A Brighton and Hove Labour councillor has switched to the UK Independence Party (UKIP).
Councillor Leigh Farrow, who represents Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, will take his seat as the first UKIP member of Brighton and Hove City Council this afternoon.
Having won back the formerly safe Labour seat from the Conservatives in the 2011 local elections, Councillor Farrow was deselected earlier this year.
The 59-year-old has been selected to stand for his new party in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean at the local elections next May.
He was one of three Labour councillors for the ward. At the local elections next May an NHS manager and physiotherapist Daniel Yates will contest the seat for Labour.
He will be standing alongside existing members Councillor Mo Marsh and Councillor Anne Meadows.
The Labour group leader Councillor Warren Morgan wrote to colleagues this morning to tell them the news.
The Brighton and Hove UKIP chairman Nigel Carter said: “We’re delighted to welcome Leigh who has the same values and concern for the community as UKIP.”
A Labour spokesman said: “Leigh Farrow was removed as a Labour candidate following repeated complaints from council staff and party colleagues of unacceptable behaviour, not for any political reason.
“If he wishes to seek election in May for UKIP then that is a matter for him, although we would question whether he agrees with UKIP policy of removing rights in the workplace, such as sick leave, health and safety, maternity leave, paid holidays and more.
“His defection to UKIP is somewhat surprising as until now Leigh Farrow has been on record as describing UKIP as racist, xenophobic, further to the right than the Tory Party and acting like the BNP.”
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