Former Coventry UKIP leader Mark Taylor leaves Conservatives over benefit cuts - The Coventry Observer

15th Aug, 2022

Former Coventry UKIP leader Mark Taylor leaves Conservatives over benefit cuts

Lauren Clarke 11th Nov, 2016 Updated: 14th Nov, 2016

THE FORMER leader of Coventry UKIP, who left the party to join the Conservatives, has now left the Tory party.

Mark Taylor left announced on Twitter that he has cancelled his full membership to the Conservative party, just a year after joining the party.

Tweeting to his followers on Wednesday morning (November 6): “And so, with one final call to Conservative membership, i have just said goodbye to membership of the Conservative party.

“It’s been fun.”

“Some good things in Conservative land but I don’t agree with the recent full cuts to those on benefits.”

The former Coventry UKIP chairman stood in Coventry South in the 2015 General Election, but left the party just weeks after garnering 6,000 votes and coming in third place behind Conservative councillor Gary Ridley and incumbent Labour MP Jim Cunningham.

Mr Taylor stood aside on account of ‘selection drama’ which saw him nearly replaced as the party candidate by UKIP bosses, who wanted to replace him with former pop music producer-turned anti-gay Christian preacher George Hargreaves.

He agreed to stand down, but pressure from local UKIP members saw the plans abandoned and Mr Taylor stand in the constituency.

Explaining his decision to leave the Conservatives, he told the Observer: “The local Tories in Coventry are good people who have real concern for their city.

“But while I was with them I felt I haven’t been able to be myself.

“One of the main reasons for me leaving is the Conservative’s recent changes to the benefit cap.”

Mr Taylor said he agreed with some Conservative policies, including the increased living wage, but says he sees him self as more ‘left-ish’ than the party’s aims – though not as left-wing as the direction of the Labour party, he added.

He also said he was against HS2 and the introduction of a metro mayor for Coventry under the new West Midlands Combined Authority.

“For now, I will have a temporary gap from politics while I have a rethink,” Mr Taylor said.

“One of the reasons I left UKIP was because I felt that it was a party of two tribes – the disgruntled Tories who were fed up with David Cameron, and the Labour supporters who were equally fed up with their party.

“But I have spoken to a few UKIP people and think that it could become a party that will appeal to people from many parties.

“I’d still like to be involved in politics and I am now looking for a party which has a heart for people in need or wants to help them.”

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