Yeo quits Labour ‘to support Ukip’

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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A former chair of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee has left the party in order to support Ukip in the coming general election, Nigel Farage has announced.

Harriet Yeo, a former president of the TSSA transport union, an NEC member for eight years and chair in 2012/13, is the most senior Labour figure to quit the party in favour of Ukip, in what will be seen as a blow to leader Ed Miliband.

She has resigned from the party because of Mr Miliband’s refusal to offer a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Formerly the leader of the Labour group on Ashford Council in Kent, it is understood Ms Yeo will now sit as an independent.

A Ukip spokesman made clear that Ms Yeo was not joining the eurosceptic party, but said she was expected to give her “wholehearted support for Ukip” during the election campaign.

Ukip leader Mr Farage said: “I’m delighted that Ukip can now count upon the support of such respected figure as Harriet Yeo.

“A life-long trade unionist and Labour Party member who served as chair of Ed Miliband’s NEC, she is yet another voice calling for Britain to have a choice about its future. We are welcoming support from across the board and Harriet’s support is evidence of this”.

It is understood that Ms Yeo was removed as Labour group leader on Ashford Council last week after being accused of non-attendance at meetings and a failure to undertake casework, and was deselected last night as a candidate for the 2015 local elections.

A Labour Party spokesman said: “The vast majority of the Labour Party are united behind our position on Europe, believing Britain’s best interests are served by staying in a reformed EU and not sleepwalking towards an exit which would cost British jobs and influence.

“The truth is Ukip are a party of Tory people, Tory policies and Tory money: they are more Tory than the Tories.”

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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