A long-standing Conservative councillor in Elmbridge has defected to the Brexit Party.
Mike Bennison, who represents Hinchley Wood, Claygate and Oxshott on Surrey County Council, said he would continue to serve his constituents to the “high standard” he feels he has shown. He becomes the county’s first Brexit Party councillor.
He said he had no choice but to leave the Conservative Party after he was told he would not be re-selected for the next local elections.
Mr Bennison, who has been a councillor for 20 years, also represents Cobham and Downside on Elmbridge Borough Council.
He said he was “absolutely dumbfounded” when he was told he had been turned down to represent the Tories in the borough elections next year and county elections in 2021.