UKIP leader set to canvass for support at Windsor meeting
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DEFECTORS: The Bursnalls ditched the ruling Conservative to join forces with Nigel Farage's UKIP.
CONTROVERSIAL leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage will be holding a public meeting in Windsor to canvass support in the area.
The party rose to prominence in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead when Conservative councillors Tom and Cat Bursnall defected to UKIP in March, a move which was followed by the party fielding a candidate in every ward in the Slough elections in May.
Although the party did not win a seat, they took a significant portion of the vote as the Conservatives lost the three seats they were defending.
Mr Farage told The Observer: "It is great to be coming to the Royal Borough in July. Of course as one of the town's Euro-MPs it's good to be back, and to be able to welcome them to the fold in a public way is even better.
"The door will be wide open to all and the debate is normally wide ranging and vigorous. The evening should be fun, though the message is very important."
Cllr Tom Bursnall said: "It will be great for Mr Farage to come and see what we are doing and see how things are run over here. "
Ken Wight, leader of Slough UKIP, added: "We have had a phenomenal response in Slough. There is real momentum gaining and Nigel Farage coming to town is an indication of that."
Mr Farage is expected to meet with other disillusioned Conservative councillors while in Windsor, and Cllr Bursnall said not all the responses he has received since his defection have been negative.
He added: "I have had confidential words of support from fellow councillors who sympathise with my position, but still feel for whatever reason they need to stay in
the party." Councillor David Burbage, leader of the Royal Borough Conservative group, declined to comment.
Councillor Bursnall reiterated he would not run against Windsor MP Adam Afriyie in the next general election, but has not ruled out running for parliament elsewhere in the country.
Mr Farage, a member of the
European Parliament, will be talking at the Macdonald Windsor Hotel, in High Street, from 7pm on Friday, July 13. The event is free, but spaces are limited and anyone wishing to attend should email firstname.lastname@example.org
This article appeared in Royal Borough Observer 15 Jun 12