TWO Fareham borough councillors have defected to UKIP. Nick Gregory and Dave Whittingham quit the Conservative Party last year and have now joined the UK Independence Party.

Both were previously independent councillors, but were convinced to join UKIP after being in agreement with the party’s manifesto.

Cllr Gregory runs a children’s nursery in Fareham and was first elected in 2010.

He said: “We decided that our views were very much in line with UKIP’s policies, especially at local level, where the party believes in empowering local councillors with greater freedom to do their job properly.

“The party, like me, believes councillors’ expenses are too high, especially when so many residents are being squeezed.”

Mr Whittingham, who plans to stand as a county council candidate in the May elections, said: “UKIP is the only party that recognises the need to give local councillors flexibility to work on behalf of their residents, not on behalf of the political party.”