agrees with its policies on the EU, immigration and the expansion of Heathrow Airport. In other words he wants to keep Johnny Foreigner out. Oh, and he doesn’t like HS2 either.

Speaking as a gay man, Mr Barnes tried to dismiss claims that UKIP is homophobic. In a weak defence of the party, one of whose members tried to blame the severe flooding and storms at the start of this year on the legalisation of gay marriage, he said: “I don’t think they become homophobic the moment they join UKIP.”

He also told the Standard that the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems did not “speak the language of normal people”.

After four year’s as Number Two to Boris Johnson, how would he know?

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