UK Politics

Mike Nattrass denies joining English Democrats after UKIP exit

Mike Nattrass
Image caption Mr Nattrass has represented the West Midlands in Europe since 2004

A former deputy leader of the UK Independence Party who quit the party last week has ruled out joining the English Democrats.

Mike Nattrass, a West Midlands MEP, confirmed he would speak at the party's conference this weekend.

The English Democrats' chairman, Robin Tilbrook, earlier claimed the ex-UKIP politician would join his party - becoming its first MEP.

Mr Nattrass left UKIP after 15 years in protest at Nigel Farage's leadership.

He accused his former boss of running a "totalitarian regime" and excluding those who disagreed with him.

'Delighted'

A press release issued by the English Democrats earlier had suggested Mr Nattrass "wanted" to join the party and would be their lead candidate in the West Midlands in the 2014 Euro elections.

Chairman Mr Tilbrook was quoted saying: "I am delighted to welcome Mike Nattrass as a member of the English Democrats."

But Mr Nattrass later wrote in an email: "I am not going to join the English Democrats... however I will be speaking at their conference in Leicester on Saturday, on the subject of HS2."

Mr Tilbrook told the BBC there would still be a major announcement on Saturday, but that he was "not as clear" as he had been on what the announcement would be.

His party campaign for immediate withdrawal from the European Union and for the establishment of an English parliament.

Originally the English National Party when he founded it in 1998, it achieved its first major electoral success when its candidate won the Doncaster mayoral election in 2009.

More on this story