JANICE Small, who stood for the Tories in Batley and Spen during last year’s general election, has defected to the UK Independence Party (UKIP).
Ms Small, who lives in Kent, lost the election last May to incumbent Labour MP Mike Wood by more than 4,400 votes.
She has now left the Conservative Party after becoming disillusioned with Prime Minister David Cameron’s stance on immigration and Europe.
Ms Small now hopes to help UKIP, which is the country’s fourth largest political party, fight for seats in the next round of European elections.
“I left the Conservative party as I had lost the fight for an In or Out referendum on Europe,” said Ms Small.
“I voted for David Cameron as leader as he was sold to the membership as the most Eurosceptic leader we would have.
“Once selected his narrative died and now as PM he believes we are better off in Europe.
“It has been made quite plain by by Conservative Central office that candidates with my views will not be tolerated and those MPs who share my views are mercilessly bullied by the whips.”
She added that UKIP was ‘flourishing’.