Former Hull councillor Steve Walker quits Labour for UKIP By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: November 15, 2014
By Angus Young
'DIFFICULT DECISION': Former Labour councillor Steve Walker rips up his membership card outside the Guildhall in Hull after switching to UKIP. Picture: Jack Harland Digsby IM, Email, and Social Networks in one easy to use application! kvors.com/click/?s=88377&c=89569&subid=21987 'DIFFICULT DECISION': Former Labour councillor Steve Walker rips up his membership card outside the Guildhall in Hull after switching to UKIP. Picture: Jack Harland ADVERTISEMENT
Comments (30) A FORMER Labour city councillor has quit the party to join UKIP.
Steve Walker was deselected as an election candidate by Labour earlier this year despite serving as a councillor for the party in Ings ward for four years.
Advertisement At the time, he claimed he had been "stabbed in the back" by some of his party colleagues.
Now, he has resigned from Labour and joined UKIP.
RELATED CONTENT Hull City Council to save another £9m from budget Lib Dems to give three East Riding Council by-elections a miss He marked his switch by symbolically tearing up his Labour membership card on the steps of the Guildhall in Hull.
Mr Walker said: "I have resigned from Labour because I wanted to be part of a real people's party working for the benefit of the people of Hull.
"All decisions in life are difficult and this was just another one of those decisions.
"I just feel the principles of today's Labour party are not the ones I signed up for.
"People are sick of the three main parties and their spin and lies and I am no exception.
"What appealed to me most about UKIP is the party's honesty and down-to-earth approach.
"They are very open with the people and straight-talking. They tell it as its and that is what I do."
Mr Walker, who joined Labour in 2008, said he had been contemplating resigning for several months.
Even so, he was still on Labour's panel of would-be candidates for next May's council elections until quitting yesterday.
He said: "I have not had any thoughts yet about standing for UKIP in the elections.
"I just want to support the party in helping ordinary working people better themselves.
"The UKIP members I have met have given me a warm welcome. You couldn't wish to meet a nicer bunch of people.
"I am looking forward to working with them to make sure the people of Hull get a better deal."
UKIP won a seat on the council last May when Richard Barrett ousted Labour veteran and former Lord Mayor Dave Gemmell in the city's Southcoates East ward.
Councillor Barrett welcomed Mr Walker's decision to leave Labour for UKIP.
He said: "People are getting in contact with me on an almost daily basis wanting to join UKIP.
"From our point of view, our membership is really growing fast and it's because ordinary people want a voice and the three main parties are not interested in that."
Although he was the only UKIP winner on the night, the party pushed Labour close in several wards and went on to win three regional seats in the European Parliament.
Hull-based UKIP MEP Mike Hookem said the party was planning to field a full line-up of candidates in next year's council elections.
'I feel like I've been stabbed in the back'
STEVE Walker launched a strong attack on his Labour colleagues after being dumped shortly before last May's council elections.
Until then, he had served as a Labour councillor in Ings ward.
He told the Mail: "After what has happened to me, I feel like I've been stabbed in the back. There are a lot of good people in the party but there are also a lot of bad apples.
"When I first stood for the council, Labour was in opposition and we were struggling to get people to stand.
"Now, when we've got a big majority, it's all about certain people looking after their friends by making sure they get them onto the council.
"I'm not going to name names because that's not me, but they know who they are. All I will say is that certain people have made sure the selection process works to their advantage."
22 May 2014 Lab 39, Lib Dem 15, Con 2, Independent Labour 2, UKIP 1 3 April 2015 Lab 38, Lib Dem 15, Con 2, Hull Red Labour 2, UKIP 1, Vacant 1
Elected on 5 May 2011: Lab 17, Lib Dem 2 • On 1 March 2014, it was reported that Dean Kirk (Lab) (Derringham) and his colleague Gill Kennett (Lab), who had refused to back their own group’s budget, were facing disciplinary action. Kirk had abstained. On 10 April 2014 it was reported that Dean Kirk and Gill Kennett had quit the ruling Labour Group and formed their own Independent Labour Group.
Elected on 3 May 2012: Lab 12, Lib Dem 7, Con 1 • On 1 March 2014, it was reported that Gill Kennett (Lab) (Holderness) and her colleague Dean Kirk (Lab), who had refused to back their own group’s budget, were facing disciplinary action. Kennett had voted against the budget. On 6 April 2014, it was reported that the Labour Group had suspended Gill Kennett indefinitely. On 10 April 2014 it was reported that Dean Kirk and Gill Kennett had quit the ruling Labour Group and formed their own Independent Labour Group. • On 22 May 2014, Sharon Belcher (Lab) held the second seat in Marfleet, following the death of Sheila Waudby (Lab).
Elected on 22 May 2014: Lab 12(13), Lib Dem 6, Con 1, UKIP 1
On 5 December 2014, the Independent Labour Group announced that it would be known in future as Hull Red Labour.
On 16 February 2015, it was reported that Gary Wareing (Lab) (Drypool) had resigned from the Council in protest at the cuts, creating an unfilled vacancy. He was against the austerity measures, which included reducing the terms and conditions of staff (retires 2015)
Elected on 5 May 2011: Lab 17, Lib Dem 2 Defended on 7 May 2015: Lab 16 (including vacant seat), Lib Dem 2, Hull Red Labour 1