Vote 2013: Ex-Conservative MEP Beata Brookes joins UKIP

Beata Brookes Beata Brookes was described as the Celtic Iron Lady when she was a Conservative MEP

Related Stories

A former chair of the Welsh Conservative Party and MEP has joined UKIP, claiming the Tories have lost their core vote on several issues.

Beata Brookes said UKIP "are saying what people are thinking".

A North Wales Tory MEP for 10 years, she said attacks on UKIP by senior Conservatives - including the prime minister - such as "fruitcakes" and "clowns" were unwise.

It comes as UKIP hailed early gains in local elections in England.

Counting is also under way in the Anglesey council elections - the only ones in Wales this year - and UKIP also finished second behind Labour in the South Shields parliamentary by-election.

Start Quote

It was very rude and disrespectful but at the end of the day it's provided a backlash - it's backfired on them”

End Quote Beata Brookes On Conservative attacks on UKIP

Ms Brookes told BBC Wales she was not surprised by the gains UKIP had made in the English council elections.

"The Conservative Party has lost its core vote on a number of issues and there are now many disillusioned Tories, including me, who've turned to UKIP," she said.

Of the attacks on UKIP, she said: "You don't behave like that in politics.

"It was very rude and disrespectful but at the end of the day it's provided a backlash - it's backfired on them," she said.

"If Mrs Thatcher were Prime Minister now she would have a taken a strong line on Europe and held it. We would not be in the dire straits that we are in now if she were still at the top".

Ms Brookes, who left the Conservatives a year ago, said David Cameron should not have gone into coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

She said they should have "had the courage" to form a short-term minority government in 2010 before calling another general election.

She earned the nickname the Celtic Iron Lady in her 10 years as an MEP between 1979 and 1989.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Wales politics stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

Programmes

  • A computer generated of image of a robotic probe issued by Lunar MissionClick Watch

    Scientists seek crowdfunding to send probe to the Moon, plus other technology news

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.