Blow for Ukip as MEP defects to the Tories

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DAVID Cameron received a boost last night when a UK Independence Party MEP revealed she was defecting to the Tories.

Less than a week before the Eastleigh by-election, Marta Andreasen quit Ukip and launched an excoriating attack on Nigel Farage’s leadership. She dismissed the party’s chances of achieving real power and hailed the Prime Minister’s pledge on an in-out referendum on the EU as a “game-changer”.

The blow – in an open letter from the South East region MEP – comes amid speculation Ukip could do well in the by-election.

Ms Andreasen said she did not believe the party could offer “real leadership”. She added: “Ukip has good people in it at grass roots that care about the future of the United Kingdom and our place in a renegotiated relationship with Europe.

“Unfortunately, their party leader treats any views other than his own with contempt. His actions, surrounding himself with an old boys’ club of like-minded sycophants, are dictatorial in sharp contrast to those of David Cameron, who has shown he can listen, adapt and do what is right for the country.”

Ms Andreasen said Mr Cameron’s keynote address on the EU last month convinced her the Conservatives were the “true referendum party”.

She added: “The Prime Minister’s speech was a game-changer; he promised to turn around the European freight train, which is currently heading towards a deeper federal Europe with no options for Britain.”

Tory chairman Grant Shapps said: “I’m delighted to welcome Marta to the Conservative Party. She brings a wealth of experience.”